Can you cook ketchup?

In this article, we’ll address the query “Can you cook ketchup?” We’ll also discuss how ketchup can be cooked, how homemade ketchup can be made, what ketchup is, what the nutritional content of ketchup is, and if eating ketchup is healthy. 

Can you cook ketchup?

Yes, ketchup can be cooked, in the sense that it can be both homemade, and used as an ingredient in recipes. In this article, we’ll discuss using ketchup as an ingredient, and how it can be made at home, even though ketchup is a ubiquitous condiment that is widely available in convenience stores and other retail options.  

How can ketchup be cooked?

Ketchup can be cooked in stir-fried chicken dishes, ragu, meatloaf, shrimp ceviche and cocktails, barbecue sauces for glazing meat, and many others. 

Specifically, and to name but a few examples, ketchup can be mixed with brine, simmered with Worcestershire sauce, mixed with vinegar, sugar, and pepper, or used to make glazes with vinegar, curry powder, and honey mustard.

How can I make ketchup at home? 

Home-made ketchup, on the other hand, can be made using a slow cooker, and with crushed tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings such as garlic, salt, celery, ground black pepper, and mustard.  

The first step in making homemade ketchup is adding the tomatoes to the slow cooker, water should be added, ¼ cup for every 28 ounces (~800 grams or so) of crushed tomato. 

The spices can then be added and regularly stirred into the mixture, which should cook at a low heat (for 10 to 12 hours) until the mixture is reduced, the water content has diminished and the resulting paste is thickened.  

Once the cooking time has elapsed, the mixture can be further mixed by mashing it with a blender and straining it to remove any impurities. 

However, as homemade ketchup is not pasteurized, it has a refrigerated shelf life of up to three weeks and can be frozen for up to six months in an air-sealed bag.  

What is ketchup?

Ketchup is a condiment that is now commonly made from tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, coriander, garlic, cloves, cumin, and mustard, and may include other spices. It is commonly used to eat fast foods or foods that are fried, grilled, or have a high-fat content, such as french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, sandwiches, and chicken tenders. 

Initially, ketchup was inspired by fermented south Asian fish sauces, which inclined eighteenth-century British colonialists to formulate their own versions. 

In fact, ketchup was originally made with mushrooms, rather than tomatoes, and the latter appeared at least a century after mushroom ketchup and even included anchovies, and in the eighteenth century, recipes for ketchup were being published and distributed throughout the colonies. 

Nowadays, ketchup made out of tomato paste is mass-produced and there are many variations such as spicey, smoked, sugar-free, with added vegetables, etc. It’s not only available in convenience stores, but often freely given away in packets in fast food restaurants. 

In actuality, ketchup is not only used as a table condiment, but also to make glazings, sauces, and stew. 

What is the nutritional content of ketchup?

On average, a 17g tablespoon of ketchup contains: 

  • 17 calories
  • Less than one gram of protein
  • 4.5 grams of carbohydrates –of which less than 1 gram is fiber,
  • And less than 1 gram of fat. 

Also, the same portion of ketchup contains 7% of the recommended daily intake of sugar (RDI), as well as 7% of the RDI of sodium. 

As a condiment made out of tomatoes, ketchup is rich in lycopene, a carotenoid to which antioxidative properties have been attributed. 

Is eating ketchup healthy?

As a source of lycopene, consuming ketchup may modestly contribute to one’s daily intake of antioxidants, stimulate neural health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and stimulate fertility in men. However, this would require consuming large volumes of ketchup, which is most often consumed as a dressing. 

Conversely, consuming large quantities of ketchup would also imply consuming large amounts of sugar, salt, and other seasonings that may cause indigestion. There are other options for consuming lycopene, with a lower calorie count. 

Additionally, each brand of ketchup has its own formulation and composition, and some consumers may be allergic to one or more components. 

To summarize, ketchup should be eaten in moderation. 

Other FAQs about Ketchup that you may be interested in.

Does ketchup go bad?

Can ketchup go bad in the fridge?

Can ketchup go in the fridge?


In this article, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you cook ketchup?” We’ve also discussed how ketchup can be cooked, what ketchup is, what the nutritional content of ketchup is, and if eating ketchup is healthy. 

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