In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to get gelatin?”. We will explore ways that help to get gelatin from different sources. We will also look at some exquisite properties of gelatin.
How to get gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein by nature. Its jelling properties are exploited for use in; foods, cosmetics, and even in the electronic industry.
Gelatin is obtained from the skins, tendons, ligaments, and bones of either pigs or cows. There are vegan alternatives to gelatin as well, such as agar-agar and guar.
Gelatin is animal-based, which gives bones and connective tissues their structure. As heat is applied to the gelatin-containing tissue, the structure of proteins breaks apart.
When the solution is cooled, the cells swell up as a result of water uptake and make the liquid appear jelly-like.
Gelatin is a terrific option for a thickening agent. It is versatile; makes a transparent gel or a flexible film. Its unique characteristics works wonder in foods to alter the texture and consistency in various foods.
Making gelatin at home is not a difficult process. Even though you can buy gelatin from the store, you can make it at home.
Store-bought gelatin is usually refined and purified. When you make gelatin at home, you will probably skip this step. Bear in mind that your after-product will have a slight flavor to it, which is perfect for soups and sauces.
All you need is a gelatin source, an animal part such as hooves, bones, or skin. Generally, any connective tissue of an animal will have gelatin.
How to get gelatin from bones?
- Take your bones and put them in a large pot.
- Fill it to the top with cold water. You need twice as much water as your bones or maybe even more.
- Wait for the pot to start simmering for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the bones from the pot and reduce the liquid.
- Strain the liquid to remove all the solid particles.
- Now let the liquid simmer at low heat until half of it remains.
- Let the liquid be only 1/15th of what you started.
Now, you need to put the liquid in the fridge to let it thicken. Pour the liquid into a sterile, airtight jar.
When you let it sit in the fridge for a while, it will congeal and gain a rubber-like consistency.
The semi-solid that you obtain can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You will need only a spoon at a time to add it to your soups and sauces.
If you prefer, add some vegetables to the liquid.
To get rid of the flavor, you could Blanche the bones before you start the thickening process.
To Blanche, boil the bones for a few minutes and get rid of the liquid; this will help you lose some of the beefy flavors.
Agar-agar is obtained from algae and is suitable for vegetarians. In Asian countries, it is called China grass. Agar-agar is more stable than regular gelatin. It gives a smooth and clear look.
You can buy agar-agar powder and use it as a thickener just as a vegan substitute.
To use agar agar as a gelling agent, you need 2 teaspoons of agar and add it to 2 cups of water.
- Bring your mix to a boil at medium heat
- Use a whisk and mix it in.
- After you let it cook for 2 minutes, bring it off the heat.
- Put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- You can incorporate a dessert or fruit juice to make your agar-agar jelly flavored.
When choosing a thickening agent, you need to consider its Bloom value. Gel strength or bloom value ranges from 30 to 300. This number determines how long it would take for the jelly to set. The higher the bloom value, the sooner the gel would set but be stiffer.
When you get store-bought gelatin, you have an array of options. You could choose gelatin with different setting strengths, color, texture, and even flavor.
When you use gelatin as part of your food, make sure not to bring it to a boil. If you do, you destroy the collagen structure of gelatin and, it loses its ability to gel.
When you add fruits with pectin, the pectinase enzyme will tear the gelling structure of the protein.
Some helpful tips to help you prepare your gelatin:
Instead of a stove, you can use a pressure cooker such as an instant pot to help you save some time.
If you use a crockpot, you need to let it simmer for at least 12 hours to make the gelatin leach from the bones.
In this brief guide, we answered the question, “How to get gelatin?”. We explored ways that help to get gelatin from different sources. We looked at some exquisite properties of gelatin.