Gelatin Sheets – How To Use Them & What To Buy
We are obsessed with set desserts! They require such precision, and what we love about them especially is that you can adjust their firmness by simply adjusting the gelatin amount used.
Gelatin itself is an extremely versatile ingredient and very underrated. It is used to make shiny glazes, set soups and jams, make puddings, jellies, and so much more!
Today, gelatin sheets have become quite popular in non-professional kitchens. You see them everywhere!
But, what do all the numbers mean, how do they work, and when do you use them? Gelatin sheets are much easier to use as compared to gelatin powder. You can simply count out the amount you need, and to sponge them (activate them) is also much simpler than the long process gelatin powder undergoes. These sheets are quick, easy, and affordable.
Today, we will look at exactly what these sheets are, the many different types available on the market, how to use them, when to use which, and much more!
Then, we have made you a helpful buyer’s guide to choose the best sheets for your needs. And, our list of recommended products can all be conveniently found online!
What Are Gelatin Sheets?
Before looking at what exactly gelatin sheets are, you need to understand where they come from.
Gelatin is a product derived from animal collagen. This collagen can be found in the bones, skin, and connective tissue in animals.
When these items are slowly heated and processed, they form gelatin. This product is further processed into granulated gelatin that we commonly use.
So, moving on to gelatin sheets, also known as gelatin leaves. These sheets are made from gelatin powder that has been set and dried into flat sheets, hence the name.
Different types of gelatin sheets vary in color. These colors range from a yellowish hue to completely transparent.
Advantages of Gelatin Sheets
Gelatin sheets have some advantages over gelatin powder. The first is that it is much easier to use as compared to gelatin powder.
Gelatin powder first has to be bloomed, then gently melted, then incorporated into the recipe. For gelatin sheets, they simply have to be bloomed in cold water.
You also have the added benefit of not having to weigh out any ingredients. Your recipes will likely call for a specific number of gelatin sheets, not a measured weight.
These sheets, regardless of which you use, produce much clearer liquids (set products) compared to gelatin powder.
This is great, especially if you want to make transparent set liquids like aspic. And, unlike powdered gelatin, these sheets are virtually flavorless!
Types of Gelatin Sheets
Not many people realize this, but there are many different types of gelatin sheets. Knowing about and understanding the differences are what separate amateurs from experts!
So, the types of gelatin sheets are categorized according to the bloom strength of the gelatin sheet.
You will often see products labeled as follow:
- 120 titanium
- 140 bronze
- 160 silver
- 200 gold
- 230 platinum
- 250 beef or fish
The numbers are an indicator of the strength of the gelatin used to make a sheet. The higher the number on the product is, the higher the strength of the gelatin is.
Another key factor to consider is that higher-numbered products have clearer sheets. This will determine which type of sheet you use for which products.
To make clear products, you will have to use a 230-250 bloom gelatin. If you simply need to set something like a colored jelly, you can use lower bloom gelatin.
Okay, now here is where things might get a little confusing, but we’ve tried to simplify it a lot.
Even though the types are classified according to their bloom strengths, the sheets are still interchangeable. The gelatin used to make the different types of sheets have different strengths.
For this reason, the manufacturers compensated for the varying gel strengths by making the sheets different weights. But again, every sheet will have the same strength.
Here are the varying weights for different types of gelatin sheets:
- 120 titanium = 5 grams
- 140 bronze = 3.5 grams
- 160 silver = 2.5 grams
- 200 gold = 2 grams
- 230 platinum = 1.75 grams
The reason it is important to know that different gelatin sheets have different weights is that sometimes recipes call for weighed-out gelatin sheets instead of a number.
So, if for example, you need 5 grams of bronze gelatin sheets (with 140 bloom strength), you cannot substitute it for 5 grams platinum gelatin sheets. The platinum gelatin sheet will be much stronger and set the product much firmer.
To make your life easier, we have made an easy-to-read conversion chart that will help you quickly do the maths.
So, if for example, you need to substitute 11.1 grams of bronze gelatin sheets with gold sheets, you can use 8.5 grams of gold sheets. If you only have silver sheets, you can use 9.2 grams of silver gelatin sheets. Easy, right?
|Type||Titanium 120+||Bronze 140+||Silver 160+||Gold 180+||Platinum 230+||Beef or Fish 250|
How Are Gelatin Sheets Used?
Gelatin sheets are extremely easy to use! Many people prefer using them over powdered gelatin because they are easy to measure and easier to use.
To use gelatin sheets, all you have to do is soak the sheets in ice-cold water for about 5-10 minutes, or until they are completely soft and flexible.
Keep in mind that the more leaves you are soaking at once in one bowl of water, the longer they will take to soften.
Make sure that they do not stick together when they are soaking. This will leave you with some parts being soaked while others aren’t completely soft yet.
Also, don’t leave the leaves in the water for too long. This will make them less effective.
Once they are soft and you are ready to use them, you can remove them from the water and gently squeeze out the excess water.
Then, add the gelatin sheet to a slightly heated mixture and stir it in until it has been completely dissolved and evenly distributed. The optimal temperature is between 25-35°C.
Do not add the gelatin sheets to very hot liquids! This will cause the sheets to lose their thickening abilities! Once the liquid has the gelatin mixed into it, you can pour the liquid into its mold and allow it to set inside the fridge.
When it comes to choosing which gelatin sheets you want to buy, it all comes down to the gelatin strength of the sheet itself.
Other than that, you can also look at the quantity that the sheets are sold in, and look at some reviews about the effectiveness of the sheets.
This is the most important factor to consider. Now, if you remember, all the sheets have the same strength because their manufacturers compensated for that using varying sheet weight.
If you are just looking for any gelatin sheet, choose a 180 bloom or maybe (at most) 200 bloom.
There are two main reasons you may need to choose a specific product. The first is if your recipe is very technical and calls for specific weights of strengths.
The second is if you need the product (liquid) to be set in a specific way.
Let’s say, for example, you need a very clear liquid, then you will use a higher strength sheet because they produce clearer products. If the color won’t be affected, you can use any strength of the sheet.
When we talk about product size, we refer to the actual number of sheets that are sold inside the package.
Buying bulk is always cost-effective, but only if you are going to use them. And, within their expiry date!
While these leaves technically don’t ever go off, they can become moldy, moist, or lose their effectiveness if kept for too long. You want to use your gelatin leaves within 1 year of buying them.
Gelatin leaves can be sold in small packs of 5, all the way up to a couple of hundreds! The bulk packs are great for bakeries and restaurants. For general home use, unless you regularly use gelatin, buy these in packs of 20.
Now, while all 180-bloom gelatin should be the same, unfortunately, different brands still have different quality sheets. The quality affects the price, which is why it’s important to read reviews too.
You will easily be able to see whether the product is worth its price based on other people’s reviews! And, you could even be able to see where the product is best used.
The 7 Best Gelatin Sheets
So, for today’s article, we have decided to choose a product of every bloom strength that is available. This will give you an option for every strength that you could need, and it will allow you to see which brands are the best to choose from.
All of these brands will likely have every strength available and possibly in varying pack sizes as well!
|1.||PerfectaGel Titanium Gelatin Sheets||120|
|2.||Modernist Pantry Bronze Gelatin Sheets||140|
|3.||Champion Proteins Silver Gelatin Sheets||170|
|4.||Haodong Silver Gelatin Leaf||180|
|5.||PerfectaGel Gold Gelatin Sheets||200|
|6.||Haodong Platinum Gelatin Sheets||240|
|7.||PerfectaGel Gelatin Sheet 5 Pack||Variety|
1. PerfectaGel Titanium Gelatin Sheets (120 Bloom)
PerfectaGel is arguably one of the most used brands in professional restaurants and bakeries.
This brand provides high-quality gelatin sheets at a very affordable price. If you buy these, you know they will work!
This specific product is a 120-bloom strength sheet, the most delicate you can find. This strength is perfect for the amateur baker and will work in any recipe.
But, do not use it when wanting to make very clear set liquids. These sheets give the liquids a golden hue.
The manufacturer recommends using about 1 gelatin sheet per ½ cup (125ml) liquid. This is also extremely helpful in case the size of the leaves does differ. Each sheet weighs 5 grams.
It is sold in a pack of 20 but is also available in larger packs of 100. PerfectaGel also has many other bloom strengths available, all of which are excellent products!
2. Modernist Pantry Bronze Gelatin Sheets (140 Bloom)
This is another well-known and respected brand. This product is sold in a pack of 10, so perfect if you don’t often use gelatin sheets.
And, it is rated as “A-grade” which usually refers to the quality of animal product used to make the gelatin.
These sheets weigh about 2 grams each. They also recommend using one sheet per ½ cup (125ml) of liquid. Again, we recommend using this low-bloom sheet for recipes where the color won’t be affected.
3. Champion Proteins Silver Gelatin Sheets (170 Bloom)
This is one of the most popular gelatin sheet grades used. It is slightly above 160 and below 180. This makes it an excellent everyday product.
It won’t affect the color of most liquids (unless they are crystal clear) and will set any liquid effectively!
This is a bulk pack, but they are also sold in smaller quantities. This pack contains 400 sheets. And, they are made from “A” grade pork collagen.
If your recipe doesn’t specify which gelatin to get or if you are new to using it, this is the product to buy!
4. Haodong Silver Gelatin Leaf (180 Bloom)
Another trusted brand of gelatin sheets used by professional chefs around the world!
This product has 180 strengths, and like the 170-bloom product mentioned above, this one is great for virtually all products.
These sheets are made from 100% beef collagen.
This is good to know because it means that it is halal certified, unlike pork-based gelatin products. So, if you are running a business, you can now market your gelatin products as halal-friendly.
Each sheet weighs 2.5 grams and can be used with ½ cup liquid.
5. PerfectaGel Gold Gelatin Sheets (200 Bloom)
Another fantastic product from PerfectaGel. These sheets weigh 2 grams each and are sold in a bulk pack of 100 sheets.
But, again, they do sell them in smaller quantities of 20.
And, like all of their gelatin sheets, this one is also made from “A” grade pork collagen. So, you know it is made from high-quality ingredients. Again, use 1 sheet per ½ cup of liquid.
This high bloom product makes it excellent for setting clear liquids as it won’t affect the color at all!
6. Haodong Platinum Gelatin Sheets (240 Bloom)
It is very hard to find gelatin sheets with such high bloom strengths as this. This is exactly why we are so thankful that we came across this one!
Again, this product from Haodong is made from 100% beef and is halal-certified.
Each sheet weighs 2 grams are this packet contains 20 sheets, perfect if you don’t need them often.
These extremely clear sheets are perfect for setting clear and shiny liquids. They can make aspic, mirror glazes, and set clear jellies.
7. PerfectaGel Gelatin Sheet 5 Pack
The final product we decided to include was this amazing bundle of varying types of gelatin sheets.
It includes titanium, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum sheets. And, each packet contains 20 sheets.
This will allow you to experiment a lot with the different products and see exactly how they work. And, because the packs are filled with 20 sheets each, it allows you to experiment a lot!
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best gelatin sheets out there, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
How much gelatin do you need per cup of liquid?
Most manufacturers recommend using one sheet per ½ cup (125 ml) of liquid. But, in the end, it depends on how firm or soft you want the liquid to be. So, 2 gelatin sheets will set 1 cup of liquid.
When using powder, you should use about 7 grams per cup of liquid for a semi-firm set liquid.
How do you substitute gelatin powder with gelatin leaves?
There are many different opinions on the exact amount of dry gelatin powder you need per gelatin leaf. But, in our opinion, and what we usually use, is 1 teaspoon per leaf.
Now, the bloom strength of the powder and leaf will also affect the exact number. At the end of the day, experimenting with the quantities for your specific consistency is the only way to tell. Remember to make notes on the recipe!
Are there vegetarian or vegan substitutes for gelatin leaves?
As far as we know, there aren’t any leaf substitutes. However, there are a few powdered substitutes for gelatin.
Some popular substitutes include arrowroot powder, agar-agar, xanthan gum, pectin, and guar gum.
Which you use will depend on what your requirements are. For example, some of these won’t set a clear liquid (it will discolor it).
Keep in mind that each of these has different characteristics and setting strengths.