Do you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with? Try making your own ketchup. A classic condiment that can be found in most American households, you might like your homemade ketchup so much that you never buy another bottle at the grocery store again. The flavorful spices in these recipes might also inspire you to try the tomato-based sauce on more than just burgers and fries.
USDA has tested three slightly different recipes for you to choose from: Tomato Ketchup, Blender Ketchup, and Country Western Ketchup. What’s the difference? The steps of making the products are almost identical, but the ingredients, and therefore flavors, vary. Country Western Ketchup has a spicy kick due to chili peppers, cayenne pepper, and whole peppercorns. Blender Ketchup uses sweet bell peppers, cinnamon sticks, and a lot more sugar than the others. Tomato Ketchup sits in balance between the two, and is the most traditional of the bunch. Like the Country Western it has cayenne pepper, and like the Blender it has cloves, but it also uniquely adds onions to the mix.
In addition to the ingredients, you’ll also need to gather a few pieces of equipment:
- Four-burner gas or electric stovetop range
- Boiling water canner with rack
- 4-gallon stockpot or large kettle for checking tomatoes then heating all ingredients together (“checking” means splitting the skins)
- Large bowl or sink filled with ice water (to dip checked tomatoes)
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Spice bag
- Food sieve or food mill (for Tomato Ketchup and Country Western Ketchup), or a blender (for Blender Ketchup)