Martha Stewart’s Hack for Making Your Own Cheesecloth Uses an Item You Already Have in Your House

published Nov 15, 2022
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There are many ways to ensure you end up with a tender, juicy turkey on Thanksgiving. You can slow-cook a few breasts or brine the whole bird, but many home cooks actually prefer to drape a cheesecloth over the bird as it roasts in the oven, keeping in the moisture and hopefully avoiding the dreaded dry turkey effect.

But as the holidays can be a busy time and there’s a lot to remember to buy and prepare, it’s not surprising that you may forget one key item: the cheesecloths. If Thanksgiving morning rolls around and you discover that you don’t have a cheesecloth available, Martha Stewart has a rather creative substitute that involves an item almost guaranteed to be in most households.

In an interview with the TODAY Show, Martha suggests drenching a T-shirt in wine and butter and using that in place of the cheesecloth to cover the turkey in the oven. Be careful to not use a brand-new T-shirt — wine and butter stains will not be easy to get out of the fabric — but it should be freshly cleaned, as it is going to be draped on top of everyone’s main dinner entrée.

The role of the T-shirt (or cheesecloth) is to keep the turkey skin from burning, but also the turkey from drying out. This method has a fair degree of fans, so it’s absolutely worth a try if you have not done so already.

T-shirts, however, tend to run a bit pricier than cheesecloths, so you are probably still better off adding a cheesecloth to your holiday shopping list now and making sure you have it handy in time for the big event. And if you’re worried about making too much turkey for your small amount of guests, this guide will help you choose the right size.