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Spicy Ketchup Taste Test

Taste Off! Spicy Ketchups

We're seeing a new food trend heat up the condiment aisle: spicy ketchups. In less than a month, three ketchup companies have sent over their spiced varieties: Sir Kensington's Spiced Ketchup ($7), Solutions Condiments Hot Tomato Ketchup ($5), and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended With Real Jalapeño ($5). We put them to the test in a taste-off to determine the best spicy ketchup. Did the spiciest win? Or did the most ketchup-tasting one win in a landslide? See the results.

Sir Kensington's Spiced Ketchup

What our tasters thought: With unusual ingredients like chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime juice, agave, and coriander, our tasters picked up on the complex flavors of this artisanal ketchup. Many thought it tasted more like a barbecue sauce than a spicy ketchup, but others liked the dark color and robust, wintry flavor.

Tasters' rating average:


Solutions Condiments Hot Tomato Ketchup

What our tasters thought: This was the spiciest ketchup of the bunch, and everyone loved the heat, but one commented that the addition of high-fructose corn syrup would deter her from buying the product. Still, tasters found it to be too runny: one remarked that this self-described "ketchup alternative" it was "too alternative and not enough ketchup." With its thinner consistency, this item was more like a marinade for barbecue wings or meatloaf than a dipping sauce for french fries.

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Tasters' rating average:


Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended With Real Jalapeño

What our tasters thought: In a previous taste test, many thought that the ketchup isn't spicy enough and rated it a meager two-and-a-half stars. However, when compared next to two different spicy ketchups, tasters loved the "predictably sweet tang and texture" of Heinz. Many tasters pointed out that this was the only one that really tasted like ketchup. One commenter added, "The other two veered into hot sauce territory."

Tasters' rating average:


Overall favorite: Despite what the star ratings indicate, when it came down to the actual title of best spicy ketchup, it was a tie between Heinz and Solutions. Those who want a true, tomatoey ketchup with a thick texture, sweet taste, and just a hint of spiciness should opt for Heinz With Jalapeño. Those who want something superspicy that's more like hot sauce and less like ketchup should reach for Solutions Hot Tomato Ketchup.

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