Learn how to dehydrate thyme for your spice cabinet. It's so easy to do and it tastes so much better than what you buy in the store!
There's nothing like fresh thyme to add to what you're cooking. But when your herb garden has produced more than you can use, or you've come across a great deal on bulk thyme, it's time to dehydrate thyme to bulk up your spice cabinet!
How to Dehydrate Thyme
QUICK REFERENCE: Dry Thyme at 95-115F (35-46C) for 2-6 hours, depending on your dehydrator.
Always preheat your dehydrator when you begin to prep your produce, and dehydrate at the appropriate temperatures.
1. Separate thyme sprigs, and remove bad sprigs
You may have the base of the sprigs that are dark brown because they were close to the dirt. You can clip those ends off now if you prefer.
2. Clean thyme sprigs.
You can soak them in a 1:1 vinegar-water mix if you wish, but unless you are purchasing time from the store, a simple water rinse is probably sufficient.
3. Remove excess water.
Use a salad spinner to remove excess water, or place on clean tea towels to absorb water
Here's how much water was removed from this one batch of thyme. I love my collapsible salad spinner.
4. Place thyme sprigs on dehydrator trays
A suggestion for those who are worried about the leaves falling off after sprigs are dry, but don't like the idea of not having as much air movement using the nonstick sheets might try out this idea:
Make a stack like this:
This way, you still get a little air movement under the sprigs from the mesh, but the nonstick sheet will be there to catch the leaves.
Alternative, you can strip the sprigs ahead of time and dry the loose leaves on reusable silicone mats and cover with another mat (or use parchment paper). There are inexpensive round mats for those of you with round machines, too!
5. Dry at 95-115F (35-46C) for 4-6 hours until brittle
How to Store Dried Thyme
Stored dehydrated thyme in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.
I do keep a small glass container in my kitchen for ready access to small amounts of thyme since I don't have a cabinet to store spices in, but the bulk of my thyme is kept in the dark pantry.
Other Ways to Dry Thyme
Thyme can be dried a number of ways, as all herbs can be:
- Hang to dry - Tie bundles with string and hang. Place the bundle into a paper sack if bugs or dust are problematic for you.
- Air dry - Place springs between paper towel layers on a cool surface and allow to dry for a day or two until fully dry.
- Oven drying on the lowest setting with the door propped open so that you aren't cooking the herb, but drying it out.
- Microwaving - While I do not recommend this method because you're actually cooking the herb instead of preserving the full nutrients, you can place 4 or 5 sprigs between paper towels and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool and test for brittleness. If not brittle, cook again for another 30 seconds.
READ MORE> 5 Ways to Dry Herbs Without a Dehydrator