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Ever made something with gelatin, then wondered why your end result did not resemble the description in the cookbook or blog post? Believe it or not, there are different types of gelatin with different strengths and weaknesses (literally – some set up firmer than others)! I finally got around to testing the three main brands that I’m familiar with – Knox, Great Lakes (the beef version), and THM Just Gelatin – and I’m here to share my findings.
In order to test these gelatin brands, I made multiple batches of gummies and puddings. I used the same recipes for all 3 gelatin brands but varied the amounts of gelatin I used to try to find the perfect ratios that gave me the same firmness.
My starting hypothesis: Knox gelatin (a pork gelatin) is stronger than Great Lakes gelatin and THM Just Gelatin (both beef gelatins).
Here’s what I found:
- Knox dissolves the best and leaves you with a clearer product. As you can see in the pictures, the green gummies (made with Knox gelatin) are more transparent than the yellow (THM Just Gelatin) and blue (Great Lakes) gummies. While this may be caused by using less gelatin due to the strength of Knox gelatin, it also seems to be related to the fact that Knox gelatin dissolves more thoroughly than do the Great Lakes and THM brands.
- All of them smell bad, but as a general rule they don’t taste bad when used in something. I did notice a faint taste to the Great Lakes gelatin in the gummies, but it wasn’t overpowering.
- Knox gelatin is the strongest of the three. THM Just Gelatin is just a little stronger than Great Lakes gelatin, but for all practical purposes, the same amount of the latter two can be used.
- For every teaspoon of Knox gelatin used, use 1 + 1/4 tsp. of either THM Just Gelatin or Great Lakes gelatin. I actually thought that Knox would be much stronger in comparison, but an extra 1/4 tsp. of gelatin when using either of the beef gelatins seems to do the trick.
Click here to pin this graphic:
Great Lakes gummies:
THM Just Gelatin gummies:
Now remember: I tested these gelatins multiple times in different recipes, but I cannot guarantee these ratios will work in every single recipe. Sometimes there are other factors that influence the way gelatin sets up. However, these should work as a good starting place. When in doubt, just use the brand that the recipe calls for. You can’t go wrong there. If you do, blame it on the recipe creator…. *wink* Works every time (or at least some people seem to think it does).
When working with gelatin, remember to dissolve it in hot liquid at some point in the process in order to activate it properly.
I tested these gelatin ratios in my 5 Ingredient Peach Pudding recipe (see picture below). It turned out great, and there wasn’t a noticeable difference among the 3 dishes that I made.
As for those gummies…well, let’s just say that they were an experimental flavor that served their purpose to show me how stiff the gelatin got…but didn’t taste so great. If you want gummy recipes, try the lemon gummies from the THM Cookbook, this gummy candy recipe from Savoring the Delights, or Red Hot Cinnamon Gummies or Orange Creamsicle Gummies from Joy Filled Eats.
Where to buy:
- Swanson Vitamins
- Great Lakes website (great bulk deals!)
- Swanson Vitamins (free shipping on orders over $50!)
- Trim Healthy Mama
You may also enjoy:
- Starting THM
- my picture recipe index
- Greek yogurt video tutorial
- my recipes organized by fuel/allergy info and cool categories
- Dos and Don’ts From a THM Veteran
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