- We tried four brands of cranberry sauce.
- The brands we tried were Ocean Spray, Pacific, Shop Rite, and Trader Joe's.
- We liked Trader Joe's the best because it was flavorful and was just tart enough.
No Thanksgiving table is complete without a bowl of cranberry sauce.
And although some prefer it homemade, pre-made sauces have developed somewhat of a cult following — specifically the kind that comes straight from the can.
In order to make your Thanksgiving day preparation a little easier, we set out to find who makes the best cranberry sauce. We've done plenty of other taste tests aimed at helping you craft the perfect holiday dinner, such as pie crusts, canned green beans, and instant mashed potatoes.
The brands of cranberry sauce we sampled were:
- Ocean Spray
- Trader Joe's
- Shop Rite
In an effort to mimic how cranberry sauce is often eaten, we sampled it with the closet thing we could find to Thanksgiving turkey — deli turkey.
Keep scrolling to read our thoughts.
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We bought all four brands at New York City grocery stores, spending anywhere from $1.69 to $3.49.
Trader Joe's was the only brand that didn't offer whole berry cranberry sauce, so we went with what they did offer: regular cranberry sauce.
Ocean Spray and Shop Rite were the only two brands whose sauce came in a can. Trader Joe's sells their sauce in a jar, while Pacific sells theirs in a carton.
Pacific's sauce looked the most authentic out of the four brands. It was loaded with cranberry pieces and had a jam-like texture, but it lacked the tart flavor we were expecting.
We noticed that Pacific was more sweet than tart. Any true cranberry fan knows that the fruit is naturally very tart. Obviously, manufacturers temper the flavor in pre-made sauces and add sugar for more sweetness.
It seemed that Pacific had added a little too much sweetness; we wanted to taste more of that original tartness. The texture, on the other hand, was good. It wasn't as jelly-like as the canned sauces, and if you like cranberry pieces in your sauce, there were plenty in this one.
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