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4 Easy Substitutes for Cooking Twine (That You Already Have)

4 Easy Substitutes for Cooking Twine (That You Already Have)

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Avid cooks are no strangers to positioning a chicken or a turkey in a certain way, which is why cooking twine is available in many kitchens.

As such, it can get frustrating quickly if you run out of cooking twine mid-cooking. What are you supposed to do when you need it and don’t have any? Well, you could decide to try to look for proper substitutes that will get the job done.

There are multiple easy substitutes for cooking twines, like toothpicks, aluminum foil, and dental floss. You’re more than likely going to have one or several of these available to you in your household.

1 – Toothpicks

Container Of Toothpicks

Toothpicks can work out nicely when you can’t find any cooking twine. They can accomplish the same task as the cooking twine, even if you don’t similarly utilize them. 

You just need to poke the toothpick through whatever you’re trying to hold in place and it should work out quite well.

The best thing about toothpicks is that they’re conveniently available in most households. They’re essentially miniature wooden skewers. Some people make use of wooden skewers to replace cooking twine as well.

The idea is the same when you’re using wooden skewers as toothpicks. You just stab the toothpicks or skewers where they need to go, and you can keep things from moving on you.

One thing to remember, though, is if you want to bake something while using the toothpicks, you should soak them in water first. This is so they won’t catch on fire in the oven.

Also, one thing to remember about using toothpicks is that you need to pull them back out before serving your dish. No one wants to bite into a turkey leg and get a chunk of toothpick along with the meat.

Counting the number of toothpicks used while cooking will help you avoid situations like this. I often write them down in case I forget.

2 – Aluminum Foil

Roll Of Aluminum Foil On Table

You might be thinking, how can aluminum foil replace cooking twine? It’s a foil, after all, so it may not be a good substitute for cooking twine. 

You might think aluminum foil is not a good substitute for cooking twine. You’d be right when it comes to certain actions, such as trussing a chicken or turkey.

However, you can use aluminum foil to keep meat rolled up and do other stuff that you might use cooking twine for.

It’s easy to use aluminum foil in the oven as well, and you can count on it to be simple to work with. It’s just not going to be perfect for every task you would typically use cooking twine for.

If you’re in a pinch, and trying to keep something from unrolling, aluminum foil might do the trick.

3 – Dental Floss


Dental floss is another substitute that can work out well if you don’t have cooking twine. 

Since it’s essentially a wire, you can use this floss in the same way that you use cooking twine. It can help you keep meat rolled up or even truss a chicken or turkey. 

However, there are two things to keep in mind while using dental floss. The first is that you shouldn’t use waxed flosses, as dental flosses can be waxed or not. Waxed flosses are better for teeth cleaning, but you don’t want that wax over your food. Too much wax could also ignite while you’re baking. 

The other thing to remember when using dental floss is that you don’t want to use one with flavoring.

Think of it like this: if you use a mint flavoring, you’ll have some mint flavor on your chicken or turkey. Not something I’d appreciate. 

Take a close look at the type of dental floss that you have in your house before you commit to using it. If the floss is unwaxed, then everything should be safe and good to go.

If all you have is waxed or flavored dental floss, then it might be better to avoid using it for the sake of your safety.

4 – Sewing Threads

Similar to dental floss, unflavored and unwaxed sewing thread can be used for tying or securing delicate items like sausages or bundles of asparagus. However, you should avoid using regular sewing threads, as these are often waxed and can ignite during baking. 

Just like with floss, avoid any threads with metallic accents or coatings as they can be harmful if ingested. 

Additionally, you shouldn’t tighten the sewing threads too much because they can tear through your food. Tighten them enough to hold your food in place without making any unnecessary cuttings. 

5 – Just Go Without

Duck In The Oven

Finally, you may consider cooking without the cooking twine and not looking for a substitute.

Most dishes are going to be able to be completed without using it. While it’s helpful sometimes, it isn’t always a must, and you might even be able to secure your food in another way.

For example, some people don’t truss turkeys or chickens and instead position the wingtips underneath the body. You can try to come up with other solutions if you don’t have any cooking twine.

Most people get by without cooking twine and don’t even bat an eye.

When in doubt, you can always try to cook something without it. It isn’t an absolute necessity, and you can make delicious meals without it.

It may make some things more challenging when you don’t have it, but it won’t likely ruin your meal.

Avoid Using More Exotic Substitutes

Smoke Coming From Oven

You might find some suggestions to use other substitutes from certain people. Some have suggested using things such as rubber bands to act as substitutes for cooking twine.

This is a terrible idea, and it could burn up in the oven, creating a terrible health risk.

It’s also true that rubber should not be used on your food because it can ruin the flavor of your dish. Things like regular sewing thread might seem like a good substitute for cooking twine at first glance, but they’re actually flammable and could wind up burning your house down if you aren’t careful.

Essentially, it isn’t worth it to try to use many of these so-called substitutes because of the dangers that they present.

If you really can’t go without cooking twine, then you could consider just going out to the store and buying some. This might be a bit of a nuisance, but it would be far better than trying to use something such as rubber bands or sewing thread.

Always use your better judgment and try to make choices that will put you in a position to succeed.

Final Thoughts: Get Started with Cooking

Now you know what things you can use as substitutes for cooking twine in your household.

Items such as dental floss can work out nicely as cooking twine substitutes so long as the dental floss isn’t waxed or flavored in some way. You can even use something such as aluminum foil and get pretty good results overall.

Toothpicks will probably be among the most practical and readily available substitutes to use, but you must take all of them out when you’re done. Depending on what you’re trying to do with your cooking, you’re going to have options.

Just avoid using substitutes that could be risky and cause fire hazards so that you can feel confident that things will be fine.

As long as you’re paying attention and using the advice above, you should have a good experience. It might be a good idea to add cooking twine to your shopping list since it’s easier to work with in many ways, but you can get by with these substitutes.

Your meals will surely turn out to be delectable and you’ll be glad that you learned this information.

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