How To Can Cranberry Relish


Cranberry relish can be canned to preserve it for up to one year. It is necessary to keep everything clean while working with the relish and can it quickly while it is still hot. The relish can be very simple, containing only cranberries, sugar and water, or more elaborate with spices to your preference. Adding other fruits, spices or nuts will not affect the canning procedure. Cranberries contain a lot of natural pectin, so the final relish will be jellied in consistency. Many older recipes do not specify processing in boiling water, but boiling-water processing is currently recommended for safe storage. You can update older recipes with the boiling-water processing method for safety.

Step 1

Check jars for nicks or small cracks, especially around the lip. A small nick will keep the jar from sealing. Purchase new lids; do not reuse lids.

Step 2

Wash and rinse canning jars in the sanitizer cycle of the dishwasher; keep them hot. Prepare the lids according to the package directions.

Step 3

Fill the boiling water canner approximately one-third full with water. Place the lid on it and place over high heat.

Step 4

Wash the cranberries under running water in a colander. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Step 5

Simmer gently until the cranberries pop, approximately 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 6

Remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle the relish into hot jars, leaving approximately ½ inch of space at the top.

Step 7

Run a clean knife around the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp paper towel.

Step 8

Place the lid and ring on the jar. Hand-tighten the canning ring.

Step 9

Place the jars in the canner rack and lower into the boiling water canner. Add more water if needed to cover the jars by 1 inch.

Step 10

Begin timing when the water returns to a boil. Process half-pint jars for 10 minutes at altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. From 1,000 to 6,000 feet, process for 15 minutes and for 20 minutes above 6,000 feet. Add an additional 5 minutes of processing time at every altitude when using pint or quart jars.

Step 11

Remove the jars from the water at the end of the processing time and allow them to sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. The lids will audibly pop as the jars cool. The popping sound and a slight indentation in the lid is evidence of a good seal. Place any jar that does not seal in the refrigerator for immediate use.

Things You'll Need

  • 24 oz. fresh whole cranberries
  • 2 cups chopped white onion
  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 4 tsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 8 half-pint jars or 4 pint jars
  • Two-piece lids
  • Boiling water canner and rack
  • Saucepan
  • Damp paper towel


  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: Preparing and Canning Chutneys
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: Principles of Home Canning

Who Can Help

  • National Center for Home Food Preservation: Using Boiling Water Canners
Keywords: can cranberry relish, canning cranberry relish, homemade cranberry relish

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.