How Long Does Jello Take To Set? (Refrigeration, Freezing + More)

Between the first and final step to making the perfect Jello, people encounter numerous pitfalls that result in a not-so-good-looking dessert since setting your Jello can be tricky.

If you have been having trouble getting your Jello to develop your desired firmness, you might be wondering how long does Jello takes to set? I looked into it, and here is what I found!

How Long Does Jello Take To Set?

Jello typically sets within three to four hours after letting Jello sit in the refrigerator. However, the larger the quantity of the Jello, the longer it would take for the Jello to set. Additionally, the method you use to make the Jello affects how long the Jello takes to set. If you use speed-setting methods, the Jello will set faster.

In case you are curious to learn more about the time it takes to set Jello and under what circumstances Jello does not set, keep reading!

Does Jello Really Take 4 Hours?

Technically, Jello sets after two hours. However, setting Jello does not mean your Jello is firm. A Jello that is set still sticks to the fingers and moves side-to-side in the mold or container.

Additionally, you can speed-set Jello by adding a tray of ice to freshly boiled Jello and stirring until the ice melts. Setting the Jello this way would only take about thirty minutes at most.

Nonetheless, if you want Jello that is firm and does not move or stick to the fingers, you will have to let the Jello set for three hours per mold.

If you are setting two to six cups of Jello, it would take about four hours for Jello to become firm. Meanwhile, Jello set in deep molds or three-quart containers will turn firm after five hours.

Furthermore, the length of time it takes for your Jello to set depends on the amount of Jello you are making, the setting method you are using, and the temperature in your refrigerator.

How Long Will It Take For Jello To Partially Set?

Typically, it takes Jello around an hour to partially set. At this point, the Jello is slightly thick and has the consistency of egg whites. If you speed-set the Jello, it would take five minutes to partially.

However, if your goal is to create a thicker consistency that is enough to leave impressions when the Jello is disturbed, you will have to leave the Jello for one hour and thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, a Jello that is considered set but still moves in the mold when tilted takes two hours. When using the speed-set method, it would take around thirty minutes only.

How Can You Make Jello Set Faster?

To make Jello set faster, you can replace all or half of the recommended water in the Jello mixture with ice.

If you are using a Jello that is dissolved in ¾ cup of boiling water, you will have to pour a half cup of cold water into a measuring cup.

Add enough ice to the measuring cup so that the new measurement is 1 ¼ cup. Afterward, mix the cold water and ice with the dissolved Jello.

Mix the solution until the ice melts then leave the Jello in the refrigerator for roughly thirty minutes to an hour for a completely set Jello.

How Long Does It Take For Jello To Set In The Refrigerator?

Determining how long it takes for the Jello to set in the refrigerator depends on several factors, including the amount of Jello you are setting and the refrigerator’s temperature.

Generally, an average mixture of Jello produces two cups of liquid, and a domestic refrigerator is set at or below  40°F or 37° F.

Given these factors, the Jello would set and become completely firm within three to four hours of putting the mold in the refrigerator.

If the refrigerator’s temperature is lower or the Jello mix is lesser, expect the setting time to be reduced accordingly.

Can You Put Jello In The Freezer To Make It Set Faster?

Can You Put Jello In The Freezer To Make It Set Faster?

Putting Jello in the freezer may help the Jello set faster. Nonetheless, you should not leave the Jello in the freezer for too long because it will affect the Jello’s taste and consistency.

Ideally, the Jello should be moved to the fridge before the Jello freezes or develops icicles. Otherwise, the Jello could freeze completely and become watery when defrosted.

Additionally, freezing Jello can shorten its shelf life after the Jello is served at room temperature.

Will Jello Set With Alcohol In It?

Jello can set with alcohol in it and Jello with alcohol is often called Jello shots, which are popular alcoholic desserts and are quite easy to make.

However, there is a limit to how much alcohol you can use as a replacement for half or all the cold water needed to make Jello.

If you put too much alcohol into the mix, the Jello might not set because alcohol contains elements that can interfere with the setting properties of the gelatin.

How Long Does Jello Take To Set With Alcohol?

Jello made with half a cup of water and half a cup of liquor takes around two to four hours to set in the refrigerator. Any less than that and the Jello will be watery.

However, if you mix less Jello with a liquor that has a lower alcohol content, you might be able to make the Jello set in the refrigerator in under three hours.

Why Is My Jello Not Setting Up?

Jello does not set the way you expect it to for several reasons, the most common of which is not following the instructions on the box to the tee.

It could be that you used too much water, added other ingredients such as frozen fruits, or left the Jello in the refrigerator for too short a time.

Additionally, you may have not let the Jello powder dissolve properly before you mixed the Jello with cold water.

Take a look at our other articles to learn how long Jello shots last, how many Jello shots per box, and if Jello is the same as jelly.


Generally, Jello is considered set after two hours but the Jello is not firm enough that the Jello will not move in the mold.

If you want firm Jello, you will have to let the Jello sit in the refrigerator for a full four hours. Additionally, the more Jello you make, the longer the setting time.

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