One thing you may not know about dried thyme, is that it’s one of the most effective ways to preserve its natural oils and aromas. Learning to create and work with dried herbs is exceedingly simple, and will allow you to enjoy them throughout the year.
Dried thyme leaves will be the final result. We’ll show you how to work with the stems and needles, and also how to prepare and store large batches of fresh herbs.
How to dry thyme
Before we get to drying thyme, we need to clean it. The thyme herb, when fresh from the garden, will have dirt and other contaminants on it, which you can rinse away with water. Shake off any remaining moisture, and let it dry for about 10 minutes between two pieces of paper towel.
Next, extract the fresh thyme leaves. This can be difficult to accomplish in one fell swoop, but it’s easy to get the hang of. Pinch one end of the stem and pull your fingers across it until all of the leaves fall off.
Set your food dryer machine to 100 degrees F. Place your thyme leaves on your dehydrator trays, giving enough space for air to travel through. Dehydrate until the moisture content is thoroughly removed and the leaves are dry and brittle.
We recommend using a food dehydrator to dry thyme, for multiple reasons. First, it’s an enclosed environment that protects your dried herbs from outside air and moisture. Moisture will settle into your thyme herb, causing mold, and oxygen will cause it to spoil.
You can also prepare large batches of dried herbs in one sitting. An effective model with plenty of trays and an external air flow mechanism will guarantee that your herbs will dehydrate consistently, with no flavor blending.
How to process and store your thyme seasoning
Place your whole dried thyme leaves in a vacuum-sealed container. Mason jars or a cost-effective vacuum seal machine with bags are ideal.
If you prefer thyme rub, or thyme spice in powdered form, it’s very easy to make. We recommend grinding one- or two-week long portions in your food processor at a time. This keeps your remaining stock of thyme from oxidizing, with very little work.
You can also make a thyme tea. The easiest way to do this is to steep and strain the raw herbs in a pot, then add your favorite sweetener, such as honey or sugar. You may also create a specific blend of herbs, including cinnamon or dried sage leaves, and package it in tea bags.
An herb dehydrator will give you everything you need to dry and preserve all of your favorite herbs!