9 Best Butcher’s Twine Substitutes to Keep your Dish In Place

Cooking string, kitchen twine or butcher’s twine: whatever you call it, it’s the string used when cooking meat. It is made of 100% pure cotton and is oven-safe. It helps to keep the meat in place and cook it evenly. 

You may wonder if there is a butcher’s twine substitute when you don’t have it at hand. Well, in this article, we will give you some wonderful ideas from dental floss to silicone bands. 

So, the best alternatives for butcher’s twine are dye-free cotton strings, dental floss, aluminum foil, toothpicks, wood sticks, baking paper, cooking bags, cheesecloth and silicone bands. 

Best Butcher’s Twine Substitutes

1. Dye-Free Cotton Strings

Since butcher’s twines are made of cotton, the best substitute can be dye-free cotton strings. 100% pure cotton string can be used to truss the meat. 

Compared to baking string, dye-free cotton stings have a wider usage in culinary. You can use them to tie chicken legs, combine meats and keep rolls in place. Avoid using baker’s twine as they are not made of pure cotton and may contain polyester.

2. Dental Floss

The next substitute is dental floss that works the same way as butcher’s twine and is safe to use with meats, in baking and for any other purpose in cooking. 

It is a tight string and can hold up while being cooked. This is an easy substitute for butcher’s twine. Make sure you use unflavored and unwaxed dental floss for this purpose. 

3. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil has many useful features and one of them is its fireproof nature. You can use it to fold or wrap the food tightly and then grill, roast or cook it. However, it’s not that tight and strong to use for keeping stuffed meat but it works well with fish. 

4. Toothpicks

Toothpicks always have their place in the kitchen and many of us use them regularly. You may consider them as another good alternative for butcher’s twine. They are used in combining small and thin pieces of food such as rolls, flank steak or veal cutlets.

If you use them with rolls that contain rice or breadcrumbs then the result will be better. They will absorb the liquid leaving little pressure on the toothpicks. 

Make sure you soak them in water for about 30 minutes before using and remove them from foods before serving. 

5. Wood Sticks

Just like toothpicks, wood sticks are another awesome solution in case you don’t have butcher’s twine. They can be used the same way as toothpicks only with larger pieces of meat and vegetables. 

In order to avoid burnt woods, you need to soak wood sticks in water for about 30 minutes and then use them for cooking or roasting purposes. 

6. Baking Paper

Do you have baking paper in hand? Use it in place of butcher’s twine the same way as aluminum foil. Fold or wrap the food with baking paper or with its pieces where you need to make the food stay in place and you’ll avoid any mess. 

Baking paper won’t burn in the oven or microwave and you can safely use it for a number of purposes. 

7. Cooking Bag

Cooking bags, oven bags or roasting bags are time-saving items that keep your kitchen appliances and dishes as clean as possible. You put the food inside the cooking bag and remove it from it once it’s cooked. All the oil, liquid or any other greaze stays inside the bag. 

However, this is not the only way to use cooking bags. If you use butcher’s twine to keep flavors separate, then use cooking bags instead. For example if you want to cook potatoes and meat together but you don’t want to mix the flavors, here is the solution. 

8. Cheesecloth/Gauze

Consider cheesecloth or gauze as your next alternative to butcher’s twine as it’s made of dye-free 100% cotton and has the ability to keep meat and chicken in place when roasting. 

You can use cheesecloth to firmly wrap stuffed poultry or meat. This way you’ll also keep the liquid and the juice of the food inside and the end dish will be juicier and more delicious. 

9. Silicone Cooking Bands

There are silicone cooking bands also called hot bands meant for cooking purposes. They can be used to substitute butcher’s twine in freezing food, in deep frying or just when you want to keep it firm in the microwave. 

A good example of using hot bands is in oyster cooking when you want to make the shells stay firm when cooking. You can use them in trussing meat and poultry too. 

The best thing about hot bands is that they are heat-resistant to at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit and are also reusable. 

FAQs on Butcher’s Twine

Is there a difference between butchers twine and regular twine?

The main difference is in the material that’s used to make the twine. Unlike many other types of twines made of synthetic or wool, butcher’s twine is made of cotton which makes it heat-resistant, food-save, oven-safe and more appropriate for baking. 

Is there an edible butchers twine?

No, our generation butcher’s twine is not edible and you should make sure you remove it from the food before serving it. Maybe in the future we will have edible butcher’s twines but today’s options are made of cotton. However, there are collagen ribbons used in cooking but they may not be safe for baking. 

What is the best twine for cooking?

There are several types of cooking twines and the best options between them are 100% natural cotton twines labeled as butcher, kitchen or cooking twines. 

Summing Up

While some people think that it’s not always necessary to use butcher’s twine in baking or cooking, there are still meat-based recipes that require this string for the food to keep it in place while being cooked. 

So, you know how to replace it with the best substitute in hand. Share this with your friends to let them know they can make their favorite meat dish without a butcher’s twine but with a substitute for it.  

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