Can You Freeze Cranberries?

Cranberries are the perfect autumn and winter fruit. Delicious in your baking, wonderful in smoothies and perfect to make tasty sauces to accompany your roast dinners. Cranberry sauce isn’t just for Christmas, you can enjoy it all year round but how do you keep your cranberries fresh throughout the year? Can you freeze cranberries?

The Quick Answer

Can You Freeze Cranberries?

You can freeze cranberries for up to a year in the freezer. There is only a little prep work involved and they freeze well without blanching or precooking.

You can use the links below to jump through this article if you need help with how to go about freezing cranberries, how to defrost them or whether it’s actually worth doing in the first place:

How to Freeze Cranberries

Freezing cranberries is super easy to do. You don’t need to worry too much about a lot of prep work, although we can’t lie, there is a little work involved but it is worth it.

Cranberries keep wonderfully in the freezer until you need to use them. Let’s take a look at how you can freeze your leftover cranberries.

The method outlined below allows you to freeze the cranberries without them clumping together too much. This means that when you need to use some cranberries, you can grab out the exact amount you need for the recipe.

  1. Prep
    Wash and prep your cranberries. Pick out any green cranberries or any cranberries that are showing any sign of damage or spoiling. You only want the very best cranberries for freezing.
  2. Dry
    Drain the cranberries and let them dry completely.
  3. Remove Stems
    Remove any leftover stems from the cranberries.
  4. Spread onto Tray
    Grab a baking sheet and pop the cranberries onto it into a single layer. If you don’t have a suitable baking sheet with a side to stop the cranberries from rolling off the pan then you can use any flat bottomed roasting dish or pan that is freezer safe.
  5. Flash Freeze
    Make sure the cranberries are not touching too much and that there is only a single layer on the baking sheet. Pop this into the freezer. Keep it flat so that you don’t lose any of those delicious cranberries. You don’t need to worry about covering the cranberries too much. They won’t be in the freezer like this for too long.
  6. Wait 4 Hours
    Freeze the cranberries for about four hours. By this time the cranberries should be mostly frozen.
  7. Label Bag
    Prepare a freezer bag or container with a lid by labelling it with the contents and the date.
  8. Transfer to Bag
    After about four hours you can take the cranberries out of the freezer and transfer them from the baking sheet into the bag or container.
  9. Final Freeze
    Seal the bag or container and pop the cranberries back into the freezer until you need them

How to Freeze Cranberries Sauce

If you have leftover cranberry sauce or want to get ahead and keep a stock of the delicious sauce in the freezer then you can! Cranberry sauce is easy to freeze. Here is how.

  1. Cool
    Make sure your cranberry sauce has cooled completely before freezing.
  2. Portion Out
    Spoon the sauce into freezer-safe containers. One portion per container. You can use freezer bags if you prefer but be careful to put them into the freezer carefully so that bags don’t burst. You also need to leave a gap at the top of the bag to allow the cranberry sauce to expand a little as it freezes.
  3. Seal
    Seal the bags or containers tightly and then label with the date and contents.
  4. Freeze
    Pop these into the freezer and freeze for up to three months.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce

4 Tips for Freezing Cranberries

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cranberries to have the best results:

  • Freeze the Best – Make sure you only freeze the very best cranberries. Take out any spoiled or damaged cranberries before you start. 
  • Consider Future Use – Think about how you plan to use the cranberries once they have been thawed out. They won’t be suitable for eating but they are perfect for making cranberry sauce, baking and popping into smoothies.
  • Don’t Overfill – Don’t fill the container or bag right to the brim. If you do there will be no room left for any juice to expand and you could end up with damaged cranberries.
  • Flash Freeze – Always use the method outlined in this article. If you use any other method than to lay them flat out on a baking tray and double freeze, you will find that the cranberries freeze together into a lump in the freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Cranberries?

Cranberries freezer for a really long time! As long as you start with good quality cranberries they will stay fresh and perfect for use in all your recipes.

If you have a lot of cranberries then pack them into several bags or containers, rather than freezing them in one container. This makes it much easier for you to store them well and only use the amount you need at any one time.

You Can Freeze Cranberries for up to 1 Year

How Do You Defrost Cranberries?

For many recipes, you won’t need to defrost your cranberries at all. Simply grab out the amount you need from the freezer and pop them straight into the recipe.

For some baking recipes, it can be worthwhile to make sure you only use frozen cranberries as this can improve the recipe and the distribution of the cranberries throughout the cake or cookie.

Smoothies are another great way to use cranberries and these won’t need to be thawed out either. Simply grab a handful and put them into the blender with the rest of your ingredients and blend. The frozen cranberries will add flavour, nutrition and the ice will add a creamy texture.

If you do want to defrost your cranberries before using them then you can with ease. Just pop them into a bowl and put them into the freezer the night before you plan to use them. By the next day they will be thawed out and ready to use.

Can You Refreeze Cranberries?

No, we wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze cranberries if they have been thawed out. The only time that you may be able to get away with this is if you have cooked them into a cranberry sauce and are planning to freeze the sauce.

Just make sure you watch for any signs of spoiling such as a change in smell, flavour or colour before using.

Do Cranberries Freeze Well?

Cranberries do freeze well! They freeze best if you make sure you freeze the best cranberries.

There will be a little change in the fruit themselves, they are likely to be a little softer when thawed out. This makes them perfect for baking and cooking with but not as great if you wanted to eat them raw.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing cranberries or cranberries in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Dried Cranberries?

Although it is possible to freeze dried cranberries there is no point as their shelf life is very long. If, however, you’ve made a dish that contains dried cranberries such as fruit cake then this will be safe to freeze. 

Can You Freeze Cooked Cranberries?

Cooked cranberries can also be frozen but expect the texture to change dramatically. They can soften further in the freezer so expect the texture to be a little mushy.

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