Food Substitute

Beef Gelatin Substitutes: What Can You Use If You Don’t Have Beef Gelatin?

Are you looking for a beef gelatin substitute in your next recipe? There are many reasons why people seek an alternative to beef gelatin, such as they want to go vegan or just because there is no package of beef gelatin left in the grocery store.

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No matter what the reason is, our article is going to discuss what ingredients can be used in place of beef gelatin so that you can get what you want for the dish without any fuss.

What is beef gelatin?

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Beef gelatin is made from beef byproducts (skin and bones) and can be found at most grocery stores in powdered form.

When dilute beef gelatin in water, you will have a mixture of liquid that is silky and can be used as a gelling agent to thicken dishes.

While the common gelatins on the market are vegan-based and tasteless, beef gelatin has the flavor of beef and can help strengthen your bone, joint, and skin health by providing a rich source of calcium and collagen.

Beef gelatin can be used in savory or dessert recipes with no need for sugar or artificial flavors.

Can you substitute beef gelatin in cooking recipes?

Beef gelatin can be easily substituted with other kinds of gelatin or thickening agent that work the same way.

It can be other meat gelatins for a meaty and more flavorful taste or a vegan one that satisfies vegetarians.

Not all alternatives can work well in any recipe that calls for beef gelatin, so keep reading to figure out what ingredients can be used to substitute for beef gelatin in cooking recipes and how they work.

What can you substitute for beef gelatin?

Below are the four best beef gelatin substitutes that we find most available, affordable, as well as can work well in most cases that call for beef gelatin.

Let’s take a look at them:

1. Pork gelatin

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Pork gelatin is exactly the same as beef gelatin, despite being made from pork skin and bones instead of beef counterparts.

Pigs and cows are both cattle with their skins being rich in collagen, therefore, when substituting pork gelatin for beef gelatin, you will have the same result for your dish.

Pork gelatin is also a rich source of calcium and collagen that is helpful to our health in different ways, such as improving our bone, skin, or joint health, as well as boost the immune system and inflammation.

It is also available in most grocery stores or supermarkets across the country under the powdered form to easily store and use.

2. Fish gelatin

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Fish gelatin is another substitute for beef gelatin if you want something that works as a gelling agent to thicken your dish.

Fish gelatin powder is made by concentrating and dehydrating the liquid of boiled fish skin and is sold in most grocery stores or supermarkets.

Although it works the same way as beef gelatin, the fishy flavor is what you should consider when using this substitute because it is more suitable in recipes that call for seafood rather than meat.

3. Agar agar powder

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Are you looking for a vegan substitute for beef gelatin? This is the answer.

Agar agar powder is one of the most popular types of gelatin on the market.

It is made from red algae, a kind of plant that is native to many Asian countries.

Agar agar powder is often tasteless and sets well when cooked.

4. Tapioca flour

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Tapioca flour is popular in many cuisines as it is made from cassava’s root, a common plant all over the world, especially in Asia, Africa, or South America.

It has a bland taste, is gluten-free, and acts as a great substitute for beef gelatin by thickening many dishes.

One thing to keep in mind when using tapioca flour is that it should be diluted in cold water before being added to a hot liquid to avoid lumps.

The bottom line

Beef gelatin is a popular and versatile ingredient that is widely used in many dishes, from a savory recipe to a dessert.

However, it can be difficult to find this ingredient sometimes because it is often out of stock due to high demand for it.

This hasn’t been a problem anymore as now you know many other products that can substitute for beef gelatin in specific recipes.

They are made from either plant-based sources or animal byproducts, so you can have your own option for the best beef gelatin substitute.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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