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Butchers twine or plain string?

Joined May 28, 2015
Seems like a dumb question to me, but is there a preferred item to tie up meat before smoking? At Thanksgiving, I felt like I should have tied the turkey up a bit before smoking and I didn't. Next is a prime rib for Christmas and I want to tie it before I smoke it.

Is there a difference between "butcher's twine" and regular home craft string? Can you use either one or is the regular home string more susceptible to fraying and disintegrating due to heat?



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 22, 2011
Not knowing what the craft string is made of, I think I'd be reluctant to tie food up with it. Might be fine, might not be. Butcher's twine, on the other hand, is designed for food, so you know it won't be a problem.
I think peace of mind is worth the $3 or so you'll spend on butcher's twine. This time of year it's available at almost every grocery store.
Joined May 28, 2015
I certainly agree with the logic. I was simply in a pinch at Thanksgiving and wasn't prepared. I could not convince myself that regular craft string was even a good idea.  


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
If the string is 100% cotton it's OK.

But butchers twine is very easy to work with.



Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 27, 2016
I prefer butchers twine because it tends to be thicker. Thin string can cut into the meat if tied too tightly.

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