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Pickling can seem like such a process.
Getting a big pot of boiling water, sterilizing jars, submerging them with those fancy jar tongs. All that setup and processing can turn pickling into a project. A project that you don’t have time for in your busy life.
Especially, if you just want to make one jar of pickles.
Well, this refrigerator pickled beets recipe doesn’t require all that. These are refrigerator pickled beets. And they are way easier to make.
Just dissolve salt and sugar in vinegar and water. That’s right, you don’t even need to boil the water. Then pour the brine mixture into a jar filled with raw beets and let time work its magic.
These beet pickles will get better as the days pass. It’s really fun tasting them every day to see how much their taste has changed.
Wondering what to do with pickled beets? Add them to salads, sandwiches, and bowls for a blast of tanginess. Or make a quick pickled beet salad.
The best part: these pickles will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator. But I’m betting (or am I “beeting”?) they don’t last that long.
Quick Refrigerator Pickles vs. Regular Pickles. What’s the Difference?
These pickled beets are considered quick pickles or refrigerator pickles. Meaning, the jars are not sealed and shelf stable. So, these pickles need to be stored in the refrigerator and will last about 2 months.
Jars are sterilized and sealed during the regular canning process. These unopened jars can last for months in your pantry. Just like the jars of pickles at the grocery store. You don’t buy those in the refrigerator aisle.
Also, these pickles can be eaten almost right away. You will see differences in taste every day as the pickling process occurs. I think they really hit their prime after a 5 or so days.
One last difference is that traditional pickles undergo fermentation. Quick pickles do not. Their flavor is reliant on the pickle brine.
Health Benefits of Pickled Beets
Beets are so healthy that some experts consider them a “superfood”.
One of the reasons is because beets are packed packed with vitamins and minerals. They have high amounts of fiber, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that aid in digestion.
According to Medical News Today, studies show beets may reduce blood pressure, improve digestion, help detoxify the liver, reduce the risk of diabetes, and increase athletic performance.
How Long Will These Pickled Beets Keep?
These pickled beets will keep up to 2 months in a resealable jar in your refrigerator. They will continue to pickle throughout that time so taste often!
Storing Pickled Beets
Is there any other way to store pickles than in mason jars? They were practically invented for pickling. Ball (the manufacturer of mason jars) literally wrote the book on home canning and pickling.
This recipe fits perfectly in a 32 ounce jar like these ones.
How To Buy Fresh Beets
Beets are generally available with their leafy tops on or off.
If their tops are still on, inspecting these will be your best bet. It means they were dug up within the past week or so. Look for greens that are perky with no shriveling.
If their tops are removed, look for beets with tight, firm skins. You should not be able to squish them at all.
What Type of Beets Should I Buy?
Any type of beets work great for pickling.
You may see a few different varieties of beets at your grocery store. Most likely you will see a red (or purple) variety and gold variety.
Red beets are versatile, earthy, and keep well. These are the beets you probably think of when you hear the word “beets”.
While golden beets are also widely available. They are less sweet than red beets, but also less earthy. Golden beets make for an easier cleanup since they don’t stain everything like red beets do.
To read more about beets, check out this Beets 101 article that is your resource for everything you need to know about buying, cooking, and eating beets.
How Can I Avoid Beet Staining with Red Beets?
Red beets stain much more than golden and other types of beets. Their color does rub off on whatever they come in contact with.
So, your hands and cutting board will get stained.
Wash your hands with soap and water once your done working with the beets. The sooner you can do this, the better. Even if you don’t, the color will fade pretty quickly.
I like to use a separate small cutting board that can be easily cleaned and tossed in the dishwasher like this one. That way, your kitchen and main cutting board won’t have streaks of purple.
If you don’t have another cutting board like this, just wipe off the one you use with hot water. Again, the sooner you can do this before the stain penetrates and dries, the easier it will be to get out.
Beet Pickling Tips
Here are some tips to remember when making these pickled beets:
Cover beets all the way – Make sure your beets are fully submerged in the brine before sealing the jar.
Make beet pickled eggs with leftover brine– When you’ve finished eating all of the pickles, you can easily make these beet pickled eggs with the brine. Just
Peel the beets – Beet skins are edible, but bitter. You’ll want to peel them off for these pickles.
Use raw beets – You don’t need to cook these beets in advance. Many pickled beet recipes call for roasted beets, but not these. Just thinly slice raw beets.
Variations to these Pickled Beets
This recipe uses a base brine without any added aromatics. You can build more flavor by adding fresh herbs and/or spices. Just add them to the pickling jar before adding your brine.
Here are some combinations to consider if you have the ingredients on-hand:
Thyme and peppercorn
Coriander seeds and cinnamon stick
Dill and mustard seed
You can also try adding thinly sliced onions to the jar with the beets. The onions will pickle beautifully and turn bright pink.
Here are some great ways to use these pickled beets:
As a condiment – These pickles are a great condiment for sandwiches, wraps, and tacos.
Make a pickled beet salad – Add a dash of olive oil and some fresh herbs to make a pickled beet salad.
As a salad topper – Top your salads like this simple one with a few chopped up pickled beets.
Want More Beet Recipes?
Beets are awesome. They flavorful, versatile, and healthy. They really are one of the most perfect foods. Here are some other recipes to check out:
Refrigerator Pickled Beets
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cup hot water
- 5 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Put vinegar, hot water, sugar, and kosher salt into a bowl or pitcher. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Place beet slices into a resealable jar. Pour brine into jar so that the beets are completely submerged.
- Screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Start tasting after the first day.
Ready to Pickle?
You can see that these aren’t the all-day project kind of pickles. You aren’t trying to preserve this month’s harvest for the winter months.
You’re just trying to make a tangy and delicious condiment. One that you can pull out of your refrigerator at a moment’s notice. Those are my favorite kind of condiments.
Now that you have this recipe you’ll need some beets.
But, I know it’s not always easy to make it to the grocery store to buy fresh produce. So, I made this list of the best places to buy produce online.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get fresh produce delivered right to your doorstep with the click of a button.