How Long Does It Take Jelly To Set

How Long Does It Take Jelly To Set? Guide & Tips

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Lori Walker

Making jelly just right can be super tough, but it’ll definitely impress your guests! It’s been a real test of patience and skill for me to get that perfect texture.

So how long does it take for the jelly to set? The answer depends on various factors. Read on to find out.

How Long Will It Take for the Jelly to Set?

floral jelly cake

Generally, the jelly setting process would take at least two to six hours if stored in the fridge with a temperature of 5°C or 41°F. 

“Remember the correct proportion of sugar, acid, and pectin are needed to produce a proper gel.”

Martha Zepp, Food Safety Program Assistant

However, the ingredients and size of the jelly mold might affect these estimates.

Factors To Consider


In Room Temperature

It takes more than six hours to set if you place jelly at room temperature, but it may not be done properly.

In the Refrigerator

It may take two to six hours to set in the fridge, but if you’re planning for an extra-large size of jelly, do it at least one day in advance. 

In the Freezer

The freezer is the fastest way to set the jelly, as it would only take you at least one to two hours. Check the jelly every 20 minutes to prevent freezing its edges.

Type of Jelly

Traditional Homemade Jelly

Usually, it takes three to four hours to set up homemade jellies. But it may vary depending on your recipe; some would take more than six hours to set.

Sugar-Free Jelly

A sugar-free jelly would take a minimum of four hours before it sets, but it still depends on the size of the mold you’re using. 

Vegan Jelly

This one is very convenient because you don’t have to refrigerate it. You can leave it for an hour or two at room temperature.

Find out if you can put Jello in the freezer here.

Jelly Setting TimeTable

MethodSetting Time
At the CounterMore than 6 hours
Refrigeration2-6 hours
Refrigeration & Freezing1-3 hours

Note: Some jellies would take a day or two to set. 

How To Make Jelly Set Faster

You can make jelly set faster by using individual chilled molds. After transferring the jelly liquid into the mold, let the fridge temperature set the soft jelly for about half an hour. 

Or you can also stir in ice cubes to the jelly mixture instead of cold water. Mix until the liquid thickens, and discard the ice that did not dissolve.

But what can you use instead of a jelly roll pan?

How To Make Jelly At Home

Forget the frozen fruit juice and prepare fresh fruits when making jelly at home. Cook your own fruit mixture over low heat and keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Your cooking time would determine the texture of the jelly, whether it would be softer or firmer.

This process is similar to making jams, but instead of fruit juice, jams use mashed fruit. But do you cover Jello if you put it in the refrigerator?

Why Is My Jelly Not Setting?

One reason why your jelly is not set is that you didn’t cook it enough. The setting point of jelly is around 104°C or 220°F, so you’ll have to bring it back and continue cooking. 

Nevertheless, over-cooking the jelly could also be a problem. It would destroy the pectin chain and prevent the gel from forming.

Jelly vs Jello

Jelly and jello are made with different ingredients. Jelly is created by cooking fruit juices with sugar [1]. It is clear and firm enough to hold its shape outside its container.

On the other hand, jello is made of gelatin, sweeteners, colorings, and flavoring agents. Gelatin comes from animal collagen, and it gives jello its gel-like texture.

What Slows Down the Setting Process of Jelly?

3d Jelly Cake

The setting process of jelly slows down depending on how much pectin is in the recipe. For instance, using those high in pectins like apples and citrus fruits would help the jelly set faster. 

“Patience is the secret ingredient in the art of jelly-making; as time works its magic, liquid transforms into a glistening, wobbly delight that delights the senses.”

Leonelli Bakery

Underripe fruit contains more pectin, but you might have included very ripe fruit in your jelly-making process. Natural pectin content decreases as fruits ripen over time [2].

Tips & Tricks When Setting Jelly

  • Fresh fruit contains enzymes that may prevent the jelly from setting. 
  • Use a cool metal spoon to check the texture of the fruit syrup while cooking. It is not yet ready if it runs off or falls in small drops.
  • Another way of checking is to spoon a small amount of boiling jelly and place it onto a clean plate. Sit the plate in the freezer for a few minutes and see if it started to set or gelled.

Also Read:


Does jelly need to be refrigerated to set?

Yes, jelly needs to be refrigerated to set faster. Leaving it at room temperature would produce a soft or loosely set jelly. 

But do you have to keep Boston Cream donuts in the fridge?

How long until the jelly is partially set?

It would take ten to thirty minutes for the jelly to set partially. Sometimes it could take longer than that, depending on your jelly size. 

Find out how to tell if flan is ready here.

How long can jelly last?

An unopened jelly can last up to twelve months on a cool, dark pantry shelf. But after opening it, store it using an airtight container to make it last for months in the fridge. 

Can you freeze jelly to set?

Yes, for a faster setting process, you can freeze jelly for about one to two hours. Ensure to check it every twenty minutes to prevent frozen edges. 

How to fix jelly that didn’t set?

If the jelly didn’t set, you can recook it and incorporate more ingredients like pectin. Or you can also turn the runny jelly into syrup for another use. 

Let’s Sum It Up

Jellies are set differently depending on the temperature, ingredients, and size of the mold you use. The pectin, natural sugars, and citric acid present are the most important ingredients in jelly-making. 

Adding more than seven cups of crushed fruit or using corn syrup might alter the texture of your jellies. Many jelly recipes are available, but you should follow them in every step to create your desired fruit jelly.


Lori Walker

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