Do You Cover Jello When You Put It In The Fridge

Do You Cover Jello When You Put It in the Fridge? Answered

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Lori Walker

Numerous people enjoy the process of making the perfect Jello batch. However, a common question arises: Do you need to cover Jello when it’s stored in the refrigerator?

This seemingly small detail can have an impact on your Jello’s outcome. Drawing from my practical kitchen experience, we’ll delve into this topic to provide clarity for all gelatin enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned Jello maker, this guide is designed.

Should You Cover Jello When Placing It In The Fridge?

Jello on a Glass Bowl

You can. Covering Jello when placing it in the fridge is a preventative measure to shield it from the myriad flavors and odors circulating within the refrigerator. 

“Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be.”

– Lady Gaga, American Singer

An uncovered Jello dish is susceptible to absorbing these unwelcome aromas, ranging from strong-smelling cheeses to leftover dishes.

By covering your Jello, you maintain its intended taste and protect its delicate flavor from being tainted by other food items. But can Jello be put in the freezer?

Does Covering Jello Affect Its Setting Process?

No, covering Jello does not affect its primary setting process. The solidification of Jello is primarily driven by the cooling action of the refrigerator, allowing the gelatin [1] within to bind and achieve its classic wobbly texture. 

The cover’s primary role is safeguarding the Jello from external contaminants and odors. Whether covered or uncovered, as long as it’s cooled adequately, Jello will set as intended.

Can Covering Jello Prevent A Skin Or Film From Forming On The Top?

Yes, covering Jello can help prevent the formation of skin or film on its surface.

When Jello is left uncovered in the refrigerator for extended periods, it’s exposed to air, which can lead to slight dehydration on its surface, resulting in a thin film or skin. 

Placing a cover, such as cling film or a tight-fitting lid, over the Jello reduces its direct exposure to air, thereby minimizing the chances of this unwanted layer forming.

You might also like to read about if you can put melted chocolate in the fridge here.

Potential Downsides To Covering Jello

  1. Trapped Heat and Condensation: If Jello is covered while it’s still warm or hot, this can trap heat. The subsequent condensation [2] can lead to water droplets forming on the underside of the cover, which might drip onto the Jello. This excess moisture can affect the Jello’s consistency, making it less firm or slightly watery.
  2. Uneven Cooling: If a thick or insulated cover is used, it could cause the Jello to cool unevenly. The surface underneath the cover might remain slightly warmer for a longer time, which could affect the overall set of the Jello.
  3. Cover-Related Contamination: If the cover isn’t clean or has residues from other foods, it can transfer those onto the Jello, affecting its taste or cleanliness.
  4. Difficulty in Monitoring: When Jello is covered, especially with an opaque lid, it becomes challenging to visually check its setting progress without removing the cover. This could introduce the risk of disturbing the setting process if checked too often.
  5. Space Constraints: Depending on the type of cover used, it may take up more space in the refrigerator. Bulky or dome-shaped covers might not allow efficient stacking or placing other items in the fridge.

Read: How Long Will Frosting Last In The Fridge?

What If I Forgot To Cover My Jello Initially?

If you’ve inadvertently left your Jello uncovered in the refrigerator briefly, there’s no immediate cause for concern.

Once you realize the oversight, it’s advisable to cover it to protect from unwanted odors or potential dehydration. 

“In the dance of flavors, even Jello needs its veil in the fridge’s ballroom.”

– Leonelli Bakery

However, if the Jello has remained uncovered for an extended time, it’s wise to inspect it for any signs of a formed film on the surface or check for any altered aromas.

In most cases, if the Jello looks and smells as it should, it remains beautiful for consumption.


How long does Jello last in the fridge? 

Once prepared and set, Jello typically lasts in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days if kept adequately sealed. It’s crucial to cover it to prevent it from absorbing unintended flavors or odors from other foods.

Over time, the texture may change, becoming slightly more rigid or watery. If there’s any noticeable off-smell, discoloration, or mold, it’s best to discard it for safety reasons.

Always refer to any specific storage instructions on the packaging or recipe. But how long will it take to set the jelly?

Do you put Jell-O in the fridge when it’s hot?

No, it’s best to let Jell-O cool slightly at room temperature before placing it in the fridge. This prevents excessive condensation and ensures an even setting.

Key Takeaways

When placing Jello in the fridge, it’s advisable to cover it. This practice shields the Jello from absorbing unintended odors and flavors from other foods in the refrigerator. 

Moreover, covering helps prevent a film or skin from forming on the Jello’s surface.

While Jello will set whether covered or not, safeguarding its taste and texture by using a cover enhances the dessert experience.


Lori Walker

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