How to Can Beets. Everyone needs to eat vegetables every day to maintain optimum health. The best vegetables are those we raise and preserve ourselves. That way, we know what's in them and how fresh they are, plus home canning saves money. Follow these steps to can beets from your garden to enjoy all winter.
Harvest and clean beets when they are less than 3 inches in diameter, if possible. You'll need about 3 lbs. of raw beets for each quart jar you plan to can.
Wash and sterilize as many canning jars as your pressure cooker will hold. Sterilization is done by boiling them in clean water. Boil the lids and seals, also.
Scrub beets and trim the tops, but leave at least an inch of tops and all the roots to prevent beets from bleaching to white.
Put clean beets in a large cooking pan and cover with boiling water. Parboil beets for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skins are loose. Cool the beets quickly in cold water and remove the skins, stems and roots.
Slice larger beets and halve smaller ones, or leave them whole. Return them to pan and reheat in their own juices.
Pack hot beets into the hot jars and fill jars with beet juice. Add boiling water, if necessary, to cover the beets. Add a tsp. of salt to each quart, if you wish.
Adjust seals and lids on jars, but don't over tighten. Place jars in pressure cooker and follow the directions that came with your cooker to process. See the Resources section below for a great website concerning pressure canning safety.
Be sure to adjust your pressure canner pressures for your altitude to can beets. Higher altitudes require higher pressure to keep the internal temperature correct.
Know how to operate your pressure cooker by reading the operation manual that came with it, or go online to the manufacturer to obtain one. Have your pressure gauge checked annually for accuracy before the canning season if your pressure cooker is designed for a gauge. Use only pressure cookers that have the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) seal of approval. Use tongs to handle hot lids. Handle hot jars with extreme care, using appropriate pot holders.