This unique spin on classic fresh cranberry sauce is one you have to try at your next Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday dinners. I randomly asked myself the other day, what would happen if I made smoked cranberry sauce on my Traeger Grill? Well, what happened was delicious. So now I’m convinced that there is nothing that doesn’t taste better smoked. Even if you have never made fresh cranberry sauce before and don’t really give cranberry sauce too much thought for the holidays, I have grown to find it an integral part of the meal. The key is making it from scratch. So forget the canned stuff and give this a try.
Smoked Cranberry Sauce? Really?
Yes, really. I’ve written before how obsessed I am with smoking ever since getting a Traeger Grill.
A subtle or bold hint of smoke adds a layer of complex flavour to such an incredible variety of dishes, and fresh cranberry sauce is no different. It doesn’t require much either, just 20-30 minutes on the grill and you have a delicious and unique sauce for your holiday dinner that will perfectly complement your fatty turkey and rich gravy.
Cranberry sauce can be made up to seven days ahead, so there is definitely time to make it something great instead of just treating it like an afterthought.
This recipe should work just the same on any pellet smoker.
If you don’t have a smoker, my recipe for classic fresh cranberry sauce is also amazing.
Feel free to follow this one too just minus the smoking steps.
Which Wood To Use?
I recommend a lighter, fruitier wood. Applewood and cherry wood would be perfect, but you don’t have to make a special purchase. Use whatever wood you might have on hand. Just check the flavour after 15 minutes and see how you like it.
Buy Traeger 100% hardwood pellets (no additives) here:
I love my Traeger Grill. Learn more about them, read reviews, and compare prices amongst different models here:
This is the time of year when blood oranges are in season. Their deep scarlet colour is visually striking and their flavour is reminiscent of raspberries.
Of course, you can use regular orange oranges too if that is what you have on hand, or even a blend of the two.
Swap Water For Fruit Juice
For an even more rich and complex flavour for your smoked cranberry juice, swap out water for juice entirely.
I used pure unsweetened dark cherry juice and let me tell you, it was incredible.
You can do the same if you can find cherry juice, but apple cider or even just more blood orange juice works beautifully as well.
Smoked Blood Orange Cranberry Sauce
A refreshing twist on a Thanksgiving and Christmas favourite. Make smoked fresh cranberry sauce this year on your Traeger or pellet smoker.
Sweetened with blood orange, dark cherry juice, and pure maple syrup.
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 31 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: North America
- 1 bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of amber or dark maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened black cherry juice (or blood orange juice, or apple cider)
- Juice & zest of 1 blood orange
- 1 cinammon stick
- Pinch of salt
In a medium saucepan, add the fresh cranberries, juice, zest, maple syrup, cinammon stick, and pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering away, set your Traeger Grill to the Smoke setting and leave with the lid open for 5 minutes while the fire starts.
Set your pan of cranberries directly onto the grill grates, close the lid, and allow to smoke for 20 minutes.
Check the cranberry sauce, if it is not to your desired level of smokiness, go for 10-15 minutes more before removing.
Allow to come to room temperature and then store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Before serving, allow to come to room temperature (30 minutes)
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Christmas, fresh cranberry sauce, smoked cranberry sauce, Holiday recipes, Traeger Grill