How Long Does It Take Homemade Jelly To Set

How Long Does It Take Homemade Jelly To Set? Solved

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Lori Walker

Whipping up homemade jelly **sounds** tricky since you might end up with a texture that’s not as smooth as store-bought jelly and it may not firm up properly.

Even though most chefs know the secrets of making homemade jelly, many have asked us – how long does it take homemade jelly to set? 

We’ll discuss the factors with tips and tricks to consider to make the perfect batch of homemade jelly.

How Long Will It Take for Homemade Jelly to Set?

Close Up Shot of Red Jelly

Depending on the serving size, homemade jelly sets in the fridge for 2-4 hours. The jelly takes 4 to 6 hours to set if you prepare an extra-large jelly dessert. 

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving, and identity.”

– Jonathan Safran Foer, American Novelist

If you store it at room temperature, it will take about 24 hours to set and as fast as 20 minutes when stored in the freezer.

Factors To Consider 


Homemade jelly in small cups takes about 2-4 hours to set and fully harden, and at least 4 hours for large jelly.

But you can speed it up by using ice cubes or tiny cooled bowls or in the freezer. Just place the cups on a tray with ice cubes and wait for them to harden.

Storage Location 

At room temperature, homemade jelly takes about 24 hours to set because pectin takes longer to harden at this type of temperature.

It takes about 2-4 hours for the homemade jelly to set in the fridge and about 20 minutes in the freezer. 

Jelly shouldn’t be left in the freezer longer than 20 minutes because it might lose its “gelling power” due to the low temperature. [1] 

Type of Fruit Juice Used

Jelly is typically created from citrus fruits and apples since they are high in pectin and acid. These are frequently added to other fruits to supply the pectin required to make a jelly set.

Strawberries are one example of a fruit that contains very little pectin. Without pectin from other fruits or synthetic sources, strawberry jelly won’t set on its own.

Recipe Followed

The length of the setting is affected by incorrect measurements in the jelly recipe. 

Jellies that are overcooked can lose their pectin’s ability to gel, and those that are undercooked won’t set either.

Is It Possible To Make Homemade Jelly Set Faster? 

Yes, it is possible to make homemade jelly sets faster. The freezer can become your new best buddy if you need to hasten the setting process and are in a bind. 

The time needed to set is shorter by freezing jelly. If the setting time in the fridge is 2-4 hours, in the freezer, it would only take less than 20 minutes.

How To Tell If Homemade Jelly Has Set? 

To tell if homemade jelly has been set, press it with your finger. It has set if your finger didn’t soak on the jelly’s surface. 

If the jelly just slides through your finger, it needs more time to set, or there’s an error in your recipe. The jelly’s texture should be firm and smooth.

Also Read: How Can You Tell When Flan Is Done?

What Causes Jelly To Set? 

Mango Jelly on a White Plate

Pectin is what causes jelly to set. It is a complex starch from plants and is used in gelling jelly jams, fruit preserves, and gummy candies. [2] 

Even though some vegetables are rich in pectin, the majority of pectin used in jelly comes from citrus peel and other fruits; for this reason, it is referred to as fruit pectin. 

Why Is My Homemade Jelly Runny? 

Your homemade jelly will turn runny if there is not enough pectin in the fruit and you don’t add more. 

Furthermore, the pectin content in overripe fruit is reduced. A few different kinds of added pectin exist. Both liquid and powdered pectin are available online and in food stores.

Tips & Tricks When Making Homemade Jelly 

  • Only use fresh fruits because damaged fruits have decreased pectins already.
  • Use refined granulated sugar because it is high in pectin.
  • Consider making small portions only to make the setting faster.
  • Do a set test in the fridge using a saucer before making portions to avoid the hassle of reheating.


How to tell if homemade jelly has gone bad?

To tell if homemade jelly has gone bad, look for signs of molds and discoloration. If the smell is sour or off, it has likely gone bad.

Do you put jelly in the fridge to set?

Yes, you can put jelly in the fridge to set. It will take about 2-3 hours to set in the refrigerator.

Can you eat runny jelly?

Yes, you can eat runny jelly. The texture might not be perfect, but it is still safe to eat.

What can I do if my jelly doesn’t set?

If your jelly didn’t set, you must recook it until it reaches the right consistency or setting. Find out what you can use instead of a jelly roll pan here.

Final Thoughts 

Generally, it takes 2-3 hours for the homemade jelly to set. But the duration of the setting depends on many factors such as temperature, quantity size, fruits used, and recipe.

It is essential to follow the recipe for your jelly or at least know the ingredients to make a perfect jelly for your dish.


Lori Walker

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