Homemade Smoked Ketchup – just because

We love ketchup in our household. To a point where 66% of our kids will eat it on most things if they had the opportunity. The only reason they do not eat it as a cereal topping is that we control the consumption of ketchup.

Our household has turned into the prohibition, except we have blocked the purchase and usage of ketchup instead of booze.

There’s no political motive behind that decision. I personally believe there’s too much strange stuff in store-bought ketchup that we should not be consuming. It is laced with preservatives and chemicals which I doubt is healthy for our bodies. Some will go as far as claiming that overconsumption of ketchup can contribute to obesity, heart disease, immune system vulnerabilities, and even diabetes.

Naughty ketchup!

Distilled vinegar that goes into making ketchup is made from GMO corn that is laced with chemicals and pesticides.

Concentrate tomatoes are made by basically cooking them. They are then strained to remove seeds and skin and are cooked again. It takes several hours and the very high heat removes all the essential vitamins and minerals that tomatoes naturally contain.

The main ingredient in ketchup is high fructose corn syrup which is extremely unhealthy and toxic. It is produced from corn that has been genetically modified. Corn syrup increases blood sugar levels.

As you can see, ketchup tastes amazing and it is absolutely excellent with many dishes, but it is not healthy for us. That is the main reason we are restricting the ketchup consumption in our household.

Instead, let’s make out own ketchup. Homemade foods are always better. It takes a bit longer and more effort to make, but the flavors are much better.


Using fresh tomatoes is obviously even better, but the preparation time increases significantly as you need to steam and peel tomatoes in advance. If you go this route, get about 15 Roma tomatoes.

  • 2 cans of peeled tomatoes, 28oz each
  • 2 tablespoon of Molasses
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • Olive oil … mandatory ingredient for most dishes
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
Please note, while I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh potatoes, I use the products with 'no salt added' which are now readily available in many brands.

It takes 1.5 hours to make a batch of homemade ketchup. If you need it for Labor Day weekend BBQ or any other BBQ event, plan ahead.

Step-by-Step Ketchup Production

  1. Preheat your Traeger to 225F
  2. Empty both cans of peeled tomatoes in a tin foil tray
  3. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. Place it in the Traeger, when it is ready, and let it grill (smoke) for an hour
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, start the next process
  6. Peel and quarter the onion
  7. Peel and half the garlic cloves
  8. Gently fry the onion and garlic on a large pan, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  9. When the onions are translucent, add the tomato paste, and mix it well
  10. Turn off the pan while we wait for the peeled tomatoes
  11. Measure out the various remaining ingredients
  12. When the peeled potatoes are cooked, reheat the pan
  13. Add the tomatoes and let it boil for 10 minutes
  14. Add the Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and the apple cider vinegar
  15. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes
  16. Added the cloves, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and mix it into the paste
  17. Boil for a further 3-5 minutes, then add the brown sugar
  18. Turn off the pan while you stir around the brown sugar
  19. Once melted, the main ketchup process is done.
  20. Find your blender in a hidden corner of your cabinets
  21. GENTLY pour in half of the tomato paste … you do not want to spill or spray on yourself. This stuff is very hot and hurt like hell – I speak from experience
  22. Puree the tomato mixture for 5-7 minutes, and pour it into a large bowl
  23. Add 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to each portion you mix, a full tablespoon in total
  24. Allow the ketchup to cool off before you pour it into glass jars

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