How to Reheat Canned Cranberry Sauce? 4 Methods Explained

How to Reheat Canned Cranberry Sauce
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Many families enjoy canned cranberry sauce as a holiday meal side dish. It comes in a can in the form of jelly, so you can serve it cold, but heating it will enhance its flavor. Still, how do you reheat leftover canned cranberry sauce?

To reheat canned cranberry sauce, you can microwave it, reheat it in the saucepan or apply a double boiler method. Reheating is a simple process, yet you have to follow the exact instructions for these methods. High temperatures can mess up the sauce in the blink of an eye, so it is of the utmost importance to let it heat up slowly.

If you like warm and runny cranberry sauce, I have several tricks to help you achieve that. In the following lines, I will describe in detail how to reheat canned cranberry sauce and turn it into a side dish worthy of your holiday dinner.

Microwave It

The easiest way to reheat canned cranberry sauce is to reheat it. However, you shouldn’t reheat the sauce in its original packaging, so make sure you transfer it to a dish suitable for microwaving. 

Since cranberry sauce contains a lot of sugar and can burn fast if you are not careful, you should avoid microwaving it in any container that heats up quickly, such as metal pans or bowls. I recommend using microwave-safe ceramic or glass containers.

Once you choose a suitable container, cover it with microwave-safe plastic wrap and place it in the microwave oven. Nuke it on high for 30 seconds, get it out of the microwave, and stir it to distribute the heat evenly. After that, microwave it for another 30 seconds, and the cranberry sauce will be ready for serving. 

To improve the taste of the jellied sauce, you can add dried or fresh cranberries, orange juice or orange zest, and even some apple slices.

Though you can microwave the sauce, avoid reheating it in the oven or slow cooker. The sauce may harden or get caramelized, and you might not be able to fix it. 

Use Double Boiler Method

The double boiler method is a foolproof way to reheat any sauce, and it works especially well for dishes with large amounts of sugar, such as canned cranberry sauce. In comparison with other reheating methods, it will take more time, but you will have a smooth and warm sauce ready to be poured over some leftover turkey.

All you need is a saucepan and a glass food container. A jar or a glass bowl will do the trick. Place the sauce in the container and pour the water into the saucepan — one or two inches will be enough. After that, place a container into the saucepan, set the heat on medium-low, and let the boiling water heat up the sauce. 

Reheat It in the Saucepan 

If you want to reheat canned cranberry sauce in a saucepan, you will need a nonstick pan and orange or cranberry juice. In case you don’t want to add the juice, you don’t have to, but it will make the entire process easier. 

Pour a small amount of juice into the pan and add canned sauce. To make blending jelly sauce with juice easier, slice it into small pieces. Set the temperature to medium-low and start stirring as soon as the jelly starts to melt.

Stir until the sauce and juice blend. To give it that homemade flavor, you can chop up some raw cranberries and throw them into the mixture. These berries are sour, so if you do not appreciate that taste, consider adding dried cranberries.

You can also add chopped apples, lemon or orange zest, cinnamon, clove, vanilla extract, and even a few tablespoons of apple cider.

Why Should You Reheat the Cranberry Sauce? 

Heating up (or reheating) canned cranberry sauce is not actually necessary. All you need is to remove it from the can, slice it up and arrange it any way you like. If you are using whole berries cranberry sauce, you can also remove it from the can into a glass bowl, mix it up a bit and serve it right away. 

Still, heating up will allow you to experiment with it and improve its flavor. With spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and a sprinkle of orange zest, you can easily turn the plain store-bought jello into a tasty homemade-like sauce.

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