10 Substitutes For Butcher’s Twine


If you’re looking for substitutes for butcher’s twine, you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular substitutes for butcher’s twine, so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Let’s find out right away what they are!

10 Best Substitutes For Butcher’s Twine

Here are my top picks for substituting Butcher’s Twine. 

1. Dental Floss

Dental floss makes a great substitute for Butcher’s twine as it has an equally strong grip and does not affect the taste of the meat cooked tied to the dental floss. 

When using Dental floss to replace Butcher’s twine, it is essential to pick the unwaxed, unflavored, and colorless one to ensure it does not cause any changes in taste. 

How to substitute

Equal lengths of Dental floss can efficiently be used to replace Butcher’s twine when tying up any kind of meat for roasting, grilling, or baking.

Trussing chicken with Dental floss.

2. Toothpick Or Skewers

Toothpicks and Skewers are more ways meat pieces and meat parts can be held still for them to be cooked better.

They work especially well for baked recipes. 

It is important to remember to soak the wooden toothpicks and skewers in water before baking, as wood has a chance of igniting.

They should be removed before serving. 

How to substitute

The number of toothpicks and skewers depends on the kind and pieces of meat being cooked. More is required when the pieces are smaller.

Beef rolls with Toothpicks.

3. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is a staple in nearly all kitchens and is hence one of the easiest alternatives to Butcher’s twine.

Aluminum can be shaped as per requirement. 

Do bear in mind that heavy-duty foil has more strength compared to regular foil and should be preferred. Foil can also be cut into strips and twisted into twine. 

How to substitute

Aluminum foil can be cut into strips equal to the length of Butcher’s twine and used to secure the meat parts as required.

Lamb shank in Aluminum foil.

4. Silicone Cooking Bands

Silicone cooking bands look much like regular rubber bands but are highly heat resistant, making them another great substitute for Butcher’s twine. 

Do remember that these Silicone cooking bands are available in a range of sizes to suit different meat textures and cuts and should be chosen accordingly. 

How to substitute

Since the Silicone bands stretch well around the meat, a few large bands can easily hold together big cuts. Smaller bands can be used to wrap stuffed meat and the like.

Beef cooked with Silicone cooking bands.

5. Baking Paper

Using regular Baking paper or Parchment paper is another way to replace Butcher’s twine with similar heat resistance and no change in the dish’s taste. 

It is important to remember that Baking/ Parchment paper works best in an oven rather than grilling or roasting any kind of meat. 

How to substitute

Baking paper can be cut into thin strips to resemble equal lengths of Butcher’s twine and used to tie down the meat. It can also be used as is for baking.

Grilling meat on Parchment paper.

6. Cooking/ Roasting Bag

Cooking or Roasting bags are yet another easily available alternative for Butcher’s twine as they not only help to marinade and cook but also separate its contents from others. 

When using a cooking/ roasting bag, do remember to make it entirely air-tight before setting it inside the oven as excess air may cause the meat to be uncooked. 

How to substitute

Separate cooking bags are available for cooking meat and vegetables and should be chosen carefully. The same kind of meat should be cooked in one bag.

Roasted beef and potatoes in Roasting Bag.

7. Wood Sticks

Regular wood branches can be manually cut and shaped as required and used instead of Butcher’s twine as it works equally well to hold together meat pieces. 

When using manually cut wood pieces, it is essential to maintain uniform length and soak it in water before use.

They should be carefully removed before serving to avoid accidents. 

How to substitute

Long and thick wood sticks can be used for meat roasts while smaller pieces can be used to hold together smaller pieces and stuffed meat.

Beef cooked with wooden sticks.

8. Cheesecloth

Cheesecloth is also a regular in most kitchens and can be used for more than just straining cheese. It has a grip strong enough to hold together meat. 

It is advisable to cut up the cheesecloth into thin strips to tie meat pieces similar to Butcher’s twine.

How to substitute

Cheesecloth can be cut into thin strips to resemble equal lengths of Butcher’s twine and used to tie down the meat. It can also be used as is for braising and poaching.

Wagyu meat tied in Cheesecloth.

9. Green Onions

Green onions are a naturally flavorful and aromatic alternative to Butcher’s twine. Green onions are often long and strong enough to be tied around meat pieces. 

When using Green onions to replace Butcher’s twine, do remember to use the fresh ones to maintain their fresh earthy aroma after the meat is cooked. 

How to substitute

Long Green onions can be used in the same way as Butcher’s twain to tie both big and small pieces of meat for baking, grilling, and even roasting.

10. Regular String

Regular sewing string can make an effective replacement for Butcher’s twine, keeping in mind its properties and how it reacts to extreme heat when the meat is being cooked. 

It is essential to use a string that is decently heat resistant, will not melt when exposed to high heat, and is safe to be cooked with the meat. 

How to substitute

Equal lengths of regular string can efficiently be used to replace Butcher’s twine when tying up any kind of meat for roasting, grilling, or baking.

Roasted beef tied with string.


What Is The Best Substitute For Butcher’s Twine? 

The best substitutes for Butcher’s twine are Dental Floss, Toothpicks and Skewers, Aluminum Foils, and Silicone Cooking bands. All these alternatives are resistant to high heat and do not change the flavor of the meat. 

If Butcher’s twine is unavailable, it can also be excluded, and instead, the meat is placed carefully.

Can I Use Jute Twine For Cooking? 

No, Jute twine is not suitable for cooking as it is not heat resistant and sheds fibers even when it is not exposed to any heat source. Although jute is an organic material and can be obtained naturally, it is best not used for cooking. 

Jute sheds can cause allergy and irritation if accidentally consumed.

Is Linen Twine Safe For Cooking? 

Yes, Linen twine is often used for hanging meat for smoking or roasting purposes as it has a strong grip that holds the meat together while allowing it to cook evenly. Dental floss is the closest to linen twine and is one of the best substitutes for Butcher’s twine. 

It should be made sure that the linen in use is resistant to heat and can be used for cooking.

How To Truss A Chicken With Aluminum Foil? 

Chicken can successfully be trussed with Aluminum foil once it is cut into thin folds in a minimum length of 3 feet. One must be extremely patient when using foil for trussing as it is not as fast as Butcher’s twine. 
However, foil works as it is heat resistant and does not add any extra flavor to the recipe once cooked.

Bottom Line

If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments below.

Do you have a favorite substitute for butcher’s twine? Share your experience with us!

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About Judy Taylor

Judy has been fascinated with food and drinks since her teenage years. She loves experimenting with various cuisines, her favorite being pairing food with wine and drinks. She travels 7-8 months a year across the globe, exploring local food and culture. Her dream is to open a small Mexican outlet on a beach someday.

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