Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup
Homemade Ketchup. Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 4 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 70 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 3 Pints (96 servings)
Ratings (9)

This homemade ketchup takes time, but the final result is well worth the effort, especially if you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes.

I start this the day before, then I refrigerate the tomato pulp and liquid mixture to boil down and process the next day.

Related Recipe: Tomato Chutney

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cloves (whole)
  • 1 3- to 4-inch cinnamon stick (broken into small pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries (whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 12 pounds tomatoes (cored and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 small hot red pepper (finely chopped or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt

How to Make It

  1. Put the celery seeds, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and mustard seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Tie up and set aside.
  2. In a small stainless steel or enamel-lined saucepan, combine the vinegar and spice bag. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 25 minutes. Remove the spice bag and discard. Set the vinegar aside.
  3. In a large stainless steel or enamel-lined kettle (at least 8 to 12-quart size), combine the chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, and red pepper or cayenne. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue at a gentle boil, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Add the spiced vinegar to the tomato mixture and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes longer.
  1. Drain the tomatoes into a large stainless steel saucepan, then put them through a food mill to extract as much juice and pulp into the saucepan as possible. Discard the solids. Add sugar and salt to the extracted pulp and juices. At this point, you can refrigerate this mixture overnight and finish the next day. Bring the tomato pulp mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and boil for about 2 hours, or until reduced by about 2/3 and thickened to a ketchup consistency.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the work area, canner, jars, and lids. See Preparing Jars for Canning and Boiling Water Processing.
  3. Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a small plastic or stainless steel spatula to remove air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and fit with lids and seals.
  4. Transfer to a rack in the canner and lower into the hot water. Add more water, as needed, so you have 1 inch over the jars. Cover, bring to a boil and continue boiling gently for 15 minutes.

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