Homemade Ketchup

With our gardens overflowing with tomatoes after a hot summer, we decided to try our hand at some homemade ketchup


In Chicago, to put ketchup on a hot dog is practically grounds for deportation to Milwaukee, or some other place without strict condiment laws. Nobody quite knows why, but a conspiracy by the mustard industry is not out of the question. While we at Gilbert’s would never break code and break the NK-18 rule on a Chicago-style Froman, we think ketchup is a perfectly noble topping for many other purposes, and decided to make our own.

Was it worth the effort? This ketchup is definitely superior to store-bought, with some exotic spice notes and a "handmade" texture. Next time we might mellow things out even further with a slow-cooked recipe like this one. The spice profile below was great, but it could be made much simpler, with mustard, garlic, paprika, sugar and vinegar. If your tomato patch is an embarrassment of riches, and you just can't take any more spaghetti sauce and salsa, this takes a bit of effort, but is worth it.

  • Dice tomatoes and add to a large stock pot with onions and garlic
  • Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  • When soft, puree with immersion blender or blender, return to stock pot
  • Add herbs and spices – a sachet bag would be a good idea, so you don't have to fish around for your herbs and cloves at the end
  • Simmer another hour, partly covered, to reduce liquid
  • Turn off heat, add vinegar
  • Add to mason jars or bottles – process in a pressure canner or move to fridge. The texture will improve if left overnight in the fridge.