A Beginner’s Guide to Canning Beets
Canning beets, peaches, cucumbers, apples, tomatoes, and other foods has been done for a long time but over the years, equipment and techniques used have evolved, making this process easier and with better results. Although not as many people can foods today, this is an excellent way to save money. For instance, people with gardens let nothing go to waste, instead canning the excess and storing it. Along with the actual food, garden foods can also be made into sauces, which can also be canned.
One of the benefits of canning beets is that after the food has been stored, the beets actually taste better than when fresh. This economical and practical method of preserving food is once again becoming popular, as more and more people are trying to save money and be resourceful. The actual cost associated with the process depends on various factors such as:
Type and source of food
Labor and energy involved
Types and number of containers used
Type of equipment used
When it comes to canning beets and other foods, experts recommend the stored food be consumed within one year. Although canned food can be stored much longer, as long as the seal is tight and the food has not spoiled, but the quality, taste, and nutritional value would likely decrease after a year. If you plan to can foods, you might spend a little time learning about microorganisms, bacteria, mold, and yeasts so you know how each would affect the canned food and you would know the associated signs of spoiled food.
For canning beets, the most serious problem you might face is the growth of bacteria. In addition to being hard to kill with heat, bacteria can be hard to identify. The good news when choosing beets is that they are low in acid, which means the growth of bacteria is not as much a problem as with high acidic food, such as tomatoes.
Canning jars are made from tempered glass to stand up to intense heat and quality jars can be used for canning up to ten years. You would need to choose the size of canning jars based on the quantity of food you want to store, which would depend on the number of people in your family. For canning beets, quart jars are typically the best option. Make sure the jars have no cracks or nicks, which would not allow a seal.
For the lids and rings, these are automatically sold when buying new jars but they are also sold separately if using older jars. Just as with the jars, lids and seals need to be high quality to ensure a perfect seal. For high acidic foods, you would use a boiling water bath but for canning beets, this would step would be eliminated. Finally, the sealed jars would be placed in a steam pressure canner, which is imperative when canning beets and other low acidic foods to kill harmful things such as bacteria and microorganisms. For this, special steps are needed to include:
Ten pounds of pressure would be used for the standard canning process
The lid would be securely locked to prevent steam from escaping
The safety valve steam vent would be opened and closed as needed for venting steam
Pressure would be adjusted if you live somewhere with high altitude
Follow the pressure cooking process according to the food and manufacturer’s instructions
Finally, for canning beets, you can pack the jars with hot or raw food. Hot food would be the beets pressure cooked and the raw foods would be virtually raw, followed by air and bubbles.