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When I make Jell-O (fruit-flavored gelatin or jelly), I often get a patchy skin of "thicker" gelatin on the bottom of the dish. The color is the same, but the "skin" has less flavor and a much harder texture.

My assumption is that some of the gelatin granules aren't getting completely dissolved; however, I can't see any granules remaining (or I'd keep stirring it). Am I right about the cause? How do I prevent or reduce the problem if there isn't any visual cue?

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  • This is clearly a case of a higher concentration of gelatine on the bottom, but I can't tell you what causes it :(
    – rumtscho
    Mar 3 '15 at 8:29
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If you pour jello into dishes while it is still very warm, the mixture has time to start layering and separating a bit, leaving the layer you describe on the bottom of the dish. In my experience, the best way to avoid it is to not pour the mixture into the dish/es until it is cooled to nearly room temperature and considerably thicker. While it's cooling, you can stir it periodically to prevent layering, and then it should set quickly enough that it won't separate.

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  • If you're trying to keep it clear, you have to pour it warm enough that it hasn't thickened too much -- if you don't, you risk it trapping air bubbles as it's poured.
    – Joe
    Mar 3 '15 at 2:39
  • @Joe True. I guess you have to find the optimal temperature where it's cold enough not to separate, but warm enough that it stay clear.
    – user141592
    Mar 3 '15 at 3:20
  • Would then pre-heating the dish instead of cooling the jell-o be the way to go?
    – Stephie
    Mar 4 '15 at 20:51
  • @Stephie I think you'd have the same problem with the jello setting too slowly and separating if you pre-heated the dish.
    – user141592
    Mar 4 '15 at 21:36
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Cooling too quickly or unevenly. If possible mix it in a separate bowl and stir every few mins until its starting to thicken. Then pour it into the final bowl or mould and you should be fine.

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I've been making Jello for quite a while, using a regular pan, pour one cup of boiling water, then the Jello granules, the juice from one lemon, and a little bit of Stevia. Finally poured one cup of cold water, mixed everything good pouring it into a plastic container and to the fridge. It always worked perfectly. Nice and even Jello.

I recently purchased some plastic microwaveable containers, trying to make things faster, I poured some hot water into the container and microwaved it until the water was boiling, and repeated the whole process. This time I ended with the mix in the same container that I was going to use for setting, so I simply put it in the fridge. Next morning, I realized there was that nasty layer with the consistency of a gummy bear on the bottom. So definitively the hot container hardened the jello on the bottom.

Next day I made more, this time using the pan again, and boom. Perfect Jello.

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I think that placing a ceramic mixing bowl into the fridge also encourages differential cooling. That is, the container gets cooler than the fluid in solution oh, and that is why the gummy bear consistency is scraped off the dish. I like the idea of using a plastic container as was mentioned earlier.

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You need to keep stirring for full 3 minutes, as in the instructions. The only time I have the stuff on the bottom is when I don't stir enough.

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