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The super-easy version of homemade ketchup
Have you ever tried homemade ketchup? Did you know it tastes like TOMATOES??? Real ketchup (or catsup) is easy to make following this simple blender recipe - and all natural! You can even make it without added sugar or use Honey or Stevia (in a prepared form like Truvia, it measures same as sugar; if you use another form, you will need do your own conversion) - or Splenda, if you prefer, instead - so whether you want to eliminate sugars for diabetic needs, calorie counting or want a natural homemade ketchup - this recipe is for you. Use Organic tomatoes, peppers and onions and make your own natural, organic ketchup!
We take ketchup (or catsup, if you prefer) for granted - it is everywhere and Americans use it in almost everything. Some even put it on scrambled eggs. So maybe you wondered if homemade ketchup taste any different or better? And if you have a mountain of homegrown tomatoes that are going to waste, here's your chance to make your own ketchup and customize to your own taste! Need a low-salt diet? Skip the salt! Want a spicy ketchup? Add some Tabasco or chilies. Making and canning your own ketchup is something families remember years later. No store bought ketchup compares with the taste of that made from your own tomatoes from your garden or fresh-picked from a local farm! In the middle of the winter, you can pour the ketchup on your food and taste the summer flavor of fresh tomatoes.
Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. This method is easy, ANYONE can do this; and is NOT time consuming - the tricks I've found are illustrated below - using a blender and a crockpot takes all the work and time out of it! It's a great thing to do with your kids!
You may also be interested in How to make cucumber pickle relish! This is the classic hamburger relish!
Yield: About 5 or 6 pints
It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality tomatoes!
At right is a picture of tomatoes from my garden - they are so much better than anything from the grocery store. And if you don't have enough, a pick-your-own farm is the pace to go! Below are 4 common varieties that will work:
The picture at left shows the best variety of tomato to use: Roma; also called paste tomatoes. they have fewer sides, thicker, meatier walls, and less water.
Also, you don't want mushy, bruised or rotten tomatoes!
Here's a trick you may not know: put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 - 45 seconds is usually enough)
Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.
This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes! If you leave the skins in, they become tough and chewy in the sauce, not very pleasant.
After you have peeled the skins off the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half. Now we need to remove the seeds and excess water. You don't HAVE to, but if you don't remove the free water, it will take longer to cook it down. Most people prefer to remove most of the seeds, but, again, you don't need to.
Just like it sounds: wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. You don't need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do.
Toss the squeezed (Squozen? :) tomatoes into a colander or drainer, while you work on others. This helps more of the water to drain off. You may want to save the liquid: if you then pass it through a sieve, screen or cheesecloth, you have fresh tomato juice; great to drink cold or use in cooking!
Remove seeds from peppers and slice into strips. Peel and quarter onions.
Blend tomatoes, peppers, and onions at high speed for 5 seconds in electric blender.
It will take a number of blenders-full to work your way through all the tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Just heat the tomato-peppers-onions mix to a boil,
And then simmer the tomatoes for about 1 hour over medium-low heat.
Now it's time to add the
And add one of the two spice options -
Continue cooking on low heat in the crockpot (OR standing over it, boiling and stirring ) until volume is reduced one-half and ketchup rounds up on a spoon with no separation of liquid and solids.
I find it takes about 12 hours, but each crockpot may vary. You want it to get as thick as you like your ketchup, remembering that it will also thicken a little bit after you cool it. The photo doesn't show it, but I cover with a splatter screen or the lid on loosely (so the steam can escape)
The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. I get that going about 30 minutes before I figure the ketchup has cooked down enough (yes, that's a bit vague!)
Be sure to let it go through the rinse cycle to get rid of any soap! It's also a good time to start heating up the water in the canner and the small pan of water to boil the lids.
Lids: Put the very hot (but not quite boiling; around 180 F,
steaming water is fine)
water for at least several minutes.
Note: everything gets sanitized in the water bath (step 12), so this just helps to ensure there is no spoilage later!)
Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top, seat the lid and hand-tighten the ring around them.
Be sure the contact surfaces (top of the jar and underside of the ring) are clean to get a good seal!
Put them in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water. Keep the water boiling. Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes for half-pints and pints. Remember to adjust the time if you are at a different altitude other than sea level!
If you have a Pressure Canner, and want to use that, be sure to follow their directions.
|Recommended process time for Blender Ketchup in a boiling-water canner.|
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
|Half pints or Pints||15 min||20||25|
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
From left to right:
Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Ketchup - makes 7 - 8 oz jars*
|Item||Quantity||Cost in 2023||Source||Subtotal|
|Tomatoes||12 lbs (to make about 8 cups of prepared tomato)||free from the garden, or $0.75/lb at a PYO||Garden , farm, market||$0.00|
|Onions||1 lb||free from the garden, or $0.75/lb at a PYO||Garden, farm, market||$0.50|
|Peppers||1 lb||free from the garden, or $0.75/lb at a PYO||Garden , farm, market||$0.50|
|Vinegar (5%) white||4.5 cups||$1.00 (in a large jug)||grocery store||$1.00|
|Canning jars (8 oz size, wide mouth), includes lids and rings||7 jars||$8.00/dozen||Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger and Safeway and local "big box" stores; sometimes Big Lots and even hardware stores||$5.00|
|seasoning||See step 7||$1.00? assuming you already have them. just the fraction you will use.||Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger and Safeway and local "big box" stores||$1.00|
or about $1.57 per 8 oz jar INCLUDING the jars - which you can reuse! If you already have the jars, you need only buy new lids, so the cost becomes about 75 cents per cup!
* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles,, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars!
Tomatoes are a borderline acid / low acid fruit (see this page about tomato acidity for more information) - adding lemon juice helps, processing at least 35 minutes in the water bath canner, or better still, using a Pressure Canner almost eliminates spoilage. If you don't have a pressure canner, you must boost the acid level of the sauce, by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of sauce.
Larger jars? A visitor writes on September 24, 2013: "I love your website and have used it for many canning projects. I do have a question. I am interested in making ketchup. We have a family of seven, so canning in pints seems impractical. If I use quarts, how much time would I need to process them for? My elevation is 3,000 - 6,000 ft. Also, as it is more practical to can most things in quarts, is there a standard amount of minutes I could increase to any canning recipe that calls for pints? Thanks!"
Well, that's the problem no lab, university or authority has actually tested it in larger containers, so you will be conducting your own tests on your family. That's not to say, it can't be canned safely in larger jars, just that we don't know the parameters because no food scientist has tested it.Until they develop reliable lab test data, I wouldn't go larger than a pint jar.
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