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How to Use Cheesecloth | Bakerette.com

How to Use Cheesecloth {Step-by-Step Pictorial}

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it?

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

I know when I started out cooking and a recipe called for cheesecloth, I had no idea what it was, so I would just set the recipe aside and never use it. Back then we didn’t have the good old Internet to click on and Google “What is cheesecloth”. Yes, I’ve dated myself…royally! Just pretend I didn’t tell you that they didn’t have the Internet when I was young. Shhhhh.

So if by chance you are Googling “how to use cheesecloth” and you landed on this page, you’ve come to the right place.

What is Cheesecloth?

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.Cheesecloth is a loosely woven cotton cloth. It closely resembles “gauze” in look and consistency. There are at least seven different grades of cloth and the grade given depends on the number of threads per inch woven in each direction. Some are more closely woven than others.

Uses for Cheesecloth

Cheesecloth was formerly used for…you guessed it…cheese. Wrapping cheese; most commonly Cheddar cheese. Cheese makers found that it helped protect the cheese and allow it to “breathe” as it aged to keep it mold free. Now it’s used in so many other ways. Because it is light weight and very loosely woven, it is often used to strain liquids and capture solids. I use it when I make Almond Milk, syrups, gravies, yogurt, tofu and the like.

You can also wrap herbs, seasonings, or tea leaves into a sachet to be cooked with soups and other liquids to add flavor without releasing debris into the liquid.

Cheesecloth is very versatile. It can be used for arts and crafts, butterfly nets, and even clothes. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the fabric was popular to make shirts, dresses, and even shoes! It has hundreds of uses.

Where to Find Cheesecloth

You can find cheesecloth in many of the grocery stores, kitchen supply stores, fabric stores, and drug stores. It is fairly inexpensive and it comes in a long, rolled-up bundle. You just use your scissors to cut off the size of fabric you need each time.

Can You Wash Cheesecloth?

Yes. You can reuse it many times. Just make sure you wash it before each use. Rinse out any food or debris caught in the fabric and wash it in the washing machine with hot water and a cold rinse using bleach. Hang it up to air dry.

Food Preparation

I primarily use cheesecloth for straining to separate the liquid from the solids. To do this, follow this step-by-step pictorial:

Line a strainer with cheese cloth. You may need to line it once or twice or even three times depending on how small of particles you are trying to separate from the liquid.

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

Then take the liquid with the particles in it (in this case, I am using mashed blueberries that I am making into syrup and I want to separate the blueberries from the liquid) and pour it directly over the cheesecloth. Pour the liquid in slowly and in rounds around the cheesecloth because it allows it to trap more as the liquid runs down to the center of the bottom.

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

If the straining gets “stuck”, you may need to use a spoon to lift the debris up from the bottom to allow it to keep straining.

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

See all the solid blueberry mush left behind?

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

And here is all the luscious liquid syrup to pour on my pancakes!

What is cheesecloth and how do you use it? In this step-by-step pictorial, Jen at Bakerette.com demonstrates how to use cheesecloth in food preparation.

Easy peazy, no?

About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Comments

  1. Ginger K. says:

    Can you use cheesecloth in a skillet? I like the flavor from adding onions and green peppers to ground beef or sausage when I brown it, but was wondering if I could use cheesecloth to get just the flavor? My mom hates biting into onions (she doesn’t mind the flavor, just doesn’t like the texture), so I thought if I could maybe put the onions and peppers in some cheesecloth I’d have the flavor I want without having the actual onions and peppers. Anyone know if this would work? I’m not sure if it would work for something like this, I’ve only used it in soups/stews, or to strain something.

    • Hmmmm, I think that would be rather difficult to do. I would probably season the ground beef with onion powder instead. Not sure about the bell pepper. The cheesecloth might burn in the process of cooking the hamburger.

  2. Thank you. Excellent tutorial. And by the way, I loved your comment about putting the recipe aside when it read cheesecloth. Glad to know somebody else thinks or thought like me :)

  3. Is there an ideal “alternative” to using Bleach in the washing of the cheesecloth??

  4. Way fun tutorial! I want to get up and out of bed this minute and make syrup for pancakes! Deb @ madefrompinterest.net

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