Are you looking for homemade tomato ketchup recipes you can make yourself?
Homemade tomato ketchup is something I don’t ever want to run out of. Because I’m hooked. I just love the taste of delicious homemade tomato ketchup that goes with just about any main meat dish or baked veggie side.
And everyone who we share it with loves it, too. Since we give away jars of ketchup to family and friends who ask for it, I end up making quite a bit of homemade ketchup through canning season from the tomatoes I grow and care for.
Making homemade tomato ketchup may be time consuming, but it’s so worth it to have fresh ketchup. Made with great ingredients and less sugar, I have two homemade tomato ketchup recipes I use to make and can homemade tomato ketchup.
First of all, the “made from scratch” option. It contains other delicious produce and lots of thickening time. The first time I ever made this recipe, I didn’t simmer it long enough. Oops! So, it’s very important to simmer it until it is thick before canning.
The second recipe option is the convenient option. Mrs. Wages. If you are a busy person and don’t know Mrs. Wages, you need to meet her packets of seasoning for canning recipes.
Now that you have the introduction, let’s dive in deep and explore these 2 made from scratch homemade tomato ketchup recipes.
Homemade Tomato Ketchup From Scratch
The spice bag is what makes or breaks the flavor of this yummy tomato ketchup. You’ll want to construct a little cheesecloth spice bag to put your spices in for simmering. This process will slowly infuse your spices into your ketchup mix.
Here are the directions for making homemade tomato ketchup according to the Ball Blue Book for Canning & Preserving:
How to Make It
- 3 T. Celery Seed
- 4 tsp. Whole Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks (Break Into Pieces)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Whole Allspice
- 3 Cups Cider Vinegar
- 24 Pounds Tomatoes (About 72 Medium Tomatoes)
- 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 3 Cups Chopped Onions
- 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Ball Canning Salt
- 7 Ball Pint or Quart Jars, Rims, & Lids
Directions for Preparing Fresh Tomatoes
First of all, you need to prepare all those tomatoes. This is the longest process or preserving tomatoes, so bear with me here. Here’s how I do it.
I place whole tomatoes fresh from the garden into a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Then, place hot tomatoes into a sink full of cold water. This stops the cooking process and cools the tomatoes so you won’t burn your fingertips.
When the tomatoes are cooled down, remove them from cold water bath. Completely core, skin and remove the seeds as much as possible. Place into a sieve and crush the heavy juice out into a bowl.
Directions for Cooking Homemade Tomato Ketchup
Make a spice bag with the celery seed, cloves, cinnamon sticks and allspice in a square cheesecloth. This creates a spice bag.
Now, you’re ready to get this ketchup thing going! First, combine vinegar and spice bag in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand for 25 minutes. Then, discard the spice bag.
Next, combine tomatoes, onions, and cayenne into a another large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. I emphasize frequently because you don’t want to burn it! Reduce your heat and boil gently for 20 minutes. Then, add spice infused vinegar and boil gently until vegetables are soft and mixture begins to thicken – About 30 minutes.
Then, transfer the mixture into batches back into the sieve placed over a bowl. Press with the back of a spoon to extract the liquid. You could also use a food mill to do this. Return the liquid back to the saucepan and add sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir occasionally.
Finally, reduce heat and boil gently for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently until the volume is reduced by half. The ketchup mixture is almost the consistency of the commercial ketchup you see in the store. When the ketchup is nice and thick, it’s ready to be put in jars and canned.
How to Can It
You can use a boiling water bath canner to can the ketchup.
First of all, fill the boiling water bath canner with water and turn the heat on high. Set the clean jars in side face up to heat the jars. Also make sure you have enough clean lids and bands.
When jars are ready, put 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or citric acid for pints and 2 Tablespoons for quarts into each jar. Ladle the hot homemade tomato ketchup into hot jars through a funnel. Leave 1/2 inch head space from the top of the jar. Remove air bubbles with a spatula.
Before you place the lids on, use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe the rim. Then, center lid on the jar and twist band until it is fingertip tight. Repeat until all jars are filled with homemade tomato ketchup.
Next, gently place the jars into the water bath canner. Make sure there is water over the tops of every jar. Place the lid on and make sure the water is a rolling boil. Then, set a timer and process jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
When your timer goes off, immediately turn off the heat, remove your lid and use the jar gripper to remove the jars from the canner. I like to set jars onto a dry towel laid out flat to cool. You’re all done now. It’s time to listen for the beloved popping sound of the jars sealing.
How to Know If Your Jars Are Sealed
Of course, the popping sound is a sign that your jars are sealing. But if you don’t hear this popping sound, you’ll have to check them within 24 hours of time after removing them from the canner.
To check them, simply push down on the center of the lid. If the lid is not flat and tightly pressed down, it’s not sealed. A good sealed lid should be firm to the touch.
And there you have it! Canned jars of yummy homemade tomato ketchup. It seems like a lot of work. There is a slightly quicker and more convenient way to make it that you might want to try instead.
This way uses my friend Mrs. Wages. Check it out.
Homemade Tomato Ketchup From Mrs. Wages
Once you work up the tomatoes (the same as the above recipe), this process is shorter and easier. There’s no spice bag infusing. No chopping up any other vegetables. Everything else is in the pouch.
But, this ketchup is really really tasty. Even though I have the scratch recipe, I still make a few jars of this one because it is so good and I’m addicted. So, here are the steps to making this ketchup using the Mrs. Wages packet.
How to Make It
- 6 Pounds Fresh Tomatoes (About 18 Medium Tomatoes)
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- A 6 oz. Can Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- Mrs. Wages Ketchup Mix Pouch
First of all, wash the fresh tomatoes. Boil tomatoes in a large pot for three minutes. Then, immediately move tomatoes into a cold water bath in the sink.
When tomatoes are cooled down, remove them from the cold water bath. Next, comes the most time consuming part of preserving tomatoes: Cutting out cores, removing skin and seeds. There’s no best way to do this. You just have to sit down and get it done.
Finally, when the process is complete, put skinned tomato meat into a sieve and crush tomatoes. This should produce a thick juice without accumulating seeds and other undesirables. Use this extra tomato meat in other recipes, such as vegetable soup or a recipe you want chunks of tomato in.
Now, you’re ready to cook the tomatoes and add in the seasoning. Put the thick tomato juice into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir it frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Next, add in tomato paste and vinegar to the juice and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Slowly stir in sugar and the seasoning packet. Make sure to STIR FREQUENTLY! The seasonings have been known to stick to the bottom if ignored.
Finally, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. After simmered, the mixture should be ketchup consistency. And now you have a choice. You can either enjoy it now, freeze it in freezer bags, or can it in Ball Jars.
How to Can It
Heat your water in your water bath canner and set the clean canning jars inside to heat them. Make sure your lids and bands are clean and ready to apply.
Put 1 Tablespoon of Citric Acid or Lemon Juice for pints and 2 Tablespoons for Quarts into each jar. This helps keep the product looking fresh and colorful through the year. Then, pour hot ketchup into the canning jars. Leave a 1/2 inch head space from the top of the jar rims.
Next, use a small spatula or spoon to swirl the air bubbles out of the product. Then, use a wet cloth or paper towel to clean the rims of the jars. Place the lids and rims on and tighten until it is fingertip tight.
Finally, emerge the jars into the water bath canner and process 40 minutes in a boiling water bath. This amount of time depends on your altitude, so adjust accordingly. Be sure to set the timer when the water starts to boil in the canner.
When the timer goes off, turn off heat and remove jars with the jar gripper to cool. Listen and test for sealing jars for up to 24 hours. And you’re done!
Growing Awesome Tomatoes
Homemade tomato ketchup starts in the garden with healthy tomato plants producing beautiful fresh tomatoes. Anyone can plant tomatoes and care for them no matter where you live.
Tomatoes can be grown in pots, small raised beds, or garden spots. They need good soil, plenty of water and some nitrogen fertilizer for the plants and fruit to grow. Plants also need to be protected from weather elements. Plant them after the last freeze of the year.
And tomato plants need to be supported from the start. I like to tie up young tomato plants using baling twine. However, as plants grow bigger and heavy with fruit, you’ll need to switch over to the use of a cage or fence.
It’s also important to check for insects, such as tomato horn worm that can devastate your tomato plants and tomatoes. Diseases, such as blossom end rot, can also destroy precious tomatoes. However, these infected tomatoes can still be used. Just cut off the bad spots and use the good parts of these tomatoes in your homemade tomato ketchup.
Awesome tomatoes make awesome ketchup. You can grow awesome tomatoes and make amazing ketchup to enjoy if you want.
Lastly, Enjoy Homemade Tomato Ketchup
In conclusion, I’m happy to share these two recipes with you to make your own ketchup. Because, my family certainly enjoys both of these homemade tomato ketchup recipes I’m sharing with you today.
And both of these recipes are delicious with any of our farm fresh meats or veggies. We enjoy our ketchup with homemade french fries, homemade fried onion rings as well as our hand crafted burgers and steaks. Yum! Are you hungry yet?
If you’re hungry for ketchup, grab some tomatoes and other ingredients. Try making your own. I guarantee you won’t go back to the store for your ketchup ever ever again.
~ Much Love ~