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May 29, 2010 04:46 AM


Gelatin in home cooking is great --- in aspics, soup, sauces, etc. --- and Sally Fallon and others recommend it on both aesthetic and health grounds.

However making it at home (from bones etc.) is a lot of work.

My question is whether there's anything wrong with using commercial animal or vegetable gelatin (e.g. Knox, or agar/kanten).

Any thoughts/tips appreciated.


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  1. Making your own from bones and feet/hooves is always fun, but there is nothing wrong with using commercial sources.

      1. re: Cherylptw

        Many thanks for both replies. --- I'm thinking of going 2 ways now, and interested in comments. For meat stock (classic Western), use commercial gelatin. And for Japanese dashi, make it at home. It's easy to make dashi (from seaweed, dried mushrooms, dried fish) once a week and keep it in the fridge. But for meat stock, the process of skimming, fat-removal, etc seems too much trouble. Clearly a soup/stew/sauce needs more than just gelatin, but actually making the gelatin from bones etc. seems better done in a factory.

        1. re: umamihound

          From reading this, are you talking about gelatin or stock?

          Gelatin (jello) is one thing, but if you're talking stock, stick with the giant pot of bones and skim; defat and then concentrate slowly. Are you adding additional gelatin to a stock?

          1. re: wattacetti

            I'd like to find a 'bedsit' method of getting the gelatinous and umami effect of traditional stock (I'm working away from home at the moment, cooking for one). --- So, yes, I'm wondering if adding commercial gelatin (rather than stock) to soup/stew/sauce can achieve a good (if not ideal) result.

            One quick-method suggested on this board is to make real stock in a pressure cooker, and I'll try this.

            Another may be to make Japanese dashi (e.g. from kombu, shiitake, dried fish) in weekly batches (easy), and see what can be done with it.

            Anthony Bourdain says that if you make classic demi-glace (and freeze it as ice-cubes) you can 'conquer the world' --- so if that's the only way, then it's the only way! Just experimenting.