Learn how to dry thyme in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. Drying thyme is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple!
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Dried thyme is an incredibly versatile herb for home cooks.
From Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos to Grilled Tomatoes With Cheese to Gluten-Free Scalloped Potatoes to Instant Pot French Onion Soup to Sausage Stuffing, thyme packs so much flavor into lots of fantastic dishes. It’s also fantastic in our Seafood Seasoning.
Drying your own thyme is both easy and affordable, and I’ll show you how.
HOW DO YOU DRY FRESH Thyme?
There are four methods you can use to dehydrate fresh thyme – the dehydrator, the oven, hanging to dry, and the microwave.
I’ll walk you through each of the options in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DRY FRESH Thyme?
Between you and me, my preference is always to use my dehydrator. It’s energy-efficient, I can dry a lot at once, and I know it will consistently dry my herbs.
But, if you live in a warm place with limited humidity, hanging thyme to try is also super simple.
Do You Wash Thyme Before Drying it?
Yes, absolutely especially if the thyme is coming in fresh from the garden! Rinse the sprigs in a bowl of cool clean water and shake to dry. I prefer to allow the sprigs to fully dry before starting the actual dehydrating process.
Can You Dry Thyme With the Stems?
Yes! Thyme leaves are so teeny tiny and it would be next to impossible to remove them all prior to drying. Leaving the leaves on the stems makes everything much easier.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DRY FRESH Thyme IN A DEHYDRATOR?
Drying conditions and methods will determine the total drying time, but on average, it takes 1-3 hours in the dehydrator. Of all the herbs I dehydrate, thyme is definitely the fastest.
I can dehydrate garlic, dry chives, dry rosemary, dry peaches, dehydrate basil, dry oregano, dehydrate mint, dehydrate marshmallows, dry limes, dehydrate tomatoes, dry pears, dehydrate onions, and dehydrate apples in a flash.
HOW TO STORE DRIED Thyme
As long as it is stored in a cool and dry place, your dehydrated thyme will be good for a year.
Make sure the dried thyme leaves are fully cooled before putting them into an air-tight container. As it cools it will release heat that could result in condensation and eventually cause it to mold.
Fresh Thyme to Dried Thyme Cooking Conversion
Dried herbs are 2-3 times more powerful than fresh. I always start with a 1:3 ratio when I am using dried herbs.
If a recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of fresh thyme, start with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and then adjust to taste.
PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES
- Avoid the temptation to increase the heat on the dehydrator or oven to speed up the process. Low and slow wins in the race on this one.
- If your thyme stems are very “fluffy” and stick up over the dehydrator tray, place an empty dehydrator tray over the top tray to create a buffer between the thyme and the dehydrator fan.
- The thyme is ready when individual stems break or snap instead of bend. They will feel like tiny dried crispy leaves when ready.
- Remove fully cooled dried leaves from the stems and store whole or grind in a food processor, mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder used just for spices.
- Store in an air-tight container like a mason jar for up to a year.
How to Dry Thyme
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
How to Dehydrate Thyme in a Dehydrator
- Rinse the stems in a bowl of water.1 bunch fresh thyme
- Carefully dry stems in a salad spinner or between layers of a tea towel/flour sack.
- Arrange the stems on the drying racks so that they aren’t touching.
- Dry thyme at 95F, rotating the trays every 45-60 minutes.
- The thyme is ready when it is dry to the touch and has the consistency of dried leaves (~1-3 hours).
- Once cooled, remove leaves from the stems.
- Allow leaves to fully cool before crushing or storing whole in an air-tight container.
How to Dry Thyme in the Oven
- Place clean thyme stems on baking drying racks set inside baking sheets. Don't let the stems overlap or touch.
- Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (usually 140-170 degrees F) and prop open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Bake for 2-3 hours. Check every 45 minutes, rotating trays and making sure stems are not touching.
How to Air Dry Thyme
- Suspend small amounts of thyme stems in a paper bag with holes punched in it and close the top of the bag with string, yarn, or a rubber band.
- Hang in a place where it can get air circulation.
- Peek in the bag daily. Drying time will vary depending on conditions.
Drying Thyme in the Microwave
- Place stems flat between two paper towels and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
- Move the stems around and microwave in 20-second increments until the thyme is dried and crunchy (~1.5-2.5 minutes).
- This method only works well in small quantities. Do not try to dry too much at once.
- Dried thyme will last for a year in a cool dry place.