Food coloring would rarely be on your grocery list but it always handy to have some at home for any unexpected occasions. It could be any special celebration like a birthday or maybe you simply saw some colorful recipes online that you immediately want to try.
Whether you are a professional in the kitchen or nothing more than a cooking enthusiast, food coloring will improve your cooking game while it is also quite useful in other appliances.
So, which is the best gel food coloring? We recommend Good Cooking’s Liqua-Gel Food Coloring because they are Kosher-certified and offer 12 vibrant colors. Overall, the most important qualities to look for are high-quality ingredients and choosing the set that includes the specific colors that you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that few of our selections include a bulk of colors which may not be necessary in your case. Be realistic and purchase based on your fondness of food coloring. It would be pointless to spend money and waste inventory space for bottles that will be left unused.
The 5 Best Gel Food Colorings For Any Purpose
|Rank||Product||# Of Colors|
|1.||Good Cooking Liqua-Gel Food Coloring||12 colors|
|2.||Wilton Gel Food Color Set, Primary||4 colors|
|3.||AmeriColor Food Coloring Student Kit||12 colors|
|4.||U.S. Cake Supply - 12 Color Liqua-Gel Sets||12 colors|
|5.||Wilton Icing Colors||12 colors|
1. Good Cooking Liqua-Gel Food Coloring
When you purchase food coloring by Good Cooking you receive exactly what you see in the picture. With many if not most brands, the colors on the picture appear quite different in person.
Good Cooking food coloring is gluten-free and Kosher-certified while the quality of their colors is exceptional.
This particular kit includes 12 pigments that range from several of your standard staples to a few extraordinary colors.
Besides the 12 colors that you get, you can create color mixtures with ease due to the incredible droplet design. Last but not least, you will never make a mess with such an easy to use food coloring.
- Includes 12 high-quality pigments
- User-friendly droplet design with pop-top cap bottles
- Gluten-free and Kosher-certified
Biggest Drawback: We couldn’t find any particular drawbacks even after inspecting hundreds of customer reviews. We believe that the only problems that you may have with sets of this size are if you are not fond of food coloring and you need something just in case.
2. Wilton Gel Food Color Set, Primary
As we stated in the beginning, quantity is not the worthiest option in certain cases.
If you have plans to add a bit of color to your pastries but prefer to stay away from the large sets of colors, try these four pigments by Wilton.
You will see a larger set by Wilton in the following reviews but here, we have a set that only includes four traditional colors in small 0.3 ounce bottles that will serve you perfectly if you need food coloring for one or two occasions.
These pigments by Wilton are made from high-quality ingredients and will not break apart during any cooking application. They also come in convenient squeeze bottles that ensure ease of use.
- 4 traditional colors
- Convenient squeeze bottles
- High-quality ingredients that ensure maximum efficiency with less gel
Biggest Drawback: Although the squeeze bottles are convenient and they can also be resealed once you finish using them, the bottles are not made from high-quality materials which could be a drawback for certain potential customers.
3. AmeriColor Food Coloring Student Kit
AmeriColor has a reputation for high-quality food coloring gels that are durable and suitable for any cooking application.
Their colors do not break down like other cheaper products and you need just a few drops to produce the desired pigmentation.
This is one of the brand’s best-selling kits that includes 12 dyes. You get most of your regular staple colors with a bunch of additional ones that are usually harder to find.
The bottles are relatively small when compared to other brands but due to the high quality of the dyes, you can rest assured that they will last a while.
- Supreme coloring strength
- Suitable for any cooking application
- A rich assortment of staple and rare colors
Biggest Drawback: If you rarely use food coloring, then a set of this size will be an unnecessary purchase. Furthermore, it is relatively pricier than most sets of this size. Fortunately, AmeriColor offers individual colors and you can simply get the ones you will need separately.
4. U.S. Cake Supply – 12 Color Liqua-Gel Sets
We will cheat with this particular selection and include two sets by the same brand at № 4.
This is because they are practically the same thing but include different color palettes.
Before we get to the colors, know that all U.S. Cake Supply products are vegan and certified Kosher.
Now, you have a choice between two palettes – their primary one and their secondary one.
Obviously, the primary set includes most of your standard staple colors with an addition of a few rarer examples. Their secondary set, however, is easily the best option on the market if you want to go out of the box with your pastries and add unexpected shades of the regular staple colors.
All colors are made with high-quality ingredients and are suitable for any cooking application.
- 12 high-quality pigments per set
- Certified Kosher and Vegan
- Freeze and bleed tolerant colors
Biggest Drawback: Once again, a set of 12 colors in 0.75-ounce bottles may be an excessive purchase if you rarely use food coloring. Other than that, we absolutely adore the wide variety of color options presented in these two sets.
5. Wilton Icing Colors
Wilton Icing Colors are particularly suitable for people that need food coloring but not in huge quantities.
With only 0.5 ounces per bottle, you can have a wide variety of 12 gel-based pigments and not waste a lot of money and space at home.
The colors are made from high-quality ingredients and won’t break apart when used with a variety of toppings.
If you need further reassuring, the products by Wilton Icing Colors are Kosher-certified.
- 12 high-quality color pigments
- Certified Kosher
- Colors work well with most toppings
Biggest Drawback: The main drawback here is the packaging. Unlike most of our other selections, these gels do not come in bottles with pop-up tops. This may cause certain difficulties during the application process. Other than that, it is obviously not a suitable set for cooks that use food coloring more often than occasionally.
Is gel food coloring better than liquid?
The traditional liquid dye is the weakest out of all the types of food coloring available on the market. The colors are less intense and you need to use significantly more product than usual to achieve the deepness of color you desire.
Since the liquid dye is logically water-based, this also means that the additional liquid could potentially ruin your whole recipe if you try to achieve deeper or brighter colors.
On the other side, gel food coloring is highly concentrated which means that you need little to no product to achieve the perfect colors. This is also important for recipes that have strict requirements and forbid adding more liquids than the given numbers.
Simply said, gel food coloring is superior to liquid dye but is also more expensive and hard to find in your local store. Fortunately, you can always purchase it online.
Is gel food coloring bad for you?
There is no strict evidence about the dangers of gel food coloring or artificial food colorings as a whole. Since it has minimal nutritional value, it does not interfere with your system in a way that can be considered dangerous.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t consume excessive amounts of food coloring as with any other food product.
On the other hand, more and more brands come out with all-natural products that have been derived from natural sources like fruits and plants.
In other words, if artificial colorings worry you for any reason, you can always turn your attention to food coloring gels and products that do not have any artificial ingredients.
Can you make your own food coloring?
If you have additional time on your hands and a lot of dedication, you can make your own natural food coloring. You should, however, keep your expectations reasonable.
In addition, the unpleasant detail about DIY food colorings is that they will have the original taste of the ingredient you extracted it from while the ones on the market are usually tasteless.
The easiest way to make DIY food coloring is through the use of powdered ingredients. Most of the common fruits are available in powder form which you can get from your local store. The second way is by using homemade concentrated liquid or puree from fruits or whatever you would like to blend.
If you choose the second method – concentrated liquid, you have a higher chance of getting to a richer color as a final product. Keep in mind that you have to reduce your liquid as much as possible in order for the water to evaporate.
This way, you can turn your liquid into a much more concentrated blend and end up with a brighter color that is easier to work with.
In each case, homemade food coloring cannot compare to the products that you can easily purchase. This is why we believe that any cook should always have a small set of colors ready and waiting at home. You never know when you might need them.
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