9 Ingenious Butchers Twine Substitute For Your Meat Dishes

Whether youre making sausage, stuffing vegetables into a turkey, or just bundling a bunch of herbs for your meat, youre using a particular thread developed for food preparation which is called a kitchen string or a butchers twine.

The most troublesome situation is running out of it at the last minute. Luckily there are some alternatives you can consider to replace them at home.

In this article, I will list down the best substitutes to butchers twine that you can easily find in grocery stores or even in your household.

What Is Butcher’s Twine?

Butchers Twine is most typically utilized in the preparation of meat. It is handy to have on hand for trussing, securing, or tying off a packet of herbs inside a bird or a piece of meat.

The purpose of the twine is to maintain the regular shape of the meat and to make sure that each side is cooked evenly. Whats more, not only can a butchers twine help you to roll up and stuff spices in the meat easily, but it can also be used to hang your meats for curing.

It is not like any other string that you know and uses for art craft or for sewing because it is made from 100% cotton that is specifically designed for culinary.

They are also made mostly from natural fibers, which make them heatproof. Unlike the regular strings that can burn when heated, the butchers twine is oven-safe and doesnt melt even when exposed to high temperatures.

Best Substitutes For Butcher’s Twine

Besides being heatproof and oven safe, butchers twine cotton material does not transmit the flavor, color, and aroma to the food when cooking, which is why it is preferred by most people.

When cotton twine is not available, linen twine is the second-best option since it holds the meat easily. However, it could be hard to find in grocery stores. But you still can consider the following alternatives.

1. Toothpick

For instance, if there is no butchers twine available, toothpicks will suffice. Even if you dont use them in the same way as a regular butchers twine, toothpicks or wooden skewers can serve the same function when cooking.

It should work out fine if you will just stick them through anything youre trying to hold in place.

Thread some toothpicks along the seams of a stuffed item to keep the filling from dripping off if you need something to close the opening.

But before you use them, make sure to soak them in the water first to avoid them from burning either when grilling or baking in the oven.

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2. Wooden Skewers

Wooden skewers can likewise be used as a substitute for a butchers twine. When using wooden skewers, the concept is just the same.

All you need is to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes to avoid scorching them. Furthermore, if you use toothpicks, its a good idea to keep track of how many you used so you would also know how many youll need to remove after the dish is cooked.

You dont want someone biting on a piece of wood by accident.

3. Aluminum Foil

Another common substitute for kitchen twine is aluminum foil. Aside from the fact that it is cheap, it is also proven useful for a variety of purposes.

Aluminium foil does not only work with chicken but you can also use it to roll up and cover other types of protein like fish, beef, and lean meats for sausages.

Aluminium foil may be used to tightly wrap your meal. Alternatively, you can create twines out of aluminum scraps and wrap your food solely in specific regions.

Remember that aluminium foil is thin and may not be able to keep your stuffed turkey together. But it can, however, be helpful to wrap other meats.

If you need to tie up a chicken or any other sort of bird, you may easily cover the wing tips with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. You could even pull the end of the wings into or behind the chicken.

4. Dental Floss

Another good replacement for the butchers twine is dental floss. We all know that we should only use tools and items that are food approved and certified whenever we cook, but dental floss is an exception to this rule.

Although it is commonly used for hygiene purposes, it can also be used in certain cooking situations.

Unlike the butchers twine which could be difficult to find sometimes because of its availability, dental floss is always available either in the grocery store or in the drugstore.

If you use dental floss every day, you may notice that it has two types the one that is waxed and the other that is not.

Choose the unwaxed and unflavored one so that there would be no wax, flavor, color, or any other chemical that could go to your food while its being cooked.

Use the dental floss as if you are using a butchers twine. But be careful because unwaxed dental floss is thinner and less strong than waxed, which means that it could break easily if stretched too tightly.

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Whats more, aside from being used as a binder to meats and herbs, dental flosses can also be used to make clean cuts in your cakes and cheeses.

Although dental floss may not be the best alternative to use in place of the butchers twine, it can still suffice as long as you use it properly and carefully.

5. Baking Paper(Parchment Paper)

Baking paper can similarly work well like aluminum foil. Only that it is perfect to use on your oven and it wont stick to your pan regardless if its burned or not.

Just like aluminum foil, you can wrap your meal as securely as possible in the baking paper and it will most likely hold everything inside it with ease.

Even if you use a marinade, the baking paper will help cover the seasonings altogether and make the dish more tender and tastier.

You can also cut your baking paper into thinner strips and use it to wrap your rolls in places where you think they could be uncovered.

The baking paper also has the advantage of not allowing your food to burn. Heat is not a problem for parchment paper. In fact, it can withstand extremely high temperatures.

This is due to the silicone treatment, which not only makes it non-stick, but also resistant to heat.

6. Cheesecloth

You may think that cheesecloth is only used for making cheese, but food experts know it; it has several purposes including using it as an alternative to butchers twine.

Just like aluminum and baking paper, you can use the cheesecloth in any way you want. Whether you want to wrap your meat or cut it into strips and use it as a string, the choice is yours.

Just like a butchers twine, cheesecloth helps your meat or poultry to be kept firmly in place. So if ever you will poach it or braise it, you can assure that your meat wont expose.

Whats also good about it is that it maintains the moisture of the meat it covers. The longer hours the meat cooks, the more tender and juicier it will be. Cheesecloth does not also burn, instead, it traps moisture, which makes your meat wet but not dark.

7. Oven Bags(Roasting Bags)

Oven bags(Roasting Bags) are used to roast different kinds of meat, poultry, and vegetables. Made from foodgrade Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), these cooking bags are resistant to high levels of temperature.

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You can get a variety of cooking bags from various manufacturers in local stores, with or without the seasoning included. There are cooking bags for vegetables and meats, and whatever type you need, you can find it in the grocery store.

These bags will not only keep your food in position, but they will also keep it distinct from any other components you may have in the oven.

For example, if you want to roast your meats to a specific flavor, using a cooking bag will separate the flavor of the meat from the other veggies. This goes the same for herbs and spices.

8. Silicone Cooking Bands

Trussing poultry with cooking bands or wrapping roasts, whether bought from the store or handmade, works wonderfully. Silicone Cooking bands come in a variety of sizes and are constructed of silicone, which we all know are highly resistant to heat.

Good To Know

Silicone cooking bands made of food-grade silicone are usually safe to use in freezers, deep fryers, microwave ovens, and even dishwashers.

Youve even probably seen them used to tie fruits and veggies together or to lock a succulent piece of steak.

To keep the meal in place, cooking bands stretch out like rubber bands. Smaller bands can be used with parchment sachets or little amounts of stuffed meats.

Whats more, a band can also be made by folding an aluminum foil sheet into a strip. To secure a roast or tiny packet, you can wrap a foil around it. Foil is ideal since it is safe to use in the oven and retains its form after being folded and crumpled.

9. Green Onions

For instance, if there is no twine, string, or any binder available on your pantry, you can use certain vegetables and herbs to help you tie your meat or poultry.

If you are always in the kitchen, you know that there are several ways how you can improve on your cooking style and techniques. And there are also many great things that you can discover to make your food preparation easier and more practical.

If you are roasting chicken or tying up a steak and you dont have a string, you can always improvise and be creative. Green onion is one of the many vegetables that you can use to hold your meat in place.

It is just perfect since it is edible, safe, long enough to wrap around, and it is also flexible. Plus, it also makes your dish more aromatic and delicious!


What can I use instead of butchers twine for prime rib?

The most readily-available substitute for butcher’s twine is unwaxed, unflavored dental floss. It won’t hold up to the heat of the grill, and it can definitely snap if you try to tie it too tightly, but it’ll work in a pinch.

Can I use cotton string instead of butchers twine?

Uses: Cotton twine is best used as butcher twine since it’s oven-safe; however, its durability makes it an excellent twine for securing boxes or keeping food items bundled together.

What’s the difference between butchers twine and regular twine?

What’s the difference between butcher’s twine and regular twine? Twine can be made from several different types of natural fibers and synthetic materials, but not all of them are suitable for baking. Butcher’s twine is made from cotton, a food-safe, oven-safe material that’s strong enough to pull into tight knots.

What can I use instead of meat twine?

Substitutes for Kitchen Twine
Dental floss: Tie up your bird or bundle with dental floss.
Aluminum foil: Roll up some aluminum foil into tight ropes and secure them around your food like bands.
Toothpicks or wooden skewers: Poke toothpicks or wooden skewers into your rolled meat to keep the seam from unraveling.

What kind of twine can you cook with?

Twine goes by different names, and several varieties exist. The best and safest type for cooking is made of 100-percent natural cotton and labeled as butcher, kitchen or cooking twine, which is sturdy and withstands high-heat cooking. A linen and cotton fabric mixture also is safe for cooking.

Can you substitute dental floss for twine?

A common recommended alternative to kitchen twine is unwaxed dental floss, but it is so thin that while being tied on to a piece of meat it often cuts through it. After cooking, this whitish, almost translucent filament is all but invisible and so can be difficult to remove.

Can I use sewing thread for meat?

Most modern sewing thread is not 100% linen or cotton. Synthetic components will melt in the heat of the rotisserie. In addition, sewing thread is so thin that it will slice through the skin and meat of the chicken. Sewing thread is not a good substitute for kitchen twine.

What is the strongest type of twine?

Q: What kind of twine is the strongest? A: Hemp twine is one of the strongest types of twines available in the market. Other than this, twine made from jute is also strong, however a bit less than hemp twine.

Can I use jute instead of butchers twine?

Don’t use jute twine for cooking or other culinary purposes. Use kitchen, cooking, or butcher’s twine instead. Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake.

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