How To Store Beets

I like beets, but I wouldn’t say I love them. There are many people that do love them and especially if you grow your own beets in your garden you will have a big harvest. You can’t eat all of them at once so storing beets is the solution to this.

There are several ways to store beets and also a short term way and a long term way. I store my beets in the refrigerator, because I don’t grow them my self.

When I buy them in the store I will just place them in the refrigerator and they will store there until I can use them.

Things To Remember When Storing Beets

Let me tell you about what affects storing beets. First is temperature. Beets like it cool, but not freezing. If it’s too hot, they go soft and mushy, not good for eating. But if it’s too cold, they can freeze and lose their flavor. So, place them in cool place, but not too cold.

Also humidity can ruin the storage. Beets like a little moisture, not too dry and not too wet. If it’s too dry, they shrivel up like raisins and aren’t juicy anymore. And if too wet, they can go moldy and rotten.

Prepare Beets For Storage

Before you store your beets, you need to prepare them.

Wash the beets and then dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut off any long or damaged parts of the greens, leaving about one inch of stem attached. Don’t cut too close to the beet, or it might let the juice out and lose some flavor.

Check the beets again for any bruises, cuts, or soft spots. If you see any, remove them from your batch of beets for storage, because they won’t keep well. Once you checked them, they are ready for storage.

Storing Beets

How To Store Beets For Short Term

The best way to store beets for short term is in the refrigerator. I put them in the bottom drawer where it is darkest, even when door opens.

Store them in a plastic bag or airtight container. But before you put them in the refrigerator, make sure they are dry. I like to use paper towels to dry them off and then let them sit on the counter to completely dry. If they are wet, they can go bad quicker, so it’s important they are dry before storage.

You can now place the dry beets into the plastic bag or container. If you using a plastic bag, try to push out as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it up.

For containers, make sure the lid is on tight to keep air out. Put them in the refrigerator. The crisper drawer is usually the best place. It is a little more humid in there, which helps keep them fresh.

Also don’t put them near smelly foods like onions or garlic, because they can absorb those smells pretty quickly.

For Long Term Beets Storage

Root cellars are great for keeping vegetables fresh for months. My grandmother used to have an underground root cellar outside where she kept potatoes, carrots and beets.

But you can just find a cool, dark spot with good ventilation. Make sure it’s not too humid or too dry. Then, store your beets in a wooden box or a perforated plastic bag to keep them from getting too moist.

If you can’t have a root cellar, you can freeze your beets.

Wash them well and then peel them if you want.

Slice the beets into cubes.

Prepare a bowl with iced cold water. Blanch the beets in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then quickly put them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once they are cooled down, dry them off good with a paper towel and let them dry on the counter for about 10 minutes.

Put them in freezer bags or containers. Write the date on the bag or container so you know when you froze them.

When you’re ready to use frozen beets, you can put them straight into soups, stews, or stir-fries without thawing them.

Frozen beets will keep in the freezer for up to 8 months, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy them.

Storing Beets By Pickling Them

Pickled beets

Pickling is a tasty way to preserve beets for longer and add flavor to them.

To do this, wash the beets and trim off the greens, leaving about 1 inch of stem.

Boil them in a pot of water until they are tender but still slightly firm. Let them cool down on a counter for about 20 minutes.

While beets are cooling, prepare your pickling brine.

I make it with vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Some people like to add spices such as cloves or cinnamon for extra flavor.

Bring your brine to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes.

While it’s simmering, peel the skin off the beets and slice them into rounds about half inch thick.

Put them into clean jars, then pour the hot pickling brine over them until they are completely covered.

Put lids on the jars and let them cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge.

The beets will be ready to eat in a couple of days and should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

Store Beets By Dehydrating Them

Dehydrated beets

You can dehydrate beets for longer storage and it also creates tasty snacks or for adding to recipes.

To dehydrate the beets, wash your them well and peel them if you want. I like to peel them so you can too. Then, slice them into thin pieces using a knife or a mandoline slicer. The thinner the slices, the faster they’ll dehydrate, so try to keep them around 1/8 inch thick.

Arrange beet slices in a single layer on a dehydrator tray. Don’t overlap them.

The dehydrator temperature should be around 125°F (52°C). Let the beets dry in there for 6 to 12 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices and the humidity level.

Check on them often towards the last few hours, and when they are completely dry and crispy, they will be ready to be stored.

Let them cool down to room temperature before you put them in a airtight container or a bag for long term storage.

Problems When Storing Beets

When you are storing beets there can be problems some times. Here is what you can expect.

Beets Growing Mold During Storage

If you see mold growing on the beets, you need to take care of it quickly so the mold doesn’t go on other good beets.

Check all the beets and see if any others are have mold. Remove any beets that have even a little bit of mold and throw them away.

Wipe the rest of the beets with a clean damp cloth to remove any mold spores. Let the beets dry for a half hour and then put them back into storage.

Also check if the storage area maybe has poor ventilation or is damp. Fix this before putting the beets back into storage there.

Beets Sprouting During Storage

If the beets start sprouting during storage, checkl all the beets and find all that sprouted.

Remove sprouted beets from the storage and prepare them for dinner.

Move the rest of the beets into a little warmer and brighter place to slow down sprouting. Also make sure there is good ventilation and not too moist.

Beets Softening or Shriveling During Storage

If the stored beets starting to soften or shrivel, check all the beets to find the ones that are soft or shriveling.

Remove them and use them in a dish soon because they will not store much longer.

For the rest of the beets, try soaking them in cold water for a few hours to rehydrate them. Dry them with a paper towel and let them dry off.

Put them back into storage in a cool, humid environment to help them store well. It’s a good idea to check on them regularly to make sure they don’t keep drying out.

What If You Eat Bad Beets?

If you eat some spoiled or bad beets and have a stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, there can be different reasons.

Beets that are mushy or dry or even moldy will not usually affect you in a really bad way. Maybe some mild stomach irritation.

If you have serious symptoms like stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever there may have been some bacteria on the beets that you have eaten. You should go to the doctor or ER and have it checked out.

Throw away all the beets where the bad beets were stored and don’t eat any more of them.

Leave a Comment