Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Make Your Own Ketchup


But please, do a better job than I did.

I was so looking forward to the DIY pride that I was going to feel, come spring when I served up some juicy, fresh-grilled burgers and a big basket of hot-from-the-oil, twice-cooked frits with mayonaise and my own homemade ketchup, complete with badass professionally-designed custom label by John Pszeniczny.

Well, I finally got around to making and canning the “ketchup”, but I’ve got to say, I am pretty dissapointed with the results. I should have done more research, maybe checked out some of those sites that tell you how to make your own authentic-tasting Twinkies, or believable knock-off of the Colonel’s chicken. Instead, I used the first random ketchup recipe that I stumbled upon, which happened to be this one from PickYourOwn.org.

I went out and bought 10 lbs of fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, brought them home and started in on the whole ketchp making rigmarole:

  • Boil the tomatoes for 30 seconds, then plunge them into an icewater bath
  • Remove the loosened skins
  • Manually remove all the seeds and water from the tomatoes
  • Stew the tomatos
  • Force the tomatoes through a mill or strainer
  • Steep some of the spices
  • Add the spices, sugar, vinegar etc, and stew them some more

Right about this time, I realized that he PickYourOwn recipe had turned out not to taste anything like ketchp. I suppose that it is a fine enough “spiced tomato condiment”, but I wanted to make ketchup, and this stuff tastes way to much like cloves and cinimon, not the ketchup that I know and love.

I thought about what to do, how I might salvage this mess that I had worked so hard to create.


With the addition of some horseradish, it might make a halfway decent shrimp cocktail sauce. Instead I added 4 cups of Worchestershire Sauce.

Ketchup + Worchestershire = Barbeque Suace.

So, my failed ketchup will have to serve as a base for barbeque sauce experiments instead. This stuff will come in handy for marinating spare ribs before they go into the smoker, making chili, and a for variety of barbeque uses.


Once your ketchup is done, you then need to preserve it as such:

  • Clean and sterilize your bottles and lids
  • Fill and cap the bottles
  • Process the bottles
  • Cool the bottles

So it seems that Heinz has dodged a bullet, for now.

13 Responses to “Make Your Own Ketchup”

  1. jacob Says:

    Hahaha, I see that despite all this you posted it in Easy Projects. :)

    steve says:

    Jacob — yeah, I guess that I was comparing it to rebuilding the engine in my car. I should probably just start a Ketchup category.

  2. KenB Says:

    You need WAY MORE tomatoes to make ketchup work. Start with a condensed ketchup paste, and experiment with the vinegar and corn syrup until you like it. Garlic powder and onion powder can be introduced at will.

  3. KenB Says:

    No, I meant TOMATO paste.

  4. jaykayess Says:

    I think you’re better off w/ the BBQ sauce anyway. Cinnamon and clove does NOT sound like a good flavor for cocktail sauce.

  5. pete moss Says:

    do not be deterred young stephen, try again, i know you can make a good ketchup….. may the force be with you.

  6. Jason Says:

    Maybe give this recipe a shot :

    8 onions (diced)
    1 head celery (diced)
    1 handful garlic cloves (smashed and finely diced)
    3.5 cups anise (ground)
    1 cup allspice
    1.5 cups coriander
    1.5 cups cumin
    4 36 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
    2 to 3 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
    4 cups malt vinegar (or cider vinegar if you want it a bit mellower)
    salt and pepper

    Sauté the vegetables, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least an hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and puree. That should give you about 8 quarts of tasty ketchup after it cooks down… Plenty for a first run edition :)

  7. McAuliflower Says:

    I too echo the calls for another try… using fresh tomatoes for ketchup are a bit… watery. Maybe if you cook the snot out of them in a pressure cooker and then evaporate out most of the water they’d be fine.

    My ketchup making adventure taught me one thing: unless you enjoy ketchup on the ceiling, invest in a splatter screen!

    I’ve enjoyed the chipotle ketchup recipe* at the food blog Who Wants Seconds.



  8. Quickdraw McGraw Says:

    Internet Explorer = Finkbuilt site content does not appear until about 5000 pixels down off the screen

  9. Chaps! Says:

    I have made ketchup and it was better than any other ketchup I have ever had (except perhaps to Heinz). The secret is to use CANNED tomatoes… Just simmer them with pepper and a splash of vinager. Liquefy them in the blender and simmer them until you get an appropiate thickness. Be sure to use Balsamic vinager, as apple cider or white vinager wont taste as good.

  10. Bubba Says:

    I loved your story. And, where did you get your bottles and lids? Do you use them just like regular canning jars?

  11. Caya Says:

    I know this post is long dead but I had to put my two cents in. You used old Frappeccino bottles to can them in? Interesting- but very hazardous. Number one, the lids have already lost their sealing properties- you won’t get a good seal. This would let in bacteria that can easily be deadly, even with a highly acidic food like ketchup, with the vinegar. (modern tomatos aren’t acidic enough alone to prevent the bacteria growth.) Secondly, it’s a toss-up as to whether or not the jars would survive the canning process. They might, because you wouldn’t need to process the jars long because of the acidic sauce. But they might not. Thirdly, canning in a pot like that, with no canning rack in the pot, is somewhat risky too. The canning rack separates the jars, and doesn’t let them move around so much so they bump into each other and break, and it also allows you to lift the jars out more easily. It also keeps the jars out of contact with the bottom of the pot, and therefore the burner- the sharp contrast in heat could shatter the jars. At the very least, you should have a rack in the bottom of the pan. Fourthly, I do hope when it was time to actually process the jars, that they were covered by a couple inches of water, and not like in the picture. Whew- I got that off my chest- I feel better now-

  12. chase Says:

    Something I’ve done before (I’m a chef) is to use a basic kethchup recipe, but instead of tomatos or paste, I used roasted, or even better, smoked red bell peppers.
    Try it on a burger made with a smoked sausage patty!

  13. ajhem Says:

    rock on! \m/