Preserving beets by canning them requires cooking them and then canning them in a pickling liquid. Home canned foods tend to last at least one year; the food is still edible after a year, but chemical changes may occur that affects the flavor and texture of the food.
Prepare the beets completely prior to canning them.
Step 1: Clean and trim the beets
Remove all but 1 inch of stem from the beets and rinse them under cool running water. Leaving the stem helps to prevent some of the bleeding that occurs with beets.
Step 2: Cook and cool the beets
Cook the beets in a pot on high heat for up to 30 minutes until tender. Remove the beets and drain them using a colander. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. After they cool, remove the stems and skins.
Step 3: Sterilize the jars and lids
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Use tongs to place the jars and two-piece lids in the water. Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Remove the jars, dry them and set aside.
Step 4: Make the pickling brine
In another pot, add water, white or cider vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Add pickling spices to a piece of cheesecloth and secure tightly with twine. Add the spices and beets to the pot and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Fill canning jars
Add the beets and brine to the canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch of space in each jar. Seal the jars and add to a canning rack in a large stockpot filled with boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes, then remove and allow the jars to cool. Store in a cool, dry place.