I'm about to do a Spaghetti sauce batch this afternoon, and I can't seem to remember a life hack that I read that made it so you didn't have to go through you sauce and pick the bay leaves one by one.

I can't remember if you have to put them in a teabag or something like that.

So is there a known 'lifehack' to facilitate the picking back up of the bay leaves after cooking with them?


5 Answers 5


I make a spice bundle and tie them all together with a clean shoelace (was the only piece of rope like material I had lying around) or some other rope. You can then tie the other end to the pan handle or lid so you don't lose it completely.

Though I've never tried it myself I believe I've read people making a spice pouch out of cheese cloth or alternatively using a tea strainer.

As I usually let my spaghetti sauce simmer for a couple of hours it isn't an issue that the spices are bundled together as I'll also be stirring regularly to spread all flavourings evenly.


In Germany there is a „Spickzwiebel“ especially for red cabbage. You put your bayleave on the onion and attach it with cloves. For other dishes I use onions the same way but substitute the cloves with a sprig of rosemary or some other hard herb. Works best if herb bags are too small for lager sprigs that don‘t fit the bag.


A bay leaf or two hardly seems problematic, but you can always create a satchel for herbs by using cheese cloth. When you are finished, lift the satchel out.

  • What I could remember was something like use a teabag, that seems pretty close.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 13:59

Because I grow my own bay, I tend to put a sprig or two of bay in (with slight tears in the leaves, but not torn into pieces). This means I have one or two bits of bay to find, rather than lots of individual leaves. Even homegrown dried bay can be dried in sprigs.

You could even use (food-safe) string to attach the sprig. I'd find that more trouble than it's worth.


I finally used an old cheap "stainless snap ball tea strainer" I had lie-ing around not in use for 15 years for the job. Crush the leaves into small bits to fit inside and submerge in the sauce. Works like a charm. I'm thinking of doing a Youtube short of it since most of the results of "removing bay leaves" brings up how to undo hexes or remove negative energy.....

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