The Results Are In: These Are the Best Ketchup Brands

We know you've got your go-to brand in the fridge, but our quest to find the best ketchup just might change your mind.

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Test Kitchen Preferred the best Ketchup TKP squareTaste of Home

We know that when it comes to ketchup, people are dedicated to their brands in much the same way people are dedicated to brands of mayo or hot sauce. People are passionate about condiments!

But have you ever tasted your tried and true brand alongside another? If you haven’t, don’t worry—our Taste of Home Test Kitchen grabbed eight popular ketchups (including a few with cult followings) and gave them all a try.

How We Found the Best Ketchup

Like our other taste tests, we conducted this trial blindly, meaning no testers knew which brand was which in the lineup. Each sample was tested on its own with no competing flavors (not even a french fry!) to alter the taste. Our Test Kitchen pros also kept these criteria in mind:

  • Flavor: Ketchup is a combo of tomato, sugar and vinegar flavors. How did the ketchup taste? Was it well balanced? Were any other tastes present?
  • Appearance: How did the ketchup look? Was it glossy? Was it bright red or a bit darker in hue?
  • Texture: Was the ketchup thick? Runny? Was it smooth?

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Ketchup Options

Tkp Test Kitchen Preferred The Best Ketchup cropTaste of Home

After eight ketchup brands were sampled, four rose to the top.

Best Ketchup Overall: Heinz

Overhead Shot Of Heinz Ketchup In Bottle With Fries.Taste of Home

Even in a blind test, Heinz Tomato Ketchup came out on top. What can we say: This ketchup gave our Test Kitchen the best balance of tomato flavor, tanginess and sweetness. This is exactly the type of ketchup we all want to have on the table at our cookouts and in the fridge when we whip up some frozen fries in the air fryer.

Overall, this thick, glossy ketchup had the perfect tang, perfect color and great tomato flavor. As our Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer put it: “This is a French fry’s best friend.”

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Most Complex Flavor: French’s

Overhead Shot Of French's Ketchup In Bottle With Fries.Taste of Home

If you want a ketchup that’s more than just tomato and vinegar, grab a bottle of French’s Tomato Ketchup. Yes, this ketchup did deliver a sweet tomato flavor that we just love with fries and onion rings, but French’s also gave us a bit more. Testers picked up on onion, garlic and even some balsamic vinegar notes. That’s pretty sophisticated for this seemingly simple condiment.

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Thickest Ketchup: Hunt’s

Overhead Shot Of Hunt's Ketchup In Bottle With Fries.Taste of Home

No one likes runny ketchup that slides right off your fries and onto your lap. For thick ketchup that stays put, grab a bottle of Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup. This deep red ketchup was thicker in consistency and had a well-balanced flavor—not too sweet or tangy. In fact, some testers thought that Hunt’s had a bit of an umami kick to it, meaning it’s perfect for topping a burger hot off the grill.

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Best for Kids: Del Monte

Overhead Shot Of Del Monte Ketchup In Bottle With Fries.Taste of Home

Some of us just want basic ketchup with tomato, sugar and vinegar flavors, the type that you’d get on a ballpark hot dog. If that’s your style, you’ll want to add Del Monte Tomato Ketchup to your shopping cart. This option was the most tomato forward and had many testers feeling a bit nostalgic. This would also be a great option for pickier eaters.

Here’s how to open a ketchup packet so the kids can dip their fries at the drive-thru, mess-free!

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How to Use Ketchup in Your Kitchen

We know you don’t need to be told to use ketchup on everything from burgers to eggs, but ketchup can also be used as an ingredient in lots of recipes. It adds tanginess and a touch of tomato flavor to recipes like appetizer meatballs, baked beans, sloppy joes and more.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.