Holy guacamole, I haven’t blogged in a month and now canning season is basically over! Although there are still things that can be done over the winter and ways to keep that canning fire burning. And I have a backlog of a couple other recipes I want to let you in on. But anyways, today’s post is about beets and a slight trauma I had while canning which shall be my excuse for this slight hiatus I took.
So! Pressure canning beets is a teensy bit time consuming, but I love beets so I thought I would give it a whirl. Step 1 is to select your beets and wash them. Now everyone will tell you to select the small beets because large ones can be fibrous, and don’t select the ones over 3 inches in diameter. Well, the farm stand near me was having an end of season blowout sale so you take what you can get. And I don’t discriminate, I love beets off all sizes, so don’t be a “beetist.” But I digress again, let’s can some beets.
Step 2 is to trim the beets then boil them for 15-20 minutes “until the skins slip off easily.” Personally, I think step 2 is a sham. Trying to handle hot beets and slip their skins off turned my kitchen into what looked like a murder scene. I wish I had taken a photo for you. I guess they were a bit easier to peel, but I feel as though next time I’d prefer to peel and chop and then heat them even though everyone does the boiling whole. But I digress again. The moral of the story is you want your beets heated, pealed, and chopped in pieces. If you would like to change the order I feel like you should be allowed to do so.
While they are boiling it’s a good time to prepare the canner, jars, and lids. Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and start heating it. Canning in quarts would be my recommendation, not a lot fit in a pint. In fact, I had pints prepared, and at the last second realized how little fit in them and swapped them out, but anyways…
Chopped beets! The idea is you want a hot pack. So whichever order you did you want those beets still hot. Boil some clean water (i.e. not the water you boiled the beets in) to use to pack them in.
Pack them into the jars, and cover with the boiling water. Leave an inch head space and be sure to remove the air bubbles between the beets. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten finger tip tight. Place the jars in the canner. Secure the canner lid, vent the canner for 10 minutes, then place the weight on the vent. Bring to 11 pounds of pressure and process 30 minutes for pints or 35 for quarts.
Now it was at this point for me that tragedy struck! About 15 minutes into my canning time THE POWER WENT OUT! I was so upset. I may be canning to prepare for the apocalypse but it’s not supposed to come WHILE I am canning. OK I jest, maybe, but still I was very upset. So I lit some candles and angrily listened to the canner depressurize. It’s usually a lovely sound “yay they’re done,” but when you know they are not done it is a maddening sound! OK rant complete. So assuming your power did not also go out (it returned at 3am by the way, too little too late) you will turn off the heat after 35 minutes, let the pressure drop on its own, and remove the weight once the pressure is all the way down and the do-dad drops. Wait 5 more minutes, remove the lid and remove your beets to a hot pad or towel. Listen to the ping ping ping. After 12-24 hours when they have cooled, check the seals, remove the bands, label and store.
As a side note, below are my successful jars, done with different beets a few days later. Tune in for the next post for what I did with the failed pressure canned beets. As an additional side note, yes I put some in pints, I wanted to see how cute they’d look in blue jars. Meh, not as cute as expected but OK.