Vegetables must be canned in a pressure canner for the correct time and pressure (PSI) to ensure their safety. If not canned correctly, these low acid foods may contain the deadly botulism toxin.
Vegetables may be canned without salt. Salt adds flavor but does not prevent spoilage. If you use a weighted-gauge canner and can at an altitude less than 1000 feet, you may use 10 PSI instead of 15 PSI for the canner pressure. This will improve nutrient and quality retention of the vegetables. Check with your local county extension office or Soil Conservation District for altitude information.
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.
Procedure: Trim off beet tops, leaving an inch of stem and roots to reduce bleeding of color. Scrub well. Cover with boiling water. Boil about 15 to 25 minutes, depending on size, or until skins slip off easily. 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.
Processing Time and Method
1) Dial-gauge Pressure Canner
Pints – 30 minutes 11 PSI
Quarts – 35 minutes 11 PSI
2) Weighted-gauge Pressure Canner
Pints – 30 minutes 15 PSI
Quarts – 35 minutes 15 PSI