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3 Methods for Straining Herbal Infusions

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There’s a lot of infusing that goes on in my kitchen.  There are oils, vinegars, tinctures, medicines, drinks, honeys, and more all needing strained at some point. I’ve learned through trial and error and lots of straining with various success levels that one method isn’t necessarily good for all things.  To that end, I have 3 methods for straining herbal infusions. These methods and tools get my infusions strained easily and clearly.

Get all those drinks, oils, and medicines ready to use with these 3 methods for straining herbal infusions.

Method 1: Wire Mesh Strainer

Wire mesh strainers work great for thicker infusions, think infused honey or syrups.  Things that need slightly larger holes to work through easily.  Most of these come with long handles and knobs to hold them over jars and bowls.  Keep a variety sizes on hand – large ones for things like rhubarb cordial and small ones for infused honey. The smaller ones are nice because they often fit on jars or measuring cups to make for easier pouring and storing.  The larger ones are better for bigger items, i.e. fruit versus herbs.

Get all those drinks, oils, and medicines ready to use with these 3 methods for straining herbal infusions.

Method 2: Filters

For things that are particularly fine, the wire mesh strainers are likely to let some minuscule bits through and that just isn’t okay sometimes. This is where a good filter comes in handy.  Lining one of the mesh strainers with cheesecloth can be effective but not always.  Coffee filters lining a mesh strainer will also work.  Disposable ones can be expensive and in my experience they soak up a lot of oil, meaning less final product but they will work in a pinch.  Reusable filters will work and save money in the long run.

Get all those drinks, oils, and medicines ready to use with these 3 methods for straining herbal infusions.

I discovered these amazing little yogurt strainers recently.  They’re like a reusable coffee filter but they have nodules on them meaning they’ll hang over an appropriately sized container without the need for placing inside a strainer for stability. They’re very handy, fairly inexpensive, wash up easily and take up a small amount of storage space.

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Method 3: Jelly Bag

When straining cooked berries, rose hips, etc. it’s most effective to let them hang and drip in a jelly bag.  There are commercial models on the market that come with stands, etc. They’re very handy, however it’s easy to create a do-it-yourself jelly bag: simply using muslin or a double layer of cheese cloth in a bowl so that the edges of the cloth hang over the edges of the bowl.  Put the berries inside the bag, tie up the corners, an hang from a cabinet knob over a bowl to drip, squeeze if necessary (when making actual jelly – no squeezing or the jelly clouds and that means no ribbon at the fair).

Get all those drinks, oils, and medicines ready to use with these 3 methods for straining herbal infusions.

What’s your preferred method for straining infusions?  How do you cut back the mess and gain the most product? 

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Justin

Sunday 10th of June 2018

You can also buy tea ball made for steeping or boiling herbs.

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 10th of June 2018

For sure tea balls are great for small quantities.

Nancy Escamilla

Saturday 25th of June 2016

I use a potato ricer. Works great for all my straining.

Cara

Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Thank YOU! I have known there was something out there but not a clue what it is called!

Homespun Seasonal Living

Saturday 25th of June 2016

What a great idea!

Lisa from Iroquois

Monday 30th of May 2016

I replaced my old jelly bag with an old cotton pillow case, works wonderfully. I find coffee filters frustrating for just about anything I've tried, from yogurt to maple syrup. I have different size strainers and I am open to expanding my collection. That yogurt strainer looks fabulous.

Kim

Tuesday 19th of December 2017

That pillow case (threadbare) is a great way to store lettuce and cilantro in the fridge. Soak with and wring out water, add veggies to bag. Roll bag up lightly put into a plastic shopping bag (Walmart type). Keeps in veggie drawer a while. ALSO! I frequently make too much salad all at once to toss in the bowl. So I put all of the cut salad in the pillow case and zip it up and toss it around like that and then dump it back in the bowl.

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