What Can I Use if I Don't Have Butcher Twine?

Trussing is culinary jargon for tying things up. Cooks and chefs use butcher’s twine better known as cooking twine or kitchen string when trussing. When using kitchen twine to cut meat, it keeps the juices inside the meat for optimal pleasure when taking the first bite of your juicy tenderloin. Most chefs are innovative when they’re in need of a viable substitute but for those who are inexperienced in the kitchen or maybe need more options, here are a few that may work for you.

Dye-Free Cotton

Cotton string holding herbs together

Ensure your kitchen string is made with dye-free 100-percent cotton. Whether it comes from a kitchen store or right here on our website, clean, natural 100-percent cotton kitchen string is suitable for trussing practically any meat choice. You can also use cotton string to hang roast whole chickens over a fire. Some may decide to use bakers twine as a substitute; this is a bad idea because it is typically made with a polyester blend.

Dental Floss

Dental floss cutting cheese

Only USDA-certified food and heat safe synthetics like nylon should be used for cooking. An exemption to the rule is dental floss. As long as it’s unwaxed and non-flavored, you can use dental floss to help make delicious dishes like thanksgiving turkey or your homemade three-layered chocolate cake.

Dental floss will prove to be a favorite substitute due to its strength and easy access.


Cheesecloth removing whey from cheese

A tied cheesecloth wrap holds poultry or meat, like a rolled, stuffed pork tenderloin, firmly when roasting or braising in liquid. This loosely woven cotton cloth comes in seven grades from open to extra-fine weave. All grades have specific culinary purposes.

Toothpicks and Skewers

Toothpick skewers holding chicken and veggies

Food-grade toothpicks and skewers work best for securing stuffed meats when there isn’t any kitchen twine around. Toothpicks and skewers can burn in the oven. Soaking them in water for about 20 minutes before use prevents them from scorching. Don’t forget to count toothpicks or skewers as you insert them, to make sure they're all removed before serving.

Silicone Bands

Silicone bands wrapped around claws

Hot bands also known as silicone cooking bands, can replace kitchen twine or toothpicks when cooking. Food-grade silicon cooking bands are typically safe for freezing, deep-frying, microwaves, and even dishwashers. You may have seen them used to tie fruit and vegetables or a juicy steak.

There you have it...

Cooks have been trussing for years to make meat easier to handle and to help it cook better. As you now know, the traditional tool for trussing isn’t necessarily the only way. Now that you’re well versed in kitchen twine and its substitutes, give any of these viable options a try tonight, and we reckon you’ll wind up pretty pleased at the way dinner turns out. 

Butcher Twine Cooking Twine

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