How To Check if Homemade Ketchup is Thick Enough

How To Check if Homemade Ketchup is Thick Enough

We’ll be posting our method of making ketchup later this week but wanted to dedicate a single post to checking consistency – this is the make-it-or-break-it test for most homemade ketchup.  It’s also the stage where a lot of homemade ketchup falter as some are barely thicker than soup.  If you like thin ketchup, that’s not a problem – but if you want a thick condiment, it can be disappointing to find out (too late to do anything) that you’ve made ketchup-sauce.

I have 4 tests I use to tell if my ketchup is thick enough:

How To Check if Homemade Ketchup is Thick Enough

Testing Ketchup

  • The spoon test.  I do this from the beginning and see the sauce evolve.  Submerge a tablespoon into the ketchup and remove it.  At the start of cooking, water will drain from the spoon and nothing will stay on it.  As your condiment progresses, it will eventually remain coated.
  • The fork test.  Stick a fork in the ketchup and then hold it above the sauce horizontally (like you were to eat from it).  The ketchup will fall between the tines at the start before eventually staying in tact.
  • The fridge test.  Chill a sample of your sauce (I do less than a tablespoon) to see the consistency.  You will sometimes see natural separation here which is an indicator that you need to cook it further.
  • The slotted spoon/ spatula test (pictured above).  I have a flat spatula/ ‘flipper’ that’s full of holes.  I stir the ketchup and remove a sample and hold it over the pot for 30 seconds (the picture on the left is at the start; the picture at the right is 30 seconds later).  If the spoon looks the same at the end as it did at the start, you’re well on your way!

At the end of the day, I cook it longer than I think I should; as soon as I think I’m done and it’s passed all four tests (and yes, they are somewhat redundant), I cook it for 30-60 minutes more.

How do you check for ketchup consistency?  Or am I out to lunch and missing out on fantastically thin ketchup?  Enquiring minds want to know!

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