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How do I? ...Can Tomatoes

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Tomatoes

Tomato Ketchup

Tomato Ketchup

  • 24 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar (5 percent)
  • 4 tsp whole cloves
  • 3 sticks cinnamon, crushed
  • 1-1/2 tsp whole allspice
  • 3 tbsp celery seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt

Yield: 6 to 7 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water. Slip off skins and remove cores. Quarter tomatoes into 4-gallon stock pot or a large kettle. Add onions and red pepper. Bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Combine spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover, turn off heat and hold tomato mixture for 20 minutes. Then, remove spice bag and combine vinegar and tomato mixture. Boil about 30 minutes. Put boiled mixture through a food mill or sieve. Return to pot. Add sugar and salt, boil gently, and stir frequently until volume is reduced by one-half or until mixture rounds up on spoon without separation. Fill pint jars, leaving 1/8-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Tomato Ketchup in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 25


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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