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Can You Microwave Canned Cranberry Sauce?

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Have you ever wondered if you can microwave canned cranberry sauce? Instead of making the cranberry sauce from scratch to serve with Thanksgiving meal, canned cranberry sauce saves meal prep time and is a fan favorite.

Can you microwave canned cranberry sauce? Canned cranberry sauce is typically served cold or at room temperature. And it is fast and easy to microwave them.

It is ok to microwave canned cranberry sauce, however it is not safe to microwave the original can. Instead, transfer into a microwave-safe container to avoid any damage to the sauce or appliance caused by microwaving metal.

From turkey slices to meatloaf, cranberry sauce provides a hint of sweet and sour taste to enhance the meat flavor even more. 

In this article, we are going to answer frequently asked questions about the best ways to microwave canned cranberry sauce to help you enjoy the same great taste in a fraction of the time.

Is canned cranberry sauce good for you?

Cranberry sauce is not only delicious and sweet, but also loaded with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. The problem being that canned cranberry sauce it typically loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar, therefore jeopardizing the nutritional benefits of the antioxidant rich berries.

Generally, cranberries are great for lowering the cholesterol level and known for a cancer fighter. So, drizzling cranberry sauce over the top of your meal can definitely offer a great amount of nutrients.

But, be careful not to overeat canned cranberry sauce due to commercial sauce can have lot more sugar content that may increase risk in diabetes compared to homemade sauces. Furthermore, opt for unsweetened or lightly sweetened canned cranberry sauce for a bit less sugar per serving.

Do you heat up canned cranberry sauce?

Yes and no, heating up cranberry sauce depends on personal preference. Cranberry sauce can be consumed cold or at room temperature, however it does not make a huge taste difference.

The reason is that some people will eat it cold, while others enjoy it hot. Whether you don’t want the cold side dish to ruin the temperature of your cooked food, or you enjoy eating the hot and cold combination, the choice is really up to you.

How long does canned cranberry sauce last?

On average, cans are good for up to 1 year from the production date. 

The shelf life of cranberry sauce depends on a variety of factors: the brand, how it is handled and stored, and the expiration date. A can of cranberry sauce may last 1 to 3 years, but this is based on the manufacture printed expiration date on the can.

In general, the expiration date is a manufacturer recommendation and not based on any scientific fact. Therefore, the use by or expiration date details when the cranberry sauce should be discarded, but that date can be exceeded by months if not years without concern of the food actually going bad or spoiling.

Even though the expiration date of the sauce is past, if it is properly stored in a cool and dark storage area, it can have an extend the shelf life. This is only in consideration that there is not damage on the can or rusted due to moisture, humidity and drastic temperature fluctuations. 

How do you microwave cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce is popular condiment that goes well with meat dishes. It can be served cold or hot based on your preference.

In order to microwave cranberry sauce, transfer the cranberry sauce from the can into a microwave-safe container, tightly cover with a microwave safe plastic wrap and nuke on high for 30 seconds and stir well to evenly distribute the heat. Continue with 30 second intervals until the sauce is fully heated. 

Garnish with sage or slices of orange peel to serve.

Tips to microwave canned cranberry sauce

Microwaving pre-made cranberry sauce is a quick ways to prepare a meal full of leftovers from a roast turkey feast. This sweet and delicious sauce can be served cold or hot depending on the taste you are looking for. 

When microwaving canned cranberry sauce, be cautious to not overcook the sauce and destroy the original flavor and consistency.

Here are microwave tips for heating canned cranberry sauce quickly:

  • Use a microwave-safe bowl when reheating cranberry sauce in the microwave. A glass casserole dish or ceramic bowl hold up well.
  • Do not leave the cranberry sauce in the microwave for an extended period as it can scorch or burn. Stir the cranberry sauce every 30 seconds before heating it further so that it warms evenly.
  • Cover the bowl with a microwavable lid or plastic wrap. If the cranberry sauce bubbles up or boils over in the microwave, take it out right away and place it on a dishcloth to reduce the moisture loss.
  • Always check the expiration date of canned cranberry sauce to ensure best quality taste. The fresher the product, the better it may taste.
  • Do not use the cranberry sauce if the can is dented, rusted or seal is damaged in anyway.
  • Avoid microwaving original can to reheat the cranberry sauce. This may cause fire, explosion, damage the appliance or contaminate the food.

Best way to microwave canned cranberry sauce

Be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl or dish with a lid to contain the cranberry sauce to avoid it from splattering. Microwave for only 30 seconds  at a time on high power, as this is all it takes to heat canned cranberry sauce until it is hot, especially when the can is kept at room temp and not in the fridge.

If you prefer the canned cranberry sauce spooned over a meat or poultry dish, don’t heat it first. This will result in the cooked sauce becoming too runny and will be difficult to serve with food.

If the microwaveable container does not have a lid, use a microwavable plastic wrap to cover tightly. This will help the moisture trapped inside to speed up the reheating process.

Ensure to stir frequently in-between each interval to heat evenly without overcooking the sauce. If the sauce is overheated, then it will become extremely runny because the jellied corn syrup will liquify.

Can you microwave canned cranberry sauce

Canned Cranberry Sauce in Microwave: Conclusion

Canned cranberry sauce is typically served cold or at room temp. However, it is possible to heat up canned cranberry sauce to accompany the meal, especially for leftovers after Thanksgiving Day. 

When cranberry sauce is microwaved properly, it is safe and healthy to pair with roasted meats.

However, make sure to check the expiration date on the can before consuming or microwaving it. Generally, when stored properly, these sauce last up to 1 year, but they should not be consumed if the can is rusted, dented or the seal is broken in any way.

When microwaving canned cranberry sauce, don’t reheat cranberry sauce in the microwave for any longer than 30 seconds at a time for best results. Start with short intervals on high heat to prevent from scorching and burning the sugar rich sauce.

Definitely do not microwave the original can as this can spark fire and may explode while reheating process. Instead, always use a microwave-safe container that is deep enough to hold the sauce without spilling over. 

The heated cranberry sauce may become quite runny and will be difficult to serve with food when overheated, so warm gently and do not overdo it. Microwaving canned cranberry sauce is quick and easy to do, within a minute the sauce is warm and ready to serve.