Use the step-by-step guide below or click on the video to join me in making a spicy ketchup that the whole family will enjoy.
I like to add super hot chillies to my ketchup for a bit of extra heat but choose a heat level that’s right for you and your family. I also like to use smoked peppers in my chilli ketchup, adding a different flavour profile, but you can use fresh and skip the smoking stage.
This recipe makes approximately 1.3 litres of ketchup. Remember to adjust the ingredients to make smaller quantities.
If you want to reduce the cooking time, reduce the amount of water added in the final stages. However, cooking it longer allows the flavours to come together nicely. Getting rich flavours takes time; however, it is worth it for fresh, spicy ketchup you can use every day.
Spicy ketchup using a slow cooker with ChilliChump
- 1 BBQ grill optional – you don't have to smoke the peppers first but it adds great flavour
- 1 Smoke box optional – you don't have to smoke the peppers first but it adds great flavour
- 1 Blender / Food processor
- 1 Slow cooker
- 1 Measuring scale
- 1 Knife
- Tin foil
- 1 Ladle
- 1 Sieve
- 1 Measuring jug
- Jars or bottles to store
- 1.2 KG Fresh Plum Tomatoes
- 3 tins Plum Tomatoes or another 1.2kg of fresh plum tomatoes
- 6 whole Jalapenos 4 x red and 2 x green
- 25-30 whole Birds Eye Chillies
- 2 whole Red Onions
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 1 piece Ginger a bit smaller than a golf ball
- 1 piece Fennel about half a bulb
- 3 sticks Celery
- 1 tbsp Dried Coriander Seeds
- 1 tbsp Peppercorns
- 1.5 tbsp Salt
- 150 grams Brown Sugar or equivalent sweetener
- 350 ml Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 handful Fresh Basil
- 1 litre Water add less if you want to reduce quicker
Prepare your peppers
- Whether you're using one or a couple of pepper varieties in your ketchup, you can prepare them all in the same way.
- Pluck the stalks off the chillies.
- Slice the chillies lengthways to open them up to get as much flavour during the smoking as possible. Take care not to cut the chillies in half; use the knife to open them up.
Try adding smoked peppers for extra flavour
- Put your wood chips inside a smokebox and place the box on the gas grill.
- Put your peppers on the grill simultaneously, taking care that they don't fall through the grid.
- You may want to make a small tray out of tin foil for the smaller super hot chillies.
- Roughly chop a couple of red onions and add them to the grill.
- Smoke the chillies and onions for three and a half hours.
Making the ketchup
- As we're making a large batch of ketchup, you'll need to blend and add your ingredients into the slow cooker a little at a time.
- Add the peppers and onions to the blender.
- Then add the tomatoes a little at a time.
- Add a handful of basil to the blender with some of your tomatoes.
- Add a tablespoon of coriander seeds (adjust for yourself if you're not a fan of coriander, then add a little less).
- Then add the peppercorns (it adds a really nice flavour).
- Add the oil and fennel (again, adjust to your taste). You may want to chop the fennel up to help with the blending process.
- Again, add the blended mix to the slow cooker as you go.
- Next to go in the blender are the celery sticks and garlic. I'm a big fan of garlic, and I will be using eight garlic cloves. Reduce it if you prefer a little less, but remember that some of the garlic taste will go away when you're cooking it, so it won't be as strong as it might appear initially.
- Add your brown sugar straight into the slow cooker. I tend not to use sugar too much; I use alternatives, so I use erythritol but use what you like.
- Add the remainder of your tomatoes to the blender.
- Peel and chop the ginger into smaller pieces to make it easier to blend and add to the blender.
- Now add the red wine vinegar.
- Mix all of the blended ingredients inside the crockpot and add a litre of water.
- Switch the slow cooker to high and cook for an hour.
- Then remove the lid and cook on low until the ketchup thickens to a consistency you like. I left mine for 12 hours to reduce.
- If the liquid separates, you can use an immersion blender and blend the sauce before you run it through a sieve.
- Be sure to let the mix cool slightly before blending. And blend to your preferred consistency. You can add xanthan gum if you want to.
Bottling your sauce
- Bottle the sauce whilst it's still warm to create a vacuum; it'll pull in the cap slightly as it cools inside the bottle, keeping it shelf-stable for the next couple of years.
Once you’ve completed the recipe you’ll have a shelf-stable sauce, which means that there is enough acid to keep it safe from harmful bacteria without the need to refrigerate. With the pH level that this is at, it should stay safe for a long time.
Safety tip: when opening a new ketchup bottle, check for strange smells or bacterial growth before consuming it.