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Can You Freeze Cranberries?

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By Ross Young

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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. But, how do you store them for the long term? Is the freezer viable or not?

Can You Freeze Cranberries?

Yes, you can freeze cranberries for up to 1 year! There is only a little prep work involved and they freeze well without blanching or precooking, fortunately.

Do Cranberries Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Cranberries? No

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 fresh 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.

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 Uses
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.

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 and 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.

Can You Freeze Craisins?

Yes, you can freeze craisins but remember, if they’re kept in an airtight container away from direct sunlight then they will also keep in the kitchen cupboard or larder for several months.

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