by Michelle K.      August-2-2012

Homemade ketchup is healthier and tastier than the big brand stuff, and one of the easiest tomato season items to put up yourself.


  • 12 cups plum tomatoes, cut into quarters (I use Roma)
  • 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • onion, diced
  • red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 - 1 Tbl kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Wash and remove any bad spots from your tomatoes. You do not need to peel or core them since they will be thoroughly blended before you are done. Put your quartered tomatoes, onion, red pepper, vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon salt into a large pot over a medium-high flame. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are very soft.
  2. Using your stick blender carefully puree the sauce until it is very smooth. This can also be done in batches in your blender, being extremely careful since hot stuff expands. Be sure the lid is covered with a towel you hold over it and the center feed cap is removed to help prevent burns. However you do it, make the sauce as smooth as you would like it to be before proceeding.
  3. Add the brown sugar and all of the spices to the tomato puree, stirring well. Bring this back up to a boil and then turn the heat down, letting the ketchup boil gently until it reduces by about half. Be sure to stir this regularly to prevent burning - more often as it thickens. Taste and adjust the salt, sugar, or other seasonings as you see fit.
  4. Prepare your jars, lids, rings and canner. If you are new to water bath canning, or it has been a while, be sure to refresh your skills from a reliable and official source to guide you through this process.
  5. Once the ketchup has reduced and thickened enough to mound on a spoon, it is ready to be canned. Fill your hot jars with the ketchup leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any bubbles and adjust the headspace one last time.
  6. Clean the rim of the jar thoroughly, apply your hot lid, and then the ring. Tighten the ring just until "finger tip tight", not too tight, but not loose either.
  7. Process you jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes measuring the time after the water returns to a full boil. Adjust your processing time as necessary depending on your elevation.
  8. Remove your jars from the water bath to a cloth covered counter. Let them cool completely for 12-24 hours before testing the seals. Any jars that do not seal properly are still perfectly good to eat, just keep them in the refrigerator.
  9. Store your ketchup in a cool dark place. This ketchup is ready to eat immediately, no wait time necessary.


Prep time: 20 minsCook time: 2 hourTotal time: 3 hourYield: 6 half pint jars