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How do I? ...Can Vegetables

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables

Beets - Whole, Cubed or Sliced

Quantity: An average of 21 pounds (without tops) is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 13-1/2 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel (without tops) weighs 52 pounds and yields 15 to 20 quarts--an average of 3 pounds per quart.

Quality: Beets with a diameter of 1 to 2 inches are preferred for whole packs. Beets larger than 3 inches in diameter are often fibrous.

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Trim off beet tops, leaving an inch of stem and roots to reduce bleeding of color. Scrub well. Cover with boiling water. Boil until skins slip off easily; about 15 to 25 minutes depending on size. Cool, remove skins, and trim off stems and roots. Leave baby beets whole. Cut medium or large beets into 1/2-inch cubes or slices. Halve or quarter very large slices. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with hot beets and fresh hot water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the method of canning used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Beets in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 30 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 35 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Beets in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints 30 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 35 10 15


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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