Recipe of the Week: Sue’s Home-Canned Tomato Catsup

Reader Sue H. kindly sent us her recipe for tomato catsup. Because tomatoes are fairly high acid and this is sweetened with sugar, this recipe may be canned with a water bath canner.


5 lbs tomatoes – cored and de-seeded.

1 large diced onion

3 cloves garlic

⅓ cup sugar

¾ cup white vinegar

¾ tablespoon salt

¼ tsp celery seed

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp cloves

Optional: A bit of black pepper


Catsup Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare your tomatoes. Sauce variety tomatoes have less water content per pound, so you won’t have to cook the catsup as long.
  2. Remove the stems, cores, and as many seeds as you can. You will need 5 pounds of tomatoes after coring and de-seeding.
  3. Placed my large stock pot on a kitchen scale, and zero it. Then fill the pot with 5 pounds of cored and de-seeded tomatoes.
  4. Add garlic and diced onion, and place the stock pot on your stove.
  5. Cook the tomatoes over medium heat. Simmer the tomatoes for one hour, stirring them fairly often. (Keep the heat fairly low and stir often, to prevent scorching on the bottom.)
  6. Strain and puree in a blender — for the first time. In blender-size batches, use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to your blender.  Note: The more juice you remove in this step, then the more quickly your catsup will cook down.
  7. Puree at a high blender speed for several minutes until very smooth.
  8. Transfer the catsup batches to a large bowl, while you process the other batches
  9. After processing all of the tomato batches, dump out the juices in the pot and set it back on the stove.
  10. Pour the pureed tomatoes back into the stock pot.
  11. Add the remaining ingredients –sugar, vinegar, and spices — and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  12. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for about three hours, stirring occasionally.
  13. Cooking down the catsup is an art. The length of time depends on how much juice you removed, and how thick a catsup you desire.
  14. As it cooks, the catsup will reduce to about half of the volume that you started with.
  15. When the catsup has reached the desired thickness, puree it a second time, again in blender-size batches.
Catsup Canning Directions
  1. Wash and pre-heat your jars, as with any other home canning process.
  2. Fill jars with hot pureed catsup, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Run a knife down the inside of any jars with air bubbles, to remove them.
  3. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and place clean lids on the jars.
  4. Tighten canning rings, finger tight.
  5. Process in boiling water for 18 minutes. Start your timer only after the water starts to boil.
  6. After 18 minutes, remove the lid from the canning pot and remove from heat. Allow the jars to sit for 10 minutes in the water before removing.
  7. Set the jars on a towel in an undisturbed spot overnight. Check for correct seals before storing. If any jar lids have popped, then immediately put those in your refrigerators and use them first.  The remainder will store for up to two years.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!

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