All the Ways to Use Cheesecloth, the Cheap Kitchen Tool That You've Been Missing Out On
It's good for more than just cheese.
Do you have cheesecloth in your kitchen? You know, that porous cloth you can find in the grocery store? If you don't have any on hand you might want to think about picking some up. You can buy it cheaply at most supermarkets, or invest $7 in several yards of higher quality, reusable cheesecloth from Amazon or another kitchenwares store. And though, yes, it has "cheese" in the name, cheesecloth is useful for so much more. Any time that you want to strain something really finely, reach for the cheesecloth. Here are some simple ways to use cheesecloth around the kitchen beyond straining cheese.
Straining Broth or Stock
When you're making a homemade stock or broth, you might want some extra insurance that you're getting all the bits of meat or vegetable strained out of the liquid. Just line a strainer with cheesecloth and voila.
Tying Up Herbs for a Soup or Sauce
In traditional French cooking, a bouquet garni is a collection of herbs used to flavor sauces. A good way to make sure you're not left trying to pick out and locate that stray bay leaf or sprig of thyme is to use cheescoth. You just wrap the herbs in a little cheesecloth packet, tie it with kitchen twine, and drop it into the pot. At the end, you can fish the packet out all at once rather than go on a hunt for herb stems. If you're worried that you'll forget about the bouquet before serving the dish, tie it to the handle of the pot with a longer length of cooking twine.
Dusting Powdered Sugar
When you're dusting powdered sugar over cookies or cake, you can whip up a quick device that'll make things go a little quicker. Just fasten a screen of cheesecloth to the top of a cup filled with powdered sugar with a rubber band, and use it as an easy way to control how much sugar goes onto your dessert.
Making Regular Yogurt Into Greek Yogurt
You know the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt? Straining. Yup. All you need to do is take regular yogurt and put it into a colander lined with cheesecloth and wait until it gets to a consistency that you want it. If you strain it even further, you've got labneh, a form of fresh cheese that also makes an incredible dip.
Super Crispy Shredded Potatoes
The trick for getting super crispy shredded potatoes (or latkes) is to make sure you get as much water out of the potatoes as you can, and a great way to do that is cheesecloth. Rather than working to push water out over a colander, just pile the potatoes in a length of cheesecloth and twist the top closed to make a bag. Wring as much water as you can out of those potatoes, and the potatoes have a much better chance of crisping up when they hit the hot pan.
If you're ready to try cooking with a cheesecloth, you can get one for $18 here.