Quite often many recipes require the use of cheesecloth, but you need not panic if you don’t have one in your pantry. Cheesecloth is used as a strainer or can be used to make cheese or jelly, the cloth is pretty useful in the kitchen. However, there are few cheesecloth alternatives that are available everywhere and which may serve the same purpose.
Did You Know?
To protect young trees from contracting cicadas, they are often draped with cheesecloth.
Cheesecloth is a loosely woven gauze-like cloth, it resembles cotton material a lot, but the two are very different. Cheesecloth is primarily used in cheesemaking and cooking. While making cheese, cheesecloth helps to remove whey from cheese curd and helps to hold the curd together while the cheese is formed.
Cheesecloth is also used in various recipes that require straining and holding the products together. It is frequently used when putting together a bouquet garni (a tiny bag which has different spices and is used to simmer in soup, tea, or even stew). The loosely woven cloth is helpful in draining out the liquids easily. Also, the large holes in the fabric allow the dairy products to breathe. Another advantage of cheesecloth is that the cloth is not dyed like other fabrics. Although it has its own advantages, it is slightly expensive and hard to track down at times. But there are cheesecloth replacements that are easy to locate, in fact you can find many of them in your kitchen. These substitutes can be used while cooking, baking, steaming. It can also be used to make turkey and jelly.
Replace Cheesecloth With
They share the same weave as cheesecloth, but the only drawback about kitchen towels is they are produced to hold more moisture. So if you are thinking of using a kitchen towel as substitute, make sure to squeeze them out thoroughly. Also, use towels which do not possess any dyes, and have been washed properly before using them.
You can find this in your medicine box, sterile gauze is generally thin so you need to use more layers to get the same effect as a cheesecloth. They generally tend to have a looser weave as compared to cheesecloth. You can cut three or four lengths of the gauze, adjust the size required to strain the food product. Keep them on top of each other while using it.
Sheets or pillowcases are also used for straining, but if you will be using either of the two, make sure to squeeze out excess moisture. While using tea towels, opt for those which are non-dyed and have been washed repeatedly. They are a close substitute to cheesecloth as they have the same weaving pattern when threadbare.
Cheesecloth is also used for a bouquet garni, but replace it with twine to tie all the herbs together. If the garni has larger leaves, you can always use a string to hold together smaller herbs and spices inside the leaves.
Go right ahead and make a face, but we are talking about a clean and washed cotton sock. Don’t try this trick in front of your mother because she is sure to smirk at you. But it works wonderfully if you need to do some straining.
Although similar to cheesecloth, it is also hard to locate at stores. They share the same properties so it can be used in the same manner you would use a cheesecloth. It is neutral in color and won’t leak dyes into the food products that are being strained.
You don’t need to run down to the store to get these, perhaps, you already have them in your kitchen cupboard. It is one of the most common substitute of cheesecloth as they share a similar weave. Though they are a bit finer than cheesecloth, they will strain just perfectly. But the only limitation is they are made of paper material, so keep a close eye as they are more prone to breakage.
Paper towels are brilliant when it comes to straining soup or stew but they absorb liquid, so you are bound to lose little bit of liquid in the process.
Fine-mesh bags are generally used to strain nut milk and for retaining grains when making beer. You can use a nut milk bag, laundry bag, or even a mash bag. Generally, they are made of nylon and can be machine-washed. Benefits of using such bags is they will retain their shape and won’t pick up stains.
With so many handy cheesecloth alternatives, you don’t need a cheesecloth to prepare your favorite dishes. These substitutes are perfect if you want to strain fresh cheese or yogurt. Have you ever tried these hacks?