Thyme, with its subtle earthy flavor, is a favorite herb in many households. But what if you’ve got more than you can use, or your thyme plant is threatening to take over the garden? Can you freeze it? The answer is a resounding yes! Here’s everything you need to know about how to freeze thyme and preserve its vibrant flavor for the long haul.
🧊 Freezing Thyme
Can You Freeze Thyme?
Absolutely! Both fresh and dried thyme can be preserved in the freezer, ensuring you’ll always have some on hand for your culinary masterpieces.
Does Freezing Change Texture?
Freezing does slightly alter the texture of thyme. Frozen thyme becomes more brittle, but this is not a problem when it comes to cooking, as it typically gets minced or chopped anyway.
How to Freeze Thyme: A Step by Step Guide
- Rinse fresh thyme under cold water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Lay the thyme sprigs out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space them out so they aren’t touching.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until the thyme is fully frozen.
- Transfer the frozen thyme into a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible before sealing.
- Label the container with the date and place it back in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Fresh Thyme?
Yes, fresh thyme is excellent for freezing. Follow the step-by-step guide above to do so.
How Long Can You Freeze Thyme?
Thyme can be frozen for up to 6 months. Beyond that, it might start to lose some of its potency, but it will still be safe to use.
Defrosting Thyme in the Refrigerator
- Remove the desired amount of thyme from the freezer.
- Place it in a bowl or on a plate and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Quick Thawing at Room Temperature
- Take the thyme you want to use out of the freezer.
- Place it on a plate at room temperature.
- Let it thaw for about 15-30 minutes.
Note: Since thyme is often used in cooking, you can usually add it straight to hot dishes without thawing.
Thyme for More Questions
5 Tips for Freezing Thyme
- Make sure your thyme is clean and dry before freezing.
- To maintain the flavor of the thyme, freeze it as soon as possible after harvesting or purchasing.
- Use airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and to keep the thyme’s scent from permeating other foods.
- Label your containers with the date so you can use the oldest ones first.
- Don’t forget that you can add frozen thyme directly to hot dishes without thawing.
Do Thyme Freeze Well?
Yes, thyme freezes very well. While the texture may change slightly, the flavor remains strong and aromatic.
Can You Refreeze Thyme?
It’s generally not recommended to refreeze herbs once they’ve been defrosted, as it can lead to a loss of flavor and quality.
In conclusion, freezing thyme is a wonderful way to preserve its fresh, earthy flavor. Whether you’ve harvested too much from your garden or bought more than you needed, freezing thyme ensures no sprig goes to waste. So, the next time you’re blessed with an abundance of thyme, don’t fret – freeze it!