Learn how and why you want to make your cranberry sauce with an immersion circulator or sous vide machine.
I am all about the sous vide. Since I got one myself, I have never cooked a steak without it.
I have tried vegetables with the same success.
I also have a pumpkin pie dessert that you must try in your next water bath.
But if you ask my sister in law, the one thing I have had the most success with is making cranberry sauce. Yes, the jiggly sauce that is on everyone's Thanksgiving table is also better when it's been given the sous vide treatment.
🛁 Why Sous Vide?
Why should you bother with sous vide cranberries? They cook quick enough on the stove top, why take more time and energy to go through this? The answer is flavor. You see, you are removing water from the situation. Instead of cooking the cranberries in boiling water, you are just cooking the cranberries.
The berries will still release water as they are about 90% water. The pectin in the fruit will be released as well naturally thickening the sauce.
The flavor is intensified when you take water out of the picture, which dilutes the flavor. The sauce will have a fresher, stronger cranberry taste. Sugar is added as you normally would so it will be just as sweet.
You can keep it really simple.
- 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of sugar
But you can also add some things like
- Orange zest
- Ground ginger
Instead of regular white sugar, you can substitute 1:1 for brown sugar. That is a great, easy to introduce more flavor.
For the sugar to incorporate better you can use really fine sugar or just give your sugar a quick spin in a food processor. Not a necessary step.
Start out by preparing your water bath.
Set your sous vide to 185 degrees for 1 hour.
Vacuum seal your cranberries and sugar together. No need for water inside the bag itself. If you are using spices or zest add them now too.
No matter how well I have vacuum sealed them, the bags always tend to float. Cranberries are like little air balloons. Plan ahead to weigh them down with something. I just use a pot and I make sure my water level still is below the max line on my circulator.
When the cranberries are done cooking, pull them from the water bat with a pair of tongs. The cranberries will be fully cooked but will need to be broken down more. This is the fun part. While still in the bag, smash those cranberries until they all pop. It's extremely satisfying, just make sure to let them cool a bit first.
Smoosh the bag around to make sure all the sugar is incorporated. Then you can cut the bag open.
It takes about 2 to 4 hours for the sauce to cool and set up in the fridge.
If you wish to remove the skins, place a sieve over a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce into the sieve and with a spoon push down the berries until you have gotten all the liquid through and just have skins left. Then it will be like the jellied sauce you get in the can.
📅 Make Ahead
This sauce can be made several days ahead of Thanksgiving. In fact it's what I normally make first for the meal. You don't want to make it the day of to then discover it didn't set up and you have a liquid mess.
You can make it on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and it still be fine. It last in the fridge a while.
RELATED - What to Make Ahead for Thanksgiving
🍠 Other Dishes to Make
Here is a list of some of the other dishes on our blog that you can make for Thanksgiving including the Sous Vide Pumpkin Pie in Jars you see in the above photo.
- Swirled Mashed & Sweet Potatoes
- Mac & Cheese
- Sous Vide Butter Poached Carrots
- Parkerhouse Rolls
- Instant Pot Smoked Turkey Gravy
Sous Vide Cranberry Sauce
- 1 bag cranberries bags are 12 ounces
- 1 cup white or brown sugar
- Set your water bath to 185 degrees for 1 hour.
- Vacuum seal together the cranberries, sugar, and spices & zest if using. It's best if you can get the cranberries in the bag in a single layer.
- Add to your water bath. Use something heavy to weight them down as the berries tend to want to float.
- Once the hour is up, carefully remove the bag of cranberries with a pair of tongs.
- Once cool enough to handle pop all the remaining whole berries in the bag with your hands
- You can store them in the bag or remove them to another container. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours before serving.