Gelatin Sheets VS Powder: 2 Important Differences

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Last Updated on February 14, 2023

Gelatin is a common ingredient in jello, pudding, mousse, gummy candies, and much more. So, what’s the difference between gelatin sheets vs powder?

Many bakers will use it at some point or another in their recipes. If you ever use it, you will want to know the difference between gelatin sheets vs powder.

Sheets and powder are the two most common forms that gelatin comes in. It is an important aspect of the texture of many different desserts. It is important to understand the difference between the two most popular forms this ingredient comes in.

What is Gelatin? Gelatin Sheets vs Powder

Gelatin is an ingredient used in foods that is colorless and flavorless. When added to desserts, it works as a thicker stabilizer. When dry, it is brittle, however, when it gets wet it becomes rubbery.

What is gelatin made of?

Gelatin is made of collagen, which is derived from animal bones, joints, and connective tissues. The collagen is obtained by boiling the animal parts in water. Oftentimes, the animal parts used in this unique ingredient come from pigs or cows.

Since gelatin comes from animal parts, it is not vegetarian or vegan-friendly. However, there are some vegan-friendly substitutes for gelatin including agar-agar and also pectin. Agar-agar, which is becoming a popular choice among vegans, comes from seaweed and is available in powder form, solid blocks, or thin strands.

Common desserts that use it

Many different desserts use gelatin and it is key to achieving their textures. It works as a thickening agent in desserts, which is important for achieving texture.

Some of the most common desserts that use gelatin include pudding, mousse, jello, marshmallow, and dips. It is also an important ingredient in gummy bears and other gummy candies. In addition, it is sometimes an ingredient in ice cream, yogurt, soups, whipped cream, and cakes.

gelatine leaves

The Difference Between Gelatin Sheets vs Powder

Gelatin sheets and gelatin powder are quite different in their forms, but they both work as a thickener in foods. Both varieties are available at most grocery stores, as well as baking stores, and online as well. Before you get baking, you will want to know the differences between the two to ensure you use them correctly.

1. Gelatin sheets use warm water

Gelatin sheets, which are sometimes also called gelatin leaves, come from dried gelatin that is in the form of a flat sheet. Many people prefer gelatin sheets as they provide a very clear, transparent, clean, tasteless set in your desserts.

The sheets are easy to use, as you simply count out the number of sheets you will need. When using them, there is no need to measure them out.

To use them, submerge them in a bowl of cold water for about five minutes and then add the gelatin to warm water or liquid to dissolve. It will then be ready to use in your dessert for thickening purposes.

After five minutes, remove the sheets from the bowl and squeeze out the excess liquid. The water rehydrates the sheets and they will then be ready to use in your dish. After removing them from the cold water, add them to warm water to dissolve, and then use them in your dish.

2. Gelatin powder uses cold water

Gelatin powder is dried up and then grounded up into individual grains. It often comes in individual packets for easy use, but it is also available in jars as well.

Powdered gelatin should be added to cold water for five to 10 minutes to activate it. After this time, it will be ready to use in your recipe once it has dissolved.

PerfectaGel Silver Gelatin Sheets (170 Bloom) – 20 Sheets

What Are Gelatin Sheets Used For?

Though lots of professional chefs prefer sheets, many home bakers are more familiar with the powder form. The sheets may seem unusual to some, however, they serve the same purpose as the powder. Both the powder and sheets will work as a thickening agent in your desserts.

When working with the sheets, be careful as they are delicate. It is often best to lay them side by side in a pan of water to help prevent them from tearing. The sheets are more common throughout Europe, whereas the powder form is more popular across America.

Can you substitute powdered gelatin for gelatin sheets?

Yes, you can substitute powdered gelatin for gelatin sheets. Though the preparation may vary slightly, the result in the recipe will be the same. Both of them will work just as well for your baking and cooking purposes.

There is an easy conversion of gelatin powder to sheets. When using it in a recipe one tablespoon of powdered gelatin equals four sheets of gelatin. This amount is enough to soft-set two cups of water or other liquid.

Some recipes may call for one type of gelatin over the other. However, as long as you use the proper conversion, your recipe will turn out just fine. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the box to properly activate your gelatin for it to work in your recipe.

Be sure to store your gelatin, both sheets, and powder, in a cool dry place. Keep it away from the light, heat, and humidity to keep it fresh. When properly stored, it can last for several years due to its unique nature.

Agar Powder vs Gelatin

As noted above, gelatin is not vegetarian, as it is made from collagen, which comes from pig and cow bones, joints, and connective tissues. Agar powder, also known as agar-agar powder is a gelatin substitute that is used as a gelling or thickening agent in food and is vegan-friendly. 

Agar-agar powder is a jelly-like substance that is made from red algae. It has been used for centuries in Asian cuisine. It has a gummy, chewy texture at room temperature which allows it to be used as a vegan-friendly gelatin substitute. Many vegans and vegetarians use it as their preferred choice over gelatin. 

While agar-agar powder can be a great substitute for gelatin in many different recipes, there are some important things you should know before you use it. A little bit of agar-agar powder can go a long way, as you only need to combine one teaspoon with water to produce a reliable gelling agent. On the contrary, you need eight teaspoons of gelatin powder to produce the same consistency.

Though it can be used as a thickening agent, agar-agar powder works better as a gelling agent. It has a gummier consistency and sets more firmly at room temperature. 

agar vs gelatine

Types of Gelatin Leaves: Gelatin Sheets vs Powder

When shopping for gelatin leaves, you may notice that there are different types of gelatin leaves. Not all gelatin leaves are created the same, so it is important to know the differences. 

There are five different types of gelatin leaves: titanium, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The leaves vary by bloom strength and weight. 

Titanium-strength gelatine leaves have a bloom of 100 and weigh five grams. Bronze-strength gelatine leaves have a bloom strength of 125 and weigh 3.3 grams. Silver-strength gelatine leaves a bloom strength of 160 and weighs 2.5 grams.

Gold-strength gelatine leaves have a bloom strength of 200 and weigh 2 grams. Platinum-strength gelatine leaves have a bloom strength of 250 and weigh 1.7 grams.

Gelatin sheets with a higher bloom strength will set firmer. Gold strength is a good option for dairy-based desserts and titanium is a good choice for baking with fresh fruits or using liqueurs in your desserts. 

Gelatin Sheets to Liquid Ratio

Generally speaking, you want to use 100 ml of water for one sheet of gelatin. However, the exact amount may vary by the firmness you want in your dessert and the strength of the gelatin leaf you are using. 

Many people find it easier to use as you can simply count out how many sheets you need versus measuring out powder. This allows you to get a more accurate amount, which leads to better results in your dishes. 

If your recipe calls for gelatin sheets, but you only have powder don’t worry, as you can use powder instead. Generally, one packet, which is equal to one tablespoon, of powdered gelatin is equivalent to four gelatin sheets. However, this conversion will vary by the strength of the gelatin sheets and how firm you are making your dessert. 

Know Before You Get Baking: Gelatin Sheets vs Powder

Before you get baking, it is good to understand the differences between gelatin sheets vs powder. Both come from collagen, which is derived from pig and cow bones, tissue, and joints. It works as a thickener as well as a stabilizer when properly added to dishes.

Many professionals prefer the sheets as they provide an excellent transparent, tasteless, and clean set. However, the powder option can be used interchangeably with the sheets. Both will work in the same way, however, they may need different preparation before dissolving to use in your dish.

Do you have any questions regarding gelatin sheets vs powder? If so, please ask any questions regarding the different types of gelatin and how to use them in the comment section below.

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