I started making homemade ketchup kind of as an experiment. With an abundance of tomatoes from my garden, I was trying different canning recipes that came from a box of recipes my husbands grandmother had given me. I added a few extra spices, eliminated the onions for onion powder, and divided three vinegars instead of only white distilled vinegar. This ketchup tastes similar to the store-bought brand of ketchup. I like the taste and most of all I know what ingredients are in it. I prefer Roma tomatoes as the water content is lower than most but use a meaty tomato to replace if they aren’t available. Even though I haven’t used canned diced Roma tomatoes in this recipe I am sure they would work in this recipe if you wanted to save yourself some work.
You may be thinking who the heck makes their own ketchup! I only do it once or twice a year 😉 In the fall or if there is a super sale on tomatoes I can tomatoes, tomato sauce and secret Smoky BBQ sauce I prefer to use this homemade ketchup in. It really brightens up my sauce with a fresher taste than store bought ketchup does. I multiply the ingredients by four, cook, puree and add the amount required to my BBQ Sauce and bottle up and hide the remainder 😉
I prefer Roma tomatoes as the water content is lower than most but use a meaty tomato to replace if they aren’t available. Even though I haven’t used canned diced Roma tomatoes in this recipe I am sure they would work in this recipe if you wanted to save yourself some work.
Wash, rinse and chop the tomatoes in half to remove most of the seeds. Don’t worry the food mill will take out the remainder that you miss. Roma tomato seeds can be a little bitter so it’s more important to remove before cooking. Continue cutting the tomatoes by dicing in small pieces. For my large batch I place in food processor and pulse a few times until the tomatoes are diced sized. Add to a large heavy bottom stock pot. I prefer the method of using a food mill to remove the tomato skins after cooking. If you do not have a food mill, you will need to cut a small X with a sharp knife on the bottom of each tomato, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and place into a bowl of ice water. The edges of the skin will start to lift at spot that was cut with an X. Pull the skin off, cut in half and squeeze to remove seeds and excess water. I did this for years until I got a food mill.
Place the pot over high heat and start adding all the ingredients to the pot of tomatoes.
You can substitute any of the vinegars for just one kind of vinegar as long as you keep the same amounts. I prefer the taste of all three.
Don’t leave out the water. You may think that it is not necessary because there is lots of liquid however. The cooking down of the tomatoes is important and the extra moisture is needed.
Mix all the spices together
Add to the pot
Don’t cut back the sugar or the vinegar they are important for refrigerator shelf life. This ketchup could be stored at room temperature because of the vinegar content however, I store homemade and store bought condiments in the refrigerator for best freshness and taste.
I cover the ketchup and let boil for 1 hour stirring often. Remove the cover and continue cooking for 1 hour longer. The water content should have dropped by 1/3 or more in the pot
Remove from the heat and for safety sake you may want to let the sauce cool slightly. Scoop the sauce into a food mill to remove the tomato skins. Be careful the sauce will still be hot. Place the food mill over a bowl and fill with sauce and turn the lever in small batches. Once the mill has all of the sauce pushed through, discard the skins and seeds and repeat until all of the sauce is put through the mill.
Pour the sauce into a food processor and puree until smooth ketchup consistencyAdd the pureed ketchup back into a pot and place back over medium/high heat and stir until thick ketchup consistency. Be careful not to scorchUse a small mouth funnel to pour the ketchup into a sterilized bottle or mason jar. If you are making in large batch and want to can the you will need to add the ketchup to a 25-30 minute hot water bath canning method. Remove, let cool and store in a dark place until ready to use.
Let cool and place in the refrigerator for future use.
You will need to give the ketchup a pop on the bottom to get the ketchup moving if you use a bottles like these.This ketchup tastes delicious with Homemade French Fries