Strainer Bags

By Charlotte King

Strainer bags are commonly used in many home kitchens for a variety of reasons. They come in various materials and shapes, so you have options when it comes to what you want your strainer bag to look like or how you want it to work. Strainer bags are also very easy to clean and maintain because they’re porous, meaning water can seep through them easily!

This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about strainer or jelly bags. We’ll go over what they do, how they work, where they can be used, and more.

What are strainer bags

Strainer Bags

Strainer bags or jelly bags are fine mesh bags used to filter or clarify liquids or mixtures by removing solids from the mixture. These bags are slightly different from the cheesecloth, as they have a finer mesh that allows water to pass through it easily but doesn’t let the pulp of fruits and vegetables pass through it.

Strainer bags are also smaller in size than cheesecloth, as they need to fit inside a pot. The most popular ones are made from unbleached muslin fabric, which is porous and allows the liquid to pass through it easily. Strainer bags come in a variety of sizes ranging from 3mm to 20 mm mesh size, depending on the usage.

Strainer or jelly bags can be used for multiple purposes, including straining out water, filtering homemade jelly, marmalade, juice, nut milk, fermenting vegetables, and more!

How to use a strainer bag

There is no difference between jelly and strainer bags, however, some people prefer to call jelly bags strainer bags as their use isn’t limited to just filtering jellies.

Strainer bags are typically made of nylon, polyester, or polyethylene. Many manufactures sell them in different sizes and weights. Most jelly bags come with a drawstring, but some have the option to have an elastic band attached for no-mess straining.

There are two options when it comes to using jelly bags:

Option 1: Jelly Strainer bag with stand

These bags come with a stand that you can use to hold up your strainer bag. In addition, the stands come with hooked feet, which you can use to anchor them over different pots and pans. They can also be disassembled easily for easy storage.  

Once you have your setup ready, pour whatever you want to strain into the strainer bag until the bag is ¾ full, and let the liquid strain slowly without any external stimulus.

Option 2: Drawstring jelly bag

These bags come with drawstrings attached and are designed to fit over your pots and pans. Stretch the bag over a pot and pour in your mixture that needs to be strained. When you have the bag ⅔ full, gently free the bag from the pot and pull the drawstrings to close the bag. Elevate the strainer bag over the pot in which you want to collect the strained liquid by tying it to a stand or hook and leave it undisturbed until the liquid is completely strained.

How to get the best out of your strainer bags?

Strainer Bag
  1. Before you use a strainer bag for the first time, soak the strainer bag in either room temperature or cold water for 15-20 minutes. This helps to loosen the strainer bag fibers and also makes it easy to maneuver the bag.
  2. Strainer bags are meant to be reused. Once you are done using the bags, rinse out the bags thoroughly in cold water and let them air dry in the open air before you use them again.
  3. When you strain any sort of mixture using a strainer bag, let it drip on its own. Never try to coax out more liquid by squeezing the pulp in the strainer bag. You might end up squeezing out pulp particles that you want to avoid into the liquid.
  4. Let the liquid drip from the strainer bag naturally. Leave your setup undisturbed overnight so that you can get the most from your jelly bags. You don’t need to do this draining process in the refrigerator.

Where can you use a strainer bag?

Strainer bags are very versatile and can be used wherever you need fine straining. Strainer bags are most commonly used to filter fruit jellies to remove the pulp and sediment. However, they can also be used for straining soup stocks, sauces, purees, and much more. The strainer bags also come in handy when making soy milk or milk from different kinds of nuts.

Alternatives to strainer bags


There are alternatives to strainer bags, but none are as effective or durable. If you are not keen on buying these jelly or strainer bags, you can also use cheesecloth to strain the juices/liquid out of fruits or the mixture. When using cheesecloth to strain liquids, you need to layer multiple sheets of cheesecloth for maximum efficiency.

Is it worth investing in strainer bags?

Strainer or jelly bags are worth the investment. Strainer bags are not costly and can be purchased right off of Amazon, where they offer different strainers with a wide range of prices. These bags are not only durable and easy to use, but they also allow the user to strain a lot of different liquids. They can be used for anything from making jelly at home to separating juices or stocks.

Strainer bags save time as well as energy during cooking and produce better results than other alternatives. They are also easy to clean and maintain, as they can be washed in the dishwasher or hand washed.

It is important to note that you should always choose strainer bags from reliable brands because poor quality may lead to the strainer bag wearing out quickly, which will not only affect the bag’s longevity but can also lead to food particles passing through the product and end up in your strained liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Straining with a jelly bag

What to do with the leftover pulp in the strainer?

The best way to handle the leftover pulp in the strainer bag is to compost it. When you filter fruit pulp to make jellies, the majority of the flavor is present in the filtered liquid, and all that’s left behind is the fibers without much flavor. Composting it will give you great material to enrichen your garden.

How to remove stains from a strainer bag?

Rinse out the strainer bag in cold water so that the stain doesn’t set. Next, soak the strainer bag in soapy cold water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and let it sit until it cools to room temperature. Rinse thoroughly with water to get rid of all traces of soap. The nylon strainers stain a lot less than the cotton ones, so that you can opt for those.


Jelly Bag

Strainer bags are essential kitchen accessories, and people have been used for generations; even though they might seem like a small thing, it is worth investing in them as you can use them for so many different products. So give jelly bags a try and check how they work out for you. We are sure you will be using them for a long time to come!

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