Ketchup - from Fresh Garden Tomatoes

READY IN: 6hrs
Recipe by CelticBrewer

We all know Ketchup or Catsup. But this is your kicked up, homemade, garden-grown version. An absolutely delicious way to use up your extra garden tomatoes.

Top Review by Chef Smig52

I was very surprised how this recipe turned out! It doesn't taste like heinze... IT'S BETTER! For smoking the tomatoes, I sauteed them over a wood fire in a 12" skillet in batches for an hour. It added a slight smoky flavor which was perfect. Not too smoky, but subtly detectable. I doubled the onion and garlic, and then followed the recipe. It's a keeper if you have too many tomatoes from your garden. I used brown sugar. Much better alternative than GMO high fructose corn syrup that is in almost EVERYTHING today. I am very pleased. Thanks for posting this recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Depending on size, halve or quarter your tomatoes. Sauce tomatoes (Roma) are ideal, but any will work. I used a combo of Roma, Beefsteak, and (mostly) Cherry.
  2. OPTIONAL: Smoke a tray's worth of the tomatoes. I cold smoked mine for a few hours over hickory. It gave it a subtle but delicious smoke flavor. Again, this is totally optional.
  3. Add the tomatoes, salt, garlic, sugar, and onions to a pot and boil for 30 minutes.
  4. Cool the mixture until you can send it safely through your food mill. I used the mixer attachment and it worked beautifully. If you don't have a food mill, you can peel and squeeze the tomatoes using the boiling water / ice bath method.
  5. Return the now de-seeded and de-skinned tomato sauce to the pot and back onto the stove.
  6. Continue to boil the sauce to reduce and thicken.
  7. Meanwhile, in another non-reactive pot; heat the apple cider vinegar with all the remaining spice additions. Heat until the spices have infused into the vinegar.
  8. Using a fine strainer to leave behind the whole spices, pour the vinegar into the tomato mix. If you don't have a strainer or tea-ball, you can wrap the spices in a cheesecloth satchel.
  9. Continue to reduce until you reach the desired ketchup texture. This can take 4-6 hours. I've heard of people using a crock pot for this process.
  10. Follow standard canning procedure if you want a shelf-stable product. Otherwise, cool and keep in the fridge.

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