Cheesecloth makes cheesemaking easy and enjoyable. Well, what if you do not have one? Do your cheesemaking escapades end here? Definitely not just when you started enjoying this roller coaster. Lucky enough, there are numerous reusable cheesecloth alternatives. A good number of these cheese cloth substitutes are readily available and will give you the opportunity to use them over and over. The catch here is keeping them clean and dry ready for the next task.
What Can I Use Instead of Cheesecloth?
You need to have a keen eye when selecting cheesecloth alternatives. Some of the substitutions for cheesecloth aren’t reusable. Some will disintegrate even before you finish using them. This makes it necessary to be double sure that the cheesecloth alternative you have selected is re-usable and reliable. Some of the tried, tested and proven re-usable cheesecloth alternatives include;
Muslin remains to be the most preferred cheesecloth alternative. Basically, the two can be used interchangeably and in most cases no difference will be noted in the finished product. Actually, only an expert will tell the difference.
Muslin is a lightweight loose-weave cloth and serves the same purpose as standard cheesecloth.
2. Cotton dish towel
Cotton dish towels share are similar to standard cheesecloth. They share the same weave and one can easily be mistaken for the other. The difference is in their water/moisture retention. Dish towels tend to retain more moisture than cheesecloth. It is therefore important that you squeeze the towel thoroughly.
When using cotton dish towel as a cheesecloth alternative, its advisable that you select one that is made from natural fiber and has no dye. This ensures that no dye is transferred to the cheese. Food grade towels are the preferred option.
3. Linen dishcloth
Dishcloth, popularly known as a dishrag is used dry dishes in the kitchen. Well, there’s also the dishcloth that is used to clean dishes and surfaces. The latter is made of cotton and is not the subject of discussion. The dishcloth used to substitute cheesecloth is the one used to dry utensils. It looks like a towel but is smaller in size and is normally made from linen.
Linen dishcloth has proven to be a reliable cheesecloth alternative. The linen, which is made from flax plant fibers, is not only strong but also dries very fast. It is these distinct characteristics among others that dishcloths reliable cheesecloth alternatives.
The fabric can be washed and used over and over as a substitution for cheesecloth. It is however important to note that linen is highly absorbent. It therefore needs to be cleaned and dried immediately after use. This will go a long way in ensuring that it stays free from harmful bacteria.
4. Medical gauze
Medical gauze is yet another reusable cheesecloth alternative. This is readily available in convenient stores or better still in first aid boxes. Well, every car comes with such boxes.
Medical gauze tends to have loose weave with considerably large holes. This means that it may not be best suited for fine straining. The use of several layers of the gauze has been found to yield desirable results but may not match that of fine grade cheesecloth.
When using medical gauze to strain your cheese, you need to be extra careful with the threads. Though the threads are tight and hardly break apart, chances are that there might be a few loose pieces that may make their way into your food.
5. Stainless steel mesh strainer
Mesh strainers are commonly used in the kitchen to make tea or coffee. Well, the same can be used to strain other fluids just as a cheesecloth would. This cheesecloth substitute is not only sturdy but can also be reused immediately. Unlike other reusable cheesecloth alternatives that require thorough cleaning and ample time to dry, the mesh strainer can be rinsed and used immediately.
The selection of a stainless-steel mesh strainer may be informed by the fact that steel doesn’t corrode with ease. This means that it will not contaminate your food. The strainer selected will depend on the specific task. Some strainers have huge gaps that may let fine particles escape and may not substitute fine grade cheesecloth. On the other hand, you can get tightly squeezed mesh strainers that will be perfect for fine straining.
Surprised at how twine may be used as a cheesecloth alternative? Well, no need to be. Cheesecloth has numerous uses. In our earlier publication, we discussed 20 uses for cheesecloth and you can be sure there are more. One of such uses is tying herbs and spices and this is where the twine comes in handy.
A twine is a thin thread of two or more yarns together. Mostly, natural fibers will be used to make one. These may include hemp, wool, coir, sisal, cotton, henequen or jute. Synthetic twines are also available in the market. Its however advisable that you go for natural fibers if you intend to use the twine as a cheese cloth substitute.
Twines differ in strength and material. This means that some will be ideal for cooking while others will be ideal for decorations. Butcher twine is best suited for tying roasts, stuffing meat, trussing poultry and tying herbs. Bakers twine on the other hand is best used in baking cookies, candy or muffins.
Just as we hinted earlier, there are countless uses for cheesecloth. For outdoor cheesecloth alternatives, you may opt to go for synthetic or industrial twine. This is the twine made from polypropylene. This is perfectly suited for outdoor activities such as bundling items, securing items in place and putting up temporary structures such as tents. The twine is strong and durable and hardly rot.
7. Flour sack
There are some items that we keep in the house but do not utilize them to the fullest. One of such items is the flour sack. These bags have a similar thread to cheesecloth but is rarely used as a cheesecloth substitute.
Flour sacks easily substitute cheesecloth in draining and straining tasks. You just need to ensure that the bag is thoroughly cleaned and dried before usage. Moreover, the threads used may be used as twines to tie herbs and spices. The list of uses is endless and you will only be limited by your creativity.
Cheesecloth uses are countless. Whether you need to use it indoors or outdoors, you will always have an endless list of uses. With time, you will realize that this is one of the items that you can’t go without. It so happens that you may discover that there’s no cheesecloth in your pantry, just when you really need one. Such are the times that questions such as; Can you reuse cheesecloth? pop up. Indeed, you can certainly re-use cheesecloth. Alternatively, you may opt to go for cheesecloth substitutes and the reusable cheesecloth alternatives discussed here will save the day.
Just like in the selection of the best cheesecloth, you need to take time and select the best cheesecloth substitute. Select the substitution for cheesecloth that will give you the best results in the easiest way. We hope the pointers above will help you make an informed decision.