Making your own petri dishes can save you a lot of money. The sterile nutrient agar used with homemade petri dishes can be made using materials you can find in your local grocery store. Homemade petri dishes are a great way to show your children the importance of good hygiene and proper hand-washing. The recipe and steps listed in this tutorial will show you how to make enough sterile nutrient agar to make 25 to 30 plates.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 4 envelopes of plain unflavored gelatin
- 4 cups of cold water
- 8 teaspoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of beef bouillon granules or 4 bouillon cubes
- Measuring spoons
- Disposable petri plates
- Sandwich bags
Mix the gelatin, water, sugar and bouillon cubes in a saucepan.
Increase the heat slowly, stirring the mixture constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Remove the saucepan from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Fill the petri dishes with the gelatin mixture until they are approximately one-third to one-half full.
Place the petri dishes in the refrigerator and allow them to cool until they are solid. Be careful that you do not touch the gelatin.
Tips and warnings
- Use the petri dishes within 2 to 3 days for best results.
- If you are unable to get disposable petri dishes, you can substitute them with foil cupcake cups placed in a muffin tin.
- Store the petri plates or cupcake cups in sandwich bags to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.
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