How to Freeze Beets Beets (no matter what variety) have to be cooked, or baked whole with the skin on. That prevents them from bleeding out. As soon as you can put a fork in, they are done. It will take about an hour. I like to cook beets in a pot with about an inch of water at the bottom, so that the beets are steamed, not boiled in water. It preserves the taste better. But beets can also be cooked in water, as you would cook potatoes.