The Ultimate Guide to Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without it
The best cranberry sauce starts with fresh cranberries.

It may sound cliché, but Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn't be the same without cranberry sauce. At a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, there's so much rich, heavy food — buttery, creamy mashed potatoes; gravy rich with meaty essence; thick, sweet yams; and let's not forget the turkey itself — that you need something with a little tang and acidity to keep your appetite going. That's where cranberry sauce comes in. But how do you make a delicious cranberry sauce?

Click here to see The Ultimate Guide to Cranberry Sauce Slideshow

That's why The Daily Meal has gathered together some helpful tips along with some of our best cranberry sauce recipes to help you make a killer cranberry sauce that will have guests begging for more. We teamed up with Laura Cipullo, author of the blog Mom Dishes It Out, for some advice. Here's what she had to say about making great cranberry sauce:

  • To help neutralize the acid, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda when cooking cranberries. You will find that by doing this, you will need less sugar.
  • Substitute sweetened, dried cranberries for raisins in recipes for a tangy change.
  • Reconstitute dried cranberries just as you would raisins, by soaking them in hot water and letting them stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Cranberries should be cooked only until they pop. Otherwise, they not only begin to turn to mush, but they also turn bitter.
  • Frozen cranberries do not need to be defrosted before using.
  • Cranberries are easily chopped by pulsing in a food processor, just make sure to keep your eye on them, otherwise they can become too fine.

Be sure to check out our recipes in the slideshow. Making cranberry sauce certainly doesn't have to be complicated, and we hope you find our tips and recipes helpful as you plan your Thanksgiving to-do list.

Click here to see The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving

Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman

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