Cheese cloth?

I've never bought cheese cloth before and I've been reading reviews on for the past 1/2 hour and I can't figure out what kind to buy! I want to make ricotta and it seems like there are all sorts of different sized holes in different brands of cheese cloth. How do I figure out which one I want?!? I'd also like to buy a cost efficient one. Any advice?

  • Posted by: enbe
  • April 19, 2011


Author Comment
Instead of cheese cloth, I've used large unbleached coffee filters.
Kayb April 19, 2011
Should you happen to be somewhere that your grocery doesn't stock cheesecloth, you can go to the dollar store and get the cheapest "sheers" (curtain panels) they have, wash them well, and cut the size you want. You can usually get a 60 x 86 panel for about three bucks.
amysarah April 19, 2011
I also just buy the inexpensive packaged variety at the local supermarket - the kind that looks like a couple of yards of gauze bandage. If I want a finer mesh, I simply use double or triple layers - sometimes set in a metal mesh strainer. Works fine.
Panfusine April 19, 2011
Cheesecloth was never really commercially available in India growing up, so cooks making fresh home made Paneer & Srikhand ( a thick yogurt based dessert) generally used the white unbleached cotton from Dhothis (Dhoti is a cotton Sarong like garment worn by men, in earlier days). The cloth is thin but not gauzy and can be doubled up if you need something that will hold up. Shops selling Indian garments in the US usually stock these. They retail for about $ 15-20. The dimensions are about 5 metres by 1.5, so it lasts for ever!
enbe April 19, 2011
@TiggyBee- no kidding. I'm always sucked in to "free shipping" offers and I suspect I spend more because of it!
TiggyBee April 19, 2011
Interesting to find out that cheesecloth varies from town to town. The one I've used definitely doesn't look like gauze!! And also, since we're talking ricotta here, I've learned that it's pretty much fool-proof. Amazon and free (spend a little bit more shipping) is a whole other story!!
enbe April 19, 2011
Thanks for all of your help :)

I should clarify...I just need a few more $$ for free shipping so I figured I'd buy cheese cloth and, as always with amazon, there are WAY too many options for me to sort through!
ChefJune April 19, 2011
I understand your angst. There are definitely two kinds of cheesecloth, and it can be difficult to see whether the cloth is fine enough if you purchase it in a sealed package.

For ricotta you want the kind of cheesecloth that looks like cloth, rather than the kind that looks like a large gauze bandage.
TiggyBee April 19, 2011
cheesecloth should be available in your local grocery store. It's not unusually expensive...maybe 3 dollars. When I first made homemade ricotta, that's where I bought mine and it worked fine. Hope that helps!
Dzsmith265 April 19, 2011
I go to the paint section in the hardware store, to buy cheese cloth. Works great for my homemade ricotta. When it's finished hanging, I rinse it in the sink then pop into the washer, to reuse the next time.
hardlikearmour April 19, 2011
I just get the cheesecloth they have at my local, somewhat upscale grocer. It's made of unbleached organic cotton & sells for about $3 a pack (9 feet) - it's the Regency brand if I recall correctly. I use it for making ricotta, with great success. Just line a strainer with a double layer.
prettyPeas April 19, 2011
For something relatively fine-textured like ricotta or straining yogurt I like to use jelly bags (or some homemade strainers made out of leftover linen). Like there
A big advantage of these is that they can be washed over and over and not lose their texture or become matted into a huge mess.
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