How To Dry Thyme – 4 Methods

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What Is ThymeHow To Dry ThymeHow to Store ThymeUsing Fresh vs Dried ThymeFAQSummary

Drying and keeping your thyme for the long term is a very important thing to learn and know about. Thyme is a very herbaceous and aromatic herb. It’s a great addition to most foods and will bring up both the aroma and the flavor of whatever you are cooking. 

Here we share some of the different ways you could go about drying your harvest of thyme. 

Dried Thyme
Dried Thyme

What Is Thyme

Thyme is a very common herb that can be found in a number of different varieties with different aromas and flavors. It grows relatively slowly and will be able to handle hard periods and environments rather well. 

It likes to grow in a dry soil where it can get both some shade and some sunlight. Watering the thyme about once a week will be enough, even during some really warm summers.

Some of the most popular thyme varieties to grow at home are as following:

  • Common Thyme
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Wild Thyme

How To Dry Thyme

There are like we said a number of different ways to dry thyme. Here we share some of the methods that we have tried and enjoy doing the most. The purpose is with all of them to try and keep the flavor and aroma of the herb as much as possible.

How To Air Dry Thyme

Air drying thyme might be the best method actually to preserve the flavor of the herb. We air dry the thyme by tying a bundle of it in the air and letting it dry slowly like this. 

It will take between 1 – 2 weeks or so for it to be finished. It will not only keep the flavor but also spread its aroma to the rest of the room. Make sure you keep something underneath to catch any leaves falling off.

How To Dehydrate Thyme

Dehydrating thyme is a very efficient way of drying a large amount of thyme and then using it during the colder months when you can’t get fresh harvests. Drag the leaves off the sprig from the thyme and lay them flat on a tray. 

Dry in the dehydrator at the lowest possible temperature setting. This will take between 3 – 6 hours before it’s fully dried. Keeping the temperature down will help maintain both the aroma and flavor very well. Store in an air-tight container afterwards.

How To Dry Thyme In The Oven

This might be the most common method for gardens to dry their thyme. Laying the sprigs or picked leaves flat in an even layer on a tray and then drying is a great option.

The downside might be that the light coming from the oven sort of changes the color a little bit of the thyme. It goes more brown instead of keeping its lovely green color.

How To Dry Thyme In Microwave

This is probably the least used method here on the list. We must first pick the leaves from the thyme and then put it on a plate. 

Microwave the leaves until they are dry in texture. This won’t take very long. The risk being that the leaves are instead starting to burn. Store them in an air-tight container afterwards.

Thyme Plant
Thyme Plant

How To Store Dried Thyme

Being able to store dried thyme in the best and proper way is just as important as being able to dry the thyme too. We always recommend keeping the dried herb, in this case thyme, in an air-tight container. 

Keep some kitchen paper in the bottom of the container to soak up any liquid that might sneak into the box. This box should then be kept in a cabinet or just away from a stove or fridge. It will stay good for about 6 months at least before the aroma starts to diminish.

How To Use Fresh And Dried Thyme

Using both fresh and dried thyme is sort of different. Fresh thyme can for example be used when frying meat as a finishing touch, but using dried thyme herb would just give out a burnt flavor as the leaves get cooked too quickly.

Fresh thyme leaves would therefore be best used in places where it doesn’t have to soak up liquid, like of a salad or vegetables. Dried thyme would be better to use in soups and sauces instead where it can give a better concentration of flavor.

FAQ

Is It Better To Freeze Or Dry Fresh Thyme

In our opinion, drying thyme is the better option. With herbs like thyme and rosemary, they don’t contain a lot of water from the start. So drying them won’t really change the flavor that much.

What Is The Best Way To Keep Thyme Fresh

Keeping thyme fresh for a long time is very easy. Store it in an air-tight container with some kitchen paper in the bottom. If the box is kept in the fridge then you can expect to have fresh thyme for at least 1 – 2 weeks.

Can Fresh Thyme Be Dried

Fresh thyme can definitely be dried. One of the best methods of drying it is tying a bundle and letting it hang freely. It will keep the flavor and aroma very well if done like this.

Thyme Plant
Thyme Plant

Summary

There are a number of ways to dry thyme out there. The one we would recommend is perhaps the most time consuming one, to air dry thyme. Tying a bundle and letting it slowly dry. It will take between 1 and 2 weeks before it’s done. 

Store it in an air-tight container afterwards to help maintain the flavor and aroma of the herb.

Additional Information

Read more articles about Preserving Your Garden

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