Ketchup made from scratch

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Ketchup made from scratch

Skip the bottled stuff and learn how to make ketchup at home. This top-rated recipe is beloved by the Allrecipes community for a number of reasons: It’s incredibly easy (thanks to your trusty slow cooker), it’s made with kitchen staples you likely already have on hand, and it’s absolutely delicious.

Chef John

What Is Ketchup?

Ketchup is a tomato-based condiment that’s primarily used for dipping or spreading, though it’s also commonly featured as an ingredient in other sauces and dressings. It’s usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices and seasonings.

Who Invented Ketchup?

Early versions of ketchup weren’t made with tomatoes. The original ketchups were fish-, mushroom-, nut-, or fruit-based. Before the 19th-century, “ketchup” could refer to any number of sauces with a thick consistency. An American scientist named James Mease is credited with inventing tomato-based ketchup in 1812. His formula was tweaked over the years and in 1876 the famous company, Heinz, debuted its beloved bottled ketchup. Heinz still leads ketchup production today, selling more than 650 million bottles per year.

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients

Perfect homemade ketchup is easy to make with kitchen staples. Here’s what you’ll need:

Tomatoes
This ketchup recipe starts with crushed tomatoes, unlike many other recipes that start with tomato paste. This ingredient swap will get you closer to the flavor and texture of bottled ketchup.

Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is essential for ketchup’s signature tanginess. Plus, it elongates the shelf life.

Sugar
White sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar while offering a hint of sweetness.
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Spices and Seasonings
This flavorful ketchup recipe is seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, celery salt, ground black pepper, mustard powder, and one whole clove.

How to Make Ketchup

In this recipe, we opt to cook the ketchup in a slow cooker instead of on the stove. Not only does the Crock-Pot take out a lot of the legwork, it also ensures the perfect thick consistency every time. You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this ketchup recipe:

Pour the tomatoes into the slow cooker, mixing ¼ cup of water with each can. Add the spices and seasonings, then stir to combine. Cook uncovered on high until the mixture is reduced and thick (10 to 12 hours), stirring frequently. Smooth the finished ketchup with an immersion blender and strain.

Does Ketchup Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, homemade ketchup should be refrigerated. Store your ketchup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Can You Freeze Ketchup?

Homemade ketchup will freeze well for up to six months. You can freeze it in zip-top freezer bags.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Wow,” raves angie. “This recipe came out great. I have two little kids and wanted to make a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup, and to use in our homemade BBQ and sloppy Joe sauces. It tastes just like the bottled stuff.”

“Great tasting ketchup,” according to Sandra Hagan. “Didn’t turn out as thick as I liked so I put some of the ketchup in a sauce pot and thickened it with cornstarch. I stirred it into the rest of the ketchup and it was perfect!”
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“Great recipe,” says Melissa Buckler. “I had to change a couple of things based on what I had in my pantry and I cut the sugar in half. Love it though! So happy to have found an easy AND tasty recipe for ketchup.”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

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