Food & Nutrition

How long it’ll take your jelly to set (and how you can make it set faster)


Published by Finn Hayden

We love to eat jelly, not just because it's tasty and wobbly, but also because it can actually be quite a healthy snack (especially if you choose a sugar free jelly). But if there's one thing that we don't like about jelly, it's having to wait for it to set.

The setting time of jelly largely depends on the type of jelly, ingredients used, and any additional factors that may influence the process. We wanted to publish a guide about the setting times of different types of jelly, so you can know exactly how long to wait before you can enjoy your wobbly snack. Let's get into it:

Quick summary: gelatine-based jellies will typically take between 2-4 hours to set, but vegan jellies can set even faster. If you want to speed up the setting time, don't overmix the jelly before putting it in the fridge.

Now let's get into the full guide:

Gelatine based jelly

Most jelly is made using gelatine, and we imagine that most people will be using jelly cubes such as the cubes from the Hartley's brand, which are made using gelatine.

The setting time for gelatin-based jelly typically ranges from 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. However, specific instructions on the gelatin packaging or in the recipe should be followed for precise timing. Hartley's officially recommends 4 hours, but we've successfully set our jelly in well under 3 hours.

To speed up the setting process, ensure that the jelly mixture is adequately cooled before pouring it into molds. Placing it in the refrigerator quickly and avoiding overcrowding the fridge can also contribute to a quicker setting time.

Hartley's jelly cubes

Vegan jelly

We're big fans of vegan jelly, and one of the great things about vegan jelly is that generally it can set a lot faster than jelly made from gelatine can. How quickly it will set will depend on what the jelly is made from. Typical ingredients used in vegan jelly include agar-agar, pectin, or carrageenan. Agar-agar can typically set within 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator, but it's often the pectin-based jellies which can set the quickest, usually within 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Just Whole Foods vegan tropical jelly

Tips for faster setting

If you want your jelly to set faster, here are some simple tricks you can try for all types of jelly:

  • Let it cool first - allow the jelly mixture to cool slightly before transferring it to the refrigerator. Rapid cooling can contribute to a faster set.
  • Don't mix it too much - this is a big reason why some jellies can take ages to set. Excessive stirring or whisking can introduce air bubbles, affecting the smoothness and setting of the jelly
  • Fridge temperature - it sounds simple but ensure that your refrigerator is set at the correct temperature before putting your jelly in there

We hope this guide helps you to set your jelly as fast as possible, so you can get on with the important task of enjoying it! Let us know in the comments if you appreciate our advice or if you have any other tips.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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