Refrigerator pickled beets are delicious, and this recipe is quick and easy to make with just a handful of common ingredients.
They are very versatile and can add a burst of tangy flavor to any dish, from salads to sandwiches, and more.
Making your own pickled beets in the fridge is a surprisingly simple process. You can use them fresh from your garden, the grocery store, or farmer’s market.
Below I will show you how to make refrigerator pickled beets that are sure to impress your taste buds, and add a pop of color to your plate.
Homemade Refrigerator Pickled Beets
I have always loved pickled beets, so when I discovered how easy it was to make them from scratch in the refrigerator, I decided to create my own recipe.
They turned out so good that I was excited to share. Besides being visually appealing, they are very delicious and flavorful, and taste so much better than any store-bought version.
With just a few very basic ingredients, you can quickly whip up a batch whenever you have a craving.
What Do Refrigerator Pickled Beets Taste Like?
These refrigerator pickled beets taste perfectly tangy, vibrant, and subtly sweet, with warm and earthy notes.
The flavors in the brine infuse with the beets, and become stronger with time as everything marinates together.
Best Types Of Beets To Use For Fridge Pickling
The best type of beet to use for fridge pickling is a variety called the ‘Cylindra’. It’s the most ideal because of its sweet and mild flavor, smooth skin, and deep red flesh.
With that said, you can use any type that you have on hand for this recipe, even different colored ones, like yellow or orange, because the brine creates most of the flavor.
How To Make Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Making homemade pickled beets in the refrigerator is so much easier than most people realize, and this recipe doesn’t take much time.
The best part is that once you make it a few times, you can experiment with modifying the brine ingredients however you like.
Refrigerator Pickled Beets Recipe Ingredients
This recipe calls for just a few very basic ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. Below is a list of what you’ll need, along with some substitutions.
- Beets – This is the main ingredient of the recipe and offers that earthy yet slightly sweet flavor that we all love and crave. You could use canned or pre-cooked beets instead of fresh to speed up the process and skip a few steps.
- Apple cider vinegar – As the base ingredient for the pickling brine, it creates the tangy flavor we’re after. If you’re in a pinch you can use white vinegar instead of ACV, it just won’t be as sweet.
- Water – Adds more liquid to the brine and also softens and dilutes the potency of the vinegar.
- Sugar – Enhances the sweetness of the beets while balancing the salty and zesty flavors of the pickling brine.
- Pickling salt – This assists in the pickling effect of the beets and enhances the flavor.
- Ground mustard seed – Compliments the earthy undertones of the beets and creates a bit of nuttiness to the overall flavor.
- Black peppercorns – Adds a little bit of spice to the brine, as well as enhancing the earthy undertones.
- Bay leaves – Compliments the peppercorns, and even brings a slight bitter flavor to the brine.
- Whole cloves – This adds subtly sweet notes of warm spiciness to the brine, and complements the flavor of the bay leaves.
- Olive oil – We’ll use this to drizzle over the beets to prevent sticking when we roast them in the oven.
Tools & Equipment Needed
You don’t need fancy tools or equipment to make this refrigerator pickled beets recipe, just a few basic kitchen items. Gather everything together beforehand to help speed up the process.
- Non-reactive cooking pot, like stainless steel
- Pint canning jars
- New jar lids
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Paring knife
- Vegetable brush
- Large ladle
- Canning funnel
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- Permanent marker
- Paper towels (optional)
Tips For Making Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Making refrigerator pickled beets is pretty straightforward, and this recipe is very flexible. Here are some tips so yours will have the best flavor and texture.
- You must cook the beets first, whether roasting or boiling, so they’re softened and ideal for eating. To speed up the process, you can use canned or pre-cooked beets.
- It’s very important to allow the beets to marinade for 2-3 days before eating them. That way they’ll have ample time to absorb the brine flavors, and they’ll taste the best.
- Once you make this recipe a few times, you can experiment with adding other flavors, such as citrus zest, garlic, or scallions, to see what you like the best.
Canning Refrigerator Pickled Beets (Optional)
Since the vinegar makes the brine acidic, you can safely can your pickled beets in a boiling water bath instead of refrigerating them if you’d like.
Then you can store the jars in a cool, dark location, like a pantry or cupboard instead of keeping them in the fridge.
Related Post: How To Can Beets
Using & Storing Refrigerator Pickled Beets
The beets will absorb more of the flavor from the pickling brine as they sit in the fridge.
While you certainly could eat them right away, they won’t have time to absorb the brine, so the flavor won’t be as strong.
For best results I recommended that you let them marinate for 2-3 days before eating them.
How Long Do Refrigerator Pickled Beets Last?
These refrigerator pickled beets can safely last for up to 6 weeks. Keep in mind to practice your best judgment, and if you notice a shift in odor, color, or texture it may mean it’s time to throw them out.
Below are my answers to some of the most common questions about making homemade pickled beets in the fridge.
Do refrigerated pickled beets go bad?
Refrigerated pickled beets can go bad like any other food or recipe, but they have a fairly long shelf life, and can last up to 6 weeks.
Do homemade pickled beets need to be refrigerated?
Homemade pickled beets do need to be refrigerated with this recipe. But you could seal the jars using a boiling water bath to can them, and then store them in the pantry or cabinet instead.
Can you make refrigerator pickled beets using canned beets?
Yes, you can make refrigerator pickled beets using canned beets for this recipe so it’s even faster and easier. In that case, you can skip the steps where you prepare and cook the beets.
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