Use This Instead of Cheesecloth

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Use Paint Strainer Bags Instead of Cheesecloth

There are lots of kitchen items that I love. Cheesecloth isn’t one of them. Don’t get me wrong; it’s useful when you need it. I use it to strain pumpkin puree and broth, to make spice bundles and – on occasion – to make cheese. But it’s awkward to work with, hard to clean and it wears out quickly. There has to be something better.

And you know what? There is. While walking up and down the aisles of my local hardware store the other day, I spotted paint strainer bags. They’re simple mesh bags designed to fit over a five gallon bucket, so you can – you guessed it – strain paint. But you know what? They work just as well in the kitchen. Because they have a wide elastic band around the top, they fit beautifully over a mixing bowl, and stay right where you put them (something cheesecloth never wants to do), and since they have a finer weave than cheesecloth, they do a better job of straining, too.

Strained Butternut Squash Puree

Liquid from Butternut Squash Puree

My husband used them to strain the butternut squash puree that he made last week (yep, he’s a keeper) …

Straining Ham Broth

Strained Ham Broth

and I used them to strain the ham broth that I made yesterday. They performed perfectly in both situations.

And since they cost just $1.50 a bag and are machine washable, I’d say they’re an all-round winner. Don’t you love when you find a better way to do something?

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  1. In Sacramento Friday and Saturday yard sales are very popular. I have found oodles of useful items and really have a hard time “buying new”. I always just know I can find it at a yard sale or thrift store eventually and I almost always do. Enjoy your site, keep up the good work.

    1. Yep, if you’re patient, there isn’t much you can’t find second-hand. I just try to shop ahead, so I have plenty of time to find what I need, and it almost always works out. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the site 🙂

  2. Hello! Just wanted to say that this is the best tip I’ve come across in good while. I make my own almond milk regularly. I have tried many methods to strain the nut pulp… paper towels, paper towel-lined colander, mesh strainer, cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer and all of those were failures. I was just about to give in and buy the dang nut bag online until I came across your wonderful tip. Genius! I purchased the 1 gallon-sized paint strainer and it fits perfectly over my 4 cup Pampered Chef bowl. Thanks for the great tip! You are truly a genius!

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