What is the best method for yogurt straining? cheesecloth? yogurt strainers? coffee filters? I appreciate it if you could share your experience.

4 Answers 4


Yogurt is a protein mesh that traps the rest of the milk components. Many of the trapped components are water soluble- in particular un-denatured albumin, residual lactose, lactic acid, and riboflavin. The water and these water soluble components are the whey.

Draining off the whey makes the yogurt thicker, and sweeter as some of the acid washes away.

Stir the yogurt well to break up as much of the protein mesh as possible and free the trapped whey.

Then do as Elendil suggests and hang the yogurt in a cloth to drain for a couple hours. I use sturdy mesh cloth from the remnants pile at the fabric store. Cheesecloth is too fragile to be used very many times. How many times can cheesecloth be reused?

  • 2
    Paper towel will also work in a pinch. Don't hang it obviously. We put it in a colander.
    – yossarian
    Apr 14, 2011 at 12:31
  • I also use a metal mesh colander. It works fine.
    – michael
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:36
  • @michael- That is surprising. I would think that would need to be a fairly tight mesh? Apr 14, 2011 at 13:39
  • @Sobachatina It does seem strange, but michael is right. Just a standard fine sieve works just fine as long you don't put any pressure on it.
    – Jolenealaska
    Apr 12, 2014 at 6:57

I usually hang it in cheesecloth or muslin, over a bowl or the sink. This works fine and has the benefit of being washable and reusable.

  • I second you, in India a sweet yoghurt dish is made with strained yoghurt, yoghurt is hung in muslin cloth for some time and then cardamom powder with sugar, confectioner's sugar, is mixed
    – Kumar
    Apr 14, 2011 at 18:12

A tea towel in a colander also seems to work. I'm doing it right now and the results look pretty good.


I have tried the paper towel in colander and it works great. I left it overnight and had thick creamy yogurt for raita and chicken marinade.

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