Cooking twines are very useful in the kitchen. Using cooking twines to bind certain food items such as poultry or meat is not only functional but adds a different aesthetic.
So, it was only a manner of time before people started using a bunch of different types, but not all twines are made equal, and not all are actually safe to use.
Jute twine is especially pretty, but is it safe to use for cooking? No, jute twine is not safe to use for cooking because the material it is made from is highly flammable and sheds too many tiny fibers into your food. It will easily burn and break in the oven.
In this article, we will have a look at jute twine and its characteristics as well as alternative cooking twines that are safer to use.
Why Use Cooking Twine?
Cooking twine is a very useful thing to have in a kitchen, especially if you cook a lot of meats. The main function of cooking twine is to bind an object and keep it together during the cooking process.
This not only allows you to create certain dishes but to infuse the flavors into each other.
This mostly applies when cooking whole poultry items like chicken and rolled meats like stuffed pork shoulder or gammon, but can also be used to steam food in parchment bags.
What Is Jute Twine?
Jute twine is twine made from the jute plant. It is made from the same fibers used to make hessian or burlap fabrics.
Jute is made from much more sustainable plants and is also very environmentally friendly, compostable, and biodegradable.
It is a beautiful piece of string that has many different uses, mostly decorative.
Is It Safe to Use for Cooking?
Jute twine, however pretty, should not be used to make food. There are a few reasons you should instead use an alternative twine.
First of all, if you have ever worked with a burlap sack, you know that fibers come off everywhere – it’s a nightmare.
Seeing as jute twine is made from the same material, the same thing will happen, only this time it will get all over your food.
And before you ask, no, there isn’t a way to prevent this or cheat it. As soon as the fibers touch each other to bind or make a knot, tiny pieces will shave off and go everywhere.
The second reason you cannot use jute twine for cooking is that it is highly flammable. Jute fibers are extremely thin, and once exposed to heat in the oven, will burn and break, defeating the purpose of tying an item to hold it together.
Jute twine should be used for decoration purposes only on the table.
The Best Cooking Twine
Although you cannot use jute twine, there are a bunch of other twines that can be used for cooking. The best of them is butcher’s twine as well as cotton twine. These are both traditionally used for cooking.
Butcher’s twine is a broad name for twine that includes those made from cotton and linen, both very sustainable materials.
This is the ultimate type of twine to use for trussing poultry, tying roasts, and securing stuffed ingredients. These are only a drop in the ocean of what this twine can be used for.
The twine itself comes in various thicknesses and is very food-safe. It doesn’t give off fibers like jute twine does and also is much more heat resistant. You can leave this string in the oven for hours before it breaks.
If you’re looking for a good twine to use in the kitchen, we like this cotton twine from trusted cooking brand Norpro.
What Types of Twine Should Be Avoided?
A brief list of twines that shouldn’t be used for cooking includes hemp twine, jute twine, synthetic twine, and polypropylene twine.
Decorative twines should also not be used, as they sometimes contain dangerous chemicals and colorants that you do not want on your food. This includes the pretty striped baker’s twine.
Is Nylon Twine Safe for Cooking?
Nylon is a synthetic material and is not safe to cook with. The only nylon exception would be some dental flosses.
However, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true cooking twines to avoid toxins in your food and even kitchen fires.
Can You Use Dental Floss as a Cooking Twine?
This might seem very strange, but if you are in a pinch, yes, you can use dental floss as cooking twine.
Dental floss only contains ingredients or coatings that are safe to consume because it is a product for your mouth.
It is, however, important to remember to use unflavoured dental floss, as minty waxed dental floss will give off its flavor into your food.
It is a very handy and sturdy piece of string that can tie up meat and even help layer a domed cake.