Kitchen string is string used for various purposes in the kitchen such as:
- tying up bundles of meat before cooking;
- trussing turkeys, to keep the wings and the legs close to the body (and the temperature of the body) so that they don’t flop out on their own and cook faster and burn;
- the “thread” used with turkey lacer needles.
Kitchen string is made of linen or cotton, and is plain white or off-white. It is never made of synthetic fibres, and never dyed. It won’t burn during cooking.
Don’t use string with synthetic material in it, as it will melt during cooking. To tell the difference, synthetic fibres will be finer, cotton ones will be off-white, and coarser. You can also use the flame test with a match: pure cotton or linen thread will smoulder, synthetic material will ball up.
There are several different “gauges.” Butcher’s twine is the heaviest.
When tying meat, you want the string firm enough that it actually serves a useful purpose, but not so tight that you are squeezing the juices out of the meat.
You leave the string on for cooking, and remove it when serving.
You can also get edible string, made of collagen.
You can keep kitchen string in a drawer in a sealed plastic bag to keep it clean.
If you use it often, you can buy decorative holders / dispensers that hold the thread for you to pull it off, freeing up one hand. Some dispensers have built-in cutters, so that with a flick of the string, it will cut the string off for you (if you get the motion right, without pulling the whole dispenser on the floor.) There are also hanging dispensers that hang from a ceiling, like shops used to use.