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The Mysteries of Butcher's Twine

My question seems such a silly one, but no one I ask knows the answer. I ran out of ties to truss birds and other things that I got with the "rotisserie" I bought. I have asked people in stores and cooks in my family, but no one can tell me what kind of string to buy to truss turkey, chicken, and roasts. It seems to me that cotton string would burn up with the high heat of an oven. The string ties I got with the rotisserie had a wax feeling to them.

Well of course the answer — and deep in your heart you know it already — is that you must purchase extra rolls of the waxy twine that came with your machine directly from the rotisserie manufacturer. Anything else will void your warranty, consistently ruin the food you're trying to cook, and expose you to grave fire hazards. And by the way, it costs only $19.95 for a roll ($59.79 for three!)

On the other hand, people have been making do with butcher's twine for quite a few years, and we see no reason why you can't. We would truss and tie the chicken neatly and trim the ends of the twine very short, so that they aren't flopping against the heating elements in the rotisserie. But butcher's twine doesn't ignite in a regular oven — even plain paper won't ignite until 451F (233C) — so we think if the rotisserie doesn't reduce a chicken to cinders, it also won't incinerate your butcher's twine. (Of course, you must be cautious that no loose ends brush against the heating elements.)

You can also purchase Elastic Food Ties from Ronco, in bundles of 60 for $9.95 each, to make sure you get full use from the Showtime Rotisserie Oven. But apparently you purchased another brand of rotisserie? What TV channel do you watch?

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