How To Freeze Dry Thyme

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Freeze Dried Herbs & Spices

Got a lot of thyme on your hands? There’s a better way to preserve this wonderful herb than the standard dehydrating and air-drying. We’ll teach you how to freeze-dry thyme so you’ll still have the best close-to-fresh flavor. There are also a couple of brands we recommend you get in case you don’t have time to freeze dry.

How Do I Prepare Thyme For Freeze Drying?

Preparing the herb before freeze-drying ensures that you get the best freeze-dried herb possible.

When you get your bunch of thyme, carefully inspect each stem. Take out those with wilted, dry-looking leaves and stems. Rinse the picked bunch under cold, running water and carefully shake out excess water. Use your salad spinner and carefully spin it to dry it faster. Place the herbs on a clean paper or kitchen towel to absorb any residual moisture.

Picking the leaves

Thyme stems are woody and lack flavor. If you want, you can keep them intact when you freeze-dry thyme. However, you need to be careful in taking out the leaves from the stem because these will be brittle and can break.

If you want, you can take out the leaves before freeze-drying. The fastest way to do it is to use a fine-mesh sieve or strainer. Push the stem through the hole of the strainer with the leaves pointing towards the mesh. Then carefully and firmly pull the stem until you got all the thyme leaves.

fresh thyme close up shot

Do I Pre-Freeze?

You don’t have to pre-freeze thyme because it doesn’t have a lot of water in it. However, pre-freezing can help reduce your freeze-drying time significantly. You can use your deep freezer for this, but do you want a good quality freeze-dried herb? Use food-grade liquid nitrogen or food-grade dry ice. These freeze your herb almost instantly, so there’s little chance of getting big ice crystals that ruin the cells of your herbs. They are, of course, expensive, so only consider this if you have the budget for it.

How To Freeze Dry Thyme

Freeze-drying thyme is easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.

  1. Turn on your machine and press “START > NON-LIQUID > NOT FROZEN”.
  2. If you pre-froze your thyme, let the machine pre-cool for 15-30 minutes. The chamber should have an inner temperature of -8°F (-22 °C) or colder than your herb.
  3. The machine will beep when it’s ready for freeze-drying. Close the drain valve when it tells you to and load the trays.
  4. Close the chamber door, press “CONTINUE” and let the machine do its work.

How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Thyme?

Freeze-drying thyme would take about 16-24 hours. It can take longer if you’re freeze-drying other food with it, like chicken, blackberries, and steak. You’ll know that the unit’s done freeze-drying when the herbs are dry, airy, and crumbles between your fingers. If you feel cold spots and some leaves feel soft, add 1-3 hours of extra dry time.

bunch of fresh thyme in wooden bowl

Where Can I Buy Freeze Dried Thyme?

Freeze-dried thyme has a flavor so close to its fresh counterpart that you’ll find it hard to notice the difference. That’s why it’s one of the best herbs to have in your pantry, and you don’t have to worry about spoilage. But if you don’t have time to freeze dry or don’t have a freeze dryer yet, here are a couple of brands you can check out.

Litehouse Freeze Dried Thyme

Litehouse freeze-dried thyme is one of the popular freeze-dried herbs in the market. Many customers say the smell is really good; nothing of that unpleasant pungency. It’s got that springy texture, unlike the crumbly feel of dehydrated herbs. Those who are fans of fresh herbs use this when they don’t have one in stock. Others even reduce the amount they grow in their garden because they know they can depend on Litehouse.

A little of this freeze-dried herb goes a long way in enhancing soups and roasts. The flavor is very close to fresh ones; many make this their go-to when they run out of fresh thyme. What’s more, it’s easy to refresh with a little bit of water when you need it.

Green Garden Organic Thyme Freeze Dried Herbs

The bottle of the Green Garden organic freeze-dried thyme more than deserves your attention aside from the design. When you open it, you’ll get this whiff of herb smell close to fresh ones. The company did an excellent job of getting their freeze-drying process. As a result, you’ll get herbs that smell and taste just like you picked them from the garden.

No weird math here, too, when you use it for your recipe. If you need 1tsp of fresh thyme, use 1tsp of Green Garden organic freeze-dried thyme. It’s great for homemade burgers, soups, and stews. It suited a customer so well, she threw away the thyme that’s been sitting in her cabinet for this.

Freeze-dried thyme is the best way to have the fresh taste of the herb year-round. No more worrying about wasting fresh herbs or running out of them when winter comes. Where do you want to use your freeze-dried thyme? Let us know in the comment section.

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