Thyme is the perfect addition to such a variety of dishes. It can be thrown into soups, added to stews or tossed in the oven with roasted vegetables. But just because it’s versatile doesn’t mean you don’t find yourself throwing it away.
The problem is, you only ever use 1 or 2 sprigs at a time. So can you freeze thyme and how do you go about doing so?
Thyme can be frozen for up to 6 months. You can either freeze whole sprigs of thyme in a freezer bag or you can chop it up and freeze it in ice cubes.
Can You Refreeze Thyme? No
Does Thyme Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Thyme
When freezing thyme, you can either freeze whole sprigs in freezer bags, or you can freeze it in ice cubes which can be popped straight into your cooking:
How to Freeze Thyme Sprigs
If you want to give yourself a supply of thyme from the freezer, then this is the method for you.
First, give your thyme a good rinse. You don’t want to freeze them with bugs or dirt.
You now need to carefully but thoroughly dry the thyme. The best way to do this is to place it between two sheets of kitchen towel and squeeze it between the layers. The kitchen paper will absorb a lot of the excess moisture.
- Bag Up
Now, line a ziplock bag with a kitchen towel on either side. Slide the thyme into the centre of the bag.
Seal the bag, squeezing out as much of the air as possible.
Place in the freezer.
If you leave it stored in a bag, then make sure you don’t crush it. You can, of course, transfer the sprigs to a solid container once frozen to be on the safer side.
How to Freeze Thyme in Ice Cubes
When it comes to freezing thyme in ice cube trays, we highly recommend creating your own bouquet garni mix. This consists of a mix of similar woody herbs placed into one flavour packed ice cube.
Then all you need to do is drop an ice cube into a stew or soup, and you’ll instantly lift the flavour:
- Prepare Herbs
First, take a bunch of thyme, rosemary and sage. Remove the leaves from the thyme, finely dice the rosemary leaves and roll the sage leaves up and slice. Add all of these to a bowl and mix.
- Fill Ice Cube Tray
Now take an ice cube tray and give it a quick spray with some oil. If you don’t have a spray, then wipe the inside of the ice cube tray with oil using a piece of kitchen paper. Add a couple of tablespoons of your herb mix to each ice cube slot.
- Cover with Oil
Now top it up with good quality olive oil. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you could try an oil infused with garlic.
- Flash Freeze
Place in the freezer and allow to freeze solid.
- Final Freeze
Remove the tray, pop the cubes out and place them in a zip lock bag. Return the bag to the freezer.
You can now grab an ice cube packed full of flavour as and when you need to give a dish that flavour boost. You can also tweak the above list of herbs, even incorporating some spices or citrus flavours.
3 Tips for Freezing Thyme
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing thyme to have the best results:
Mix with Other Herbs
Don’t limit yourself to thyme only. You can freeze it mixed with a variety of other herbs and spices.
Make Thyme Butter
Flavoured butters freeze really well. All you need to do is mix thyme with butter in a blender, roll into a sausage shape and then freeze wrapped in cling film.
Freeze Salsa Verde
Instead of freezing the herbs in a mix, you can make a salsa verde, pesto or chimichurri, which can then be frozen. The method is the same, portion it out into an ice cube tray, seal with some olive oil and freeze.
How Long Can You Freeze Thyme?
Thyme, like most herbs, will last for an incredibly long time in the freezer. The only drawback is that the longer you leave them in there, the greater the chance the flavour will degrade.
We would recommend using your frozen thyme within 6 months.
You Can Freeze Thyme for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Thyme?
There’s further great news for you if you want to use your frozen thyme… You don’t need to defrost it!
If you’re using a frozen sprig, remove it from the freezer, strip the leaves off and then use them as you normally would or where the recipe asks for thyme leaves. As they’re so small, they’ll defrost almost instantly on impact with your dish.
Again, if you’re using the ice cube method above, just toss the ice cube into your dish, and it’ll melt in a matter of minutes.
Can You Refreeze Thyme?
Although it is likely to be safe to refreeze thyme, it’s not something we would recommend. There is a chance that the flavour will degrade significantly when you refreeze thyme, so, where possible, only thaw the amount you need.
This is why the ice cube method is such an effective way of freezing thyme.
Does Thyme Freeze Well?
Nothing will beat thyme that’s freshly picked from the garden – but that’s the case for most ingredients.
Freezing, however, is an incredible way to preserve thyme. If used efficiently, stored correctly and not left in the freezer for too long, then it’ll remain delicious.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing thyme or thyme in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Chopped Thyme?
Thyme can be frozen as whole leaves, sprigs or chopped. Just follow the method outlined above to freeze it as chopped thyme leaves.
Can You Freeze Dried Thyme?
Freezing dried thyme is possible… But there’s no need to. Dried thyme (and most dried herbs) will last for a good 2 to 3 years in an airtight container. There would be no benefit to freezing them.
Can You Freeze Lemon Thyme?
All varieties of thyme can be frozen using the methods on this page, including lemon thyme.
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