How to Cook With a Cheesecloth

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How to Cook With a Cheesecloth. Once learning the various techniques of how to cook with cheesecloth, you will find yourself using this versatile natural, unbleached cotton fabric often. From basting to straining and steaming to making spice and herb packets, known as bouquet garni, this inexpensive cooking tool has many uses in the kitchen. Read on to learn how to cook with cheesecloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Cheesecloth
  • Recipe ingredients

Soak several layers of cheesecloth in melted butter and lay it over a turkey or roasting chicken. The turkey or chicken will baste itself. Remove the cheesecloth about 30 minutes before the cooking is complete to allow browning. Substitute olive oil for the melted butter if preferred.

Make flavorful bouquet garni to add to soups, stews or sauces. Cut a square of cheesecloth and place all of the dried herbs for the garni onto the center. Bring up the corners and twist, making a ball of herbs. Tie the cheesecloth with a cotton string. A bouquet garni adds flavor to soups, stews and sauces.

Line a bamboo rice steamer with cheesecloth for delicious sticky rice.

Use a cheesecloth for straining stocks, sauces, gravies or any liquid.

Drain and press yogurt through cheesecloth for a thicker consistency. The result is a thick Greek-style yogurt.

Press cheese curds through cheesecloth to make firm cheese.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cheesecloth is available at most stores that sell cooking utensils or order it online from the website Cooking. The cheesecloth on this website is a fine grade cooking cheesecloth. See the Resource section for link.
  • Cheesecloth is also available at hardware stores, although it is generally has a lower thread count giving it a looser mesh. Many people are very satisfied with using the lower grade of cheesecloth for their cooking needs.
  • A good thread count for cheesecloth is 28 to 35 threads per inch.
  • Make different bouquet garni packets to put into food gift baskets. Examples of herbs and spices to use in a bouquet garni are rosemary, parsley, tarragon, thyme, savory, marjoram, basil, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and other whole spices.
  • Most cooks discard the used cheesecloth they are finished with it. If you decide to reuse the cheesecloth, make certain to wash it in very hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
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