One of the most popular desserts and/or snacks in the entire world is pudding. It is something that you’ll find in just about any country, thanks to how simple and delicious it is.
There’s barely a person alive who needs an introduction to pudding, thanks to its widespread popularity.
Delving straight into the topic at hand, two of the best-rated pudding choices when shopping for a quick pudding is Instant Pudding and Cook and Serve from Jell-O.
These two product lines are longstanding favorites, and deciding which is best takes knowing what makes each such a great product.
Our breakdown of the differences and similarities between Jell-O Instant Pudding vs. Cook And Serve supplies everything that you need to know to make an informed decision and pick out the perfect pudding for your next recipe.
Instant Pudding Vs. Cook And Serve Comparison
|Jell-O Instant Pudding||Jell-O Cook And Serve|
|Definition||Instant Pudding Made From Cornstarch, Sugar, Lactic Acid, Stabilizers, Colorants & Flavorings That Doesn’t Require Any Cooking Only Mixing||Cornstarch And Sugar based Pudding Without Corn Syrup And Artificial Sweeteners That Needs Cooking Before Eating While Delivering Full, Complex Flavors And Creamy Authentic Pudding Texture|
|Size||Boxes Container 4 x 3-Ounce Sachets – Sachet Creates Half A Cup Of Pudding||4 x 3 Ounce Sachets In Each Box, 1 Sachet Makes 1/2 Cup Of Pudding|
|Ingredients||Sugar, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Artificial color, Artificial Flavor (With Barley), Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, Less Than 2% Disodium Phosphate||Sugar, Dextrose, Cornstarch, Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Polysorbate 60 , Calcium Carrageenan, Two Artificial Dyes, Less Than 2% Natural And Artificial Flavor|
|Preparation||Mix With 2 Cups Of Milk, Refrigerate And Serve||Mix Cook And Serve With Two Cups Of Milk Then Bring To The Boil While Stirring Frequently And Simmer For Six Minutes Total – Serve Hot Or Chilled|
|Difficulty||Foolproof Difficulty – Extremely Easy||Simmering Requires Infrequent Stirring But Constant Attention To Ensure Mixture Is Thoroughly Combined Without Sticking, Low Difficulty But Not As Easy As Instant Pudding|
|Preparation Time||5 Minutes Mixing, 30 Minutes Or Less Refrigeration, Rapid Results If Using Freezer||+-2 Minutes Mixing Time, 6 Minutes Cooking Time, Cooling Time Ranges Between An Hour And More Depending On Heat Preferred – Pudding Thickens As Cools But Cannot Be Refrigerated Until Room Temperature Which Extends Preparation Time|
|Taste||Light, Simple But Satisfying Flavors, Authentic Taste Not Imitation||Bold Authentic Flavors, Richer Than Are Offered By Jell-O Instant Puddings|
|Texture||Dense, Goopy, Silky Pudding With Gelatinous Spring And Jelly-Like Consistency||Thick, Velvety, Dense & Creamy With Soft Authentic Pudding-Like Consistency And Complex Rewarding Texture|
|Uses||Eaten As Pudding, Served Aside Desserts & Ice Cream, Baked Or Layered Into Desserts, Mixed With Doughs & Batters To Impart Flavor||Consumed As Pudding, Used As Pudding, Also Serves As Pie Filling|
|Availability||Global Availability||Global Availability|
|Affordability||$1 Per Box||$2-$3 Per Box|
Instant Pudding Vs. Cook And Serve
The brand Jell-O from Kraft Foods has classified a selection of gelatin desserts, puddings, and pies that’s been in supply since 1897.
While the product line inadvertently grew since inception, two of the most popular desserts are undoubtedly Jell-O Instant Pudding and Jell-O Cook & Serve.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two tasty, quick to prepare desserts.
There are few competitors that can come close to the balance of affordability and timeless flavor that Jell-O Instant Pudding offers. Here’s a breakdown of what makes this ever-popular dessert such a long-running favorite.
Jell-O Instant Pudding is a combination of cornstarch, sugar, lactic acid, stabilizers, colorants, and flavorant that allows one to whip up a tasty pudding that doesn’t require any cooking.
Instant Pudding from Jell-O is sold in boxes of four 3 ounce sachets. Each sachet makes half a cup of instant pudding.
There is sugar, modified cornstarch, salt, artificial color, an artificial flavor that incorporates barley, lactic acid, a salt called tetrasodium pyrophosphate that acts as a thickener and flavor enhancer, mono- and diglycerides emulsifiers to smooth out the texture and prevent separating (while also enhancing shelf-life), and less than 2% disodium phosphate which is a flavor enhancer and preservative in Jell-O Instant Pudding.
All that it takes to whip up a tasty bowl of pudding is mixing the Instant Pudding sachet from Jell-O with two cups of cold milk.
Use an electric mixer or whisk by hand until light and frothy. This typically takes about 2 minutes when mixing by machine and 4 to 5 minutes by hand.
Refrigerate the mixture once it has thickened and combined until it’s the right temperature and consistency to serve.
Jell-O Instant Pudding is far easier to make than Jell-O Cook And Serve. Mix, refrigerate and eat couldn’t be easier.
It typically takes under 5 minutes for most to mix on a sachet of Jell-O Instant Pudding. The pudding is ready to eat after about half an hour or less in the fridge.
Sticking it in the freezer gives even faster-cooling results letting you enjoy chilled Instant Pudding quicker.
While satisfying and true to their manner of naming, the overall flavor profile of Jell-O Instant Puddings is not as bold and complex as the company’s Cook And Serve Range.
Expect lighter tastes and authentic flavor but not pudding that’s as rich as one would hope for filling pies and constructing other desserts.
Expect a goopy, dense but silky pudding that’s got a slight degree of gelatinous springiness in each bite. The texture is smooth but jelly-like instead of intensely creamy.
Instant pudding is meant to be consumed as-is. Otherwise, try serving it aside jelly or any sweet dessert you prefer. It goes great with ice cream and cake.
You’ll also find instant pudding to be an essential ingredient in layered desserts like a trifle. For those who are looking for a more complex spin on basic methods, try working pudding mix into your cake batter, pancakes, or cookie dough.
Jell-O Instant Pudding is a brand with a global reach. You’ll generally be able to find the whole range of flavors available no matter where in the world you may be.
No matter where you’re shopping for Jell-O Instant Pudding, you generally end up paying in the region of $1 each. The larger the multipack you buy, the less you pay, so stay aware of bulk discounts if you find yourself using a lot of pudding.
Cook And Serve Pudding & Pie Filling
For those with a little bit more time on their hands and zero budget constraints, Jell-O Cook And Serve ramps up the standard pudding recipe into something with even fuller flavors.
From creamier texture to strong individual tastes and authentic combinations that ring clear to their name every time, Cook And Serve are great. Let’s take a closer look.
Jell-O Cook And Serve is a cornstarch-based pudding mixture that’s free from corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Unlike its counterpart, Jell-O Instant Pudding, Cook And Serve requires cooking, as the name suggests.
It is quick to prepare a pudding mixture with a creamier texture than most instant puddings that are created to double as a pie filling as needed.
You’ll find Jell-O Cook And Serve supplied in 3-ounce sachets that are packaged into individual boxes containing four servings. Each sachet mixes into half a cup of pudding/pie filling.
There is sugar, dextrose, cornstarch, modified cornstarch, salt, polysorbate 60 that prevents scorching and improves texture, calcium carrageenan as a gel-like thickener, two artificial dyes on average, and less than 2% natural and artificial flavor that arises from the manufacturing process in Jell-O Cook And Serve.
You can make Jell-O Cook And Serve Pudding in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave. Mix together the sachet of pudding mix with two cups of milk. Stir well, and then bring to a boil in your vessel of choice.
Regardless of the method, Cook And Serve is ready in 6 minutes. If microwaving, you’ll be cooking the pudding for 2 minutes then stopping to stir for a total of three times. Serve hot or cold. The colder the pudding, the thicker.
Due to the fact that you have to cook Jell-O Cook And Serve Pudding, there is a degree of difficulty in making it perfect.
Undercooking and overcooking the mixture without stirring adequately can lead to a stodgy texture with lumps, or in a worst-case scenario, burning.
As mentioned, Jell-O Cook And Serve Pudding takes six minutes of cooking to be ready to eat. If waiting for it to thicken to be consumed as a cold pudding or used as pie filling, it’ll typically take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours to cool down in the open air.
When one evaluates the total time that it takes to get Cook and Serve to an edible warm temperature, you’re looking at a little under an hour.
The overall flavor of Cook And Serve’s product range is stronger and more complex than the flavors offered by Jell-O Instant Pudding.
As a pudding mix that can be used inside a pie, one should expect a fusion of flavors that’s bold enough to rise above the other ingredients. It’s this depth of flavor that makes many prefer Cook And Serve over Instant Pudding.
When compared to Instant Pudding, Cook And Serve From Jell-O is much creamier. Both have a similarly thick density, but instead of a gelatinous springy quality, Cook And Serve are viscous, velvety, and offers immense complexity of texture.
Unlike its counterpart, Jell-O Instant Pudding, Cook And Serve isn’t only a pudding and dessert accompaniment. The rich, thick composition and delectable texture of the pudding are substantial enough to be used as a pie filling as well.
Jell-O Cook And Serve, just like Jell-O Instant Pudding, is available across the world but best known in the United States.
Out of the two popular products, Cook And Serve is more expensive. Expect to pay in the region of $2 to $3 per box of four sachets. That’s double to triple the price of Instant Pudding.
Which Is Better Between Instant Pudding Vs. Cook And Serve?
In most cases, deciding on a winner between Jell-O Instant Pudding vs. Cook And Serve comes down to what you’re making and how much time you have available.
There are also certain recipes that will do better with a lighter, more subdued flavor from the pudding than the prominent, bold tastes offered by Jell-O Cook And Serve.
However, if you’re making pudding alone and want the very best taste possible, Cook And Serve is your go-to choice.