I put the washed beets in a large stock pot that is big enough I will be able cover them with water. I ended up needing 2 pots.
Both of these pots are full of beets. The blue pot on the right is the one that I had 81 ears of corn in. It is very large. I believe it is at least 5 gallons. The other one is part of a nesting set of stock pots I use and love. First thing in the morning, I put these on to cook. It takes a while to heat up that much water and I want to finish in one day.
Once the water gets hot it takes 30 to 45 mins. for the beets to cook enough to allow the skins to come off easily. I start testing them at 30 mins. To test them take a couple and put in the sink and run cold water on them so you can handle them. If the skin easily peels off with little to no resistance, they are ready. If not, let them go a bit longer.
While they are cooking I make my brine. I have tried several brines and have liked them all. I will give you 2 brine recipes at the end. You bring the brine to boil and then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
I pour the hot beets into a colander in my sink. Obviously, you won’t be able to pour them all in at one time. I do them in batches. These are very hot, but easily handled under cool running water. I cut off the top and the little root at the bottom. The rest of the peel just slides off.
I put the skins and stems out in the compost or I have even thrown them to the chickens before. This is what you are left with… naked beets.
Now you need to decide how you want them. I often leave the smaller ones whole. If they are larger you can slice them. Instead of slicing all the hot beets, I just put them through my french fry cutter. They come out in nice easy to handle pieces and it takes almost no time at all.
I then fill my warm jars with the hot beets. I then fill the jar with brine. I put my hot lids and rings on and they get water bathed for 30 mins.
We had one 75′ row of beets. From that row I got 17 pints and 14 quarts of pickled beets. Here are the jars. The last 7 quarts are still in the canner.
Brine Recipe #1
Brine Recipe #2
I believe that next time I will combine the 2. I will use both cloves and allspice along with the cinnamon sticks.