Skip to Content

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

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

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you consider yourself to be a pretty avid cook, then you might utilize cooking twine from time to time.

There are many situations where you will need to use the twine to position a chicken or a turkey in a certain way. You’ll find loads of other uses for it, too, and it’s definitely good to keep around.

This is why it’s kind of frustrating when you find that you need some cooking twine and you don’t actually have any around.

What are you supposed to do when you need it and you don’t have any? Well, you could decide to try to look for proper substitutes that will get the job done.

There are a few good things that can work as a substitute for cooking twine in a pinch. Read on to learn about the best alternatives that you can use today.

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 are going to work out nicely when you’re not able to find any cooking twine. They can accomplish the same task as the cooking twine even if you don’t use them in exactly the same way.

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

Some people actually make use of wooden skewers to replace cooking twine as well. The idea is the exact same when you’re using wooden skewers that it is when you’re utilizing the toothpicks.

You just stab the toothpicks or skewers where they need to go and you can keep things from moving on you.

If you’re going to want to bake something while using the toothpicks, then you should soak them in water first. This is so that they will not catch on fire while they’re in the oven.

As long as you prepare ahead of time, you should have a good experience.

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.

To avoid a situation like this, you should count the number of toothpicks that you’re using so that you can keep track of things.

2 – Aluminum Foil

Roll of Aluminum Foil on Table

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

However, aluminum foil can be used to keep meat rolled up and it can 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 that you would normally use cooking twine for.

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

3 – Dental Floss


Dental floss can work out really well if you don’t have any cooking twine that you can use.

You’re going to be able to use this in the same way that you use cooking twine. You can keep meat rolled up with dental floss and you can even truss a chicken or turkey using it.

The only thing to make note of when using dental floss is that you don’t want to use dental floss that has flavoring. If you use dental floss that has a mint flavoring, then it could transfer some of that flavoring to your food.

Also, dental floss that is waxed could present a danger to your oven because the wax could ignite while you’re baking.

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 the waxed or flavored dental floss, then it might be better to avoid using it for the sake of your own safety.

4 – Just Go Without

Duck in the Oven

Finally, you could just consider going without the cooking twine and not looking for a substitute.

Most dishes are going to be able to be completed without using it. It isn’t a completely necessary thing 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 choose to position the wingtips underneath the body. You can try to come up with other solutions if you just don’t have any cooking twine to use.

Most people get by without cooking twine and they 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 this handy tool at your disposal.

It can make some things tougher 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 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.

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. 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.

Share this post: