Who doesn’t love ketchup? This ubiquitous red sauce was the go-to condiment for burgers, hotdogs, and fries amongst my friends and family. The distinctive shaped bottle graced most tables and just about every picnic.
Now fast forward about 25 years. I am in the midst of canning season with a surplus of tomatoes. Frankly, the thought of canning more quarts of juice and sauce does not appeal to me. What else can I make? I need inspiration. So I gather all of my canning books and flip through the pages. After an hour of scanning recipes, there it is. Wow. Such a great idea. Ketchup!
From that fateful evening, I have been making ketchup ever since. The taste is fresh, bright, and so much more flavorful than what I used to buy at the grocery store. And folks, if you can tomatoes, you can make ketchup.
Over the years, I have continued to tweak this recipe. While I enjoy a nice tomato base, I also like the slight bite of vinegar, sweetness of orange juice, and some assorted spices/seasonings. Please feel free to adapt the recipe to fit your own personal taste. But regardless of how you adapt the recipe, please use fresh tomatoes. Do not used store bought canned tomatoes. The metal cans impart a ‘tinny’ flavor which will negatively impact the taste of the final product.
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 6 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, blanched, seeded, and skinned
- 1 white onion, skinned and diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 C. white vinegar
- 1/2 C. orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/3 C. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Place a large stock pot on the stove set to medium heat. Add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Next, add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Sweat for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mix well. Lower to the heat to a simmer. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Allow to cook down until the volume is reduced by half or until you reach your desired consistency. (I like a thick ketchup and so I reduce the sauce by more than half.) As the sauce cooks down, increase the frequency of stirring. You do not want to scorch your ketchup.
When desired consistency is reached, remove pot from heat. At this point, I use an immersion blender to get a uniform texture of the sauce, blending away any large chopped pieces of tomatoes or onions. Pour sauce into sterilized jars. Adjust lids and rims and process for the length of time necessary for your elevation. This recipe makes 3 pints.
I generally triple this recipe. Not only do we have enough for our home, but homemade ketchup makes a wonderful gift that your friends will relish.
Shelly-Hummingbird Hollow Hen House says
Thank you so much for posting the recipe!
You are welcome! We really like the spices/seasonings in this ketchup. It is a far cry from the store bought stuff.
I have a friend who loves ketchup and has been looking for a recipe- I’ll have to share this with her!
I hope she enjoys the recipe. We have been making our own ketchup for 14 years and have not regretted giving up the commercially produced stuff.
This looks like a great recipe for the Ketchup lovers in my house!
Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!
We enjoy our ketchup in our household. It also gets stirred into sauces and serves as the base for our BBQ.
IS this a water bath
or pressure canner process?
It is water bath canning.
Derek and Claire says
I don’t really “can”- I have just been freezing my jars of sauce. Do you think freezing this ketchup would be ok?
I haven’t tried freezing it, but wouldn’t see why you couldn’t do it. We generally make several batches and always have a jar of it in the refrigerator.
How long to process 1/2 pints and pints at sea level? This looks like a great recipe!
You can check with your county’s extension office for processing times. Those times vary by elevation.
Norman Curnow says
what about leaving the sugar out for diabetics
You could leave the sugar out, but I would then store the ketchup in the refrigerator. Sugar is also considered a preservative in addition to the vinegar.