A Cheap Way To Strain Yogurt Without Using Cheesecloth describes an inexpensive way to strain yogurt (to make Greek yogurt) using commercial paper coffee filters and a plastic colander. No messy cheesecloth needed.
Some people say using cheesecloth to strain yogurt is not that much trouble, but I disagree. I’ll admit to loving shortcuts and even a bit of laziness when it comes to kitchen clean-up.
To convince you, I came up with 6 reasons why cheesecloth is not my favorite:
You have to…..
- Scrape it (Although you don’t always have to do this. But if you do, well…WHAT A MESS!)
- Rinse it
- Wash it
- Dry it
- Fold it
- Store it
- Own several pieces if you make a lot of yogurt (1 1/2 gallons) at once like I do.
No thank you. I prefer a disposable solution or the dishwasher for the task.
Recently, a reader named Doreen left this comment detailing her method of straining yogurt:
“I wanted to say I found a great way to strain. Although I had bought a fine mesh sieve, for some reason it stopped working as well- maybe dishwasher damaged it, not sure. Instead, I bought some institutional-size coffee filters and placed them inside a standard sized colander. It will strain all 2 quarts in your recipe. Then I put the colander inside a mixing bowl and top it with the same lid that I incubated my casserole dish of yogurt. Finally, I put the whole straining setup in the fridge and leave it for a few hours. When it is thick enough it pulls right away from the filter. The whey is perfectly clear so there is no loss of yogurt. Thank you again for homemade goodness!”
Thank you for writing, Doreen. You are a genius, and you changed my yogurt-making process for the better.
What I didn’t realize about “A Cheap Way To Strain Yogurt Without Using Cheesecloth”:
To those of you who have already written to me suggesting coffee filters: I assumed you were talking about the little ones I use every morning to make coffee. It goes without saying that it would take me forever to strain a gallon of yogurt with that size filter.
Being a woman of action, the very day I read about Doreen’s method, I went looking for large paper filters. My local restaurant supply stocks 13 x 5-inch filters designed for a 1-1/2 gallon coffee brewer. Purchase them here if you like.
In addition to the coffee filters, you will need a colander. The dollar-store variety works just fine. In fact, you can even use the basket part of your lettuce spinner if you like.
SIX reasons why I prefer “A Cheap Way To Strain Yogurt Without Using Cheesecloth”:
- No solids are lost (see picture above).
- Paper filters are disposable.
- It’s inexpensive. For example, my cost was $1 plus tax for orange colander and less than 3 cents per filter. I use 2 filters to make a double layer for ease of handling yogurt.
- Strained yogurt easily separates from the paper filter for quick clean up.
- Cheap colander or a colander-substitute works fine to hold paper filter.
- Strain 2 quarts of yogurt at a time (using 13 x 5 inch size filter).
P.S. I do not place my yogurt in the fridge to strain as Doreen does. The yogurt is acidic enough to sit safely on the counter for several hours. In my experience, yogurt strains faster at room temperature. In my mind it’s makes the most sense to strain immediately after incubating.