The Better Way to Drain Yogurt
In the past when a recipe has called for strained yogurt, my wife and I have always gone with the conventional method, rigging up some version of the mouse-trap variety involving cheesecloth and gravity. Hanging the yogurt-filled cheesecloth from a banana hook and draining the liquid into a bowl seems to perform well. But it sure is a pain to set up. The most commonly recommended method, fitting the cheesecloth inside a colander, simply doesn’t drain well; the larger surface area disperses the force of gravity, and the yogurt drains at a snail’s pace.
It finally occurred to us to try a Melitta coffee maker. It sets up in a New York minute. It drains the yogurt faster. And it streamlines the task on the back end, as well: after the yogurt fully drains, just tip the strained yogurt out of the filter, and finally squeeze what yogurt has stuck to the paper — like squeezing cake frosting from a pastry bag. With cheesecloth, you’re left with a gooey mess that requires a spatula to salvage what you can, leaving wasted yogurt smeared in the woven fabric.