The easiest way to dry thyme is by airdrying which costs nothing and gives you a reliable year-round supply of this essential herb. This is sustainable living at its best!
The two most common varieties are Common Thyme and Lemon Thyme. Both are essential to any herb garden as lemon thyme is unique and gives a fresh citrus flavour to chicken and fish dishes.
Thyme is a hardy perennial growing in most climates from hot dry Mediterranean climates to colder regions. Thyme likes a sunny position in well drained soil and is perfect for rockeries and borders as it has a creeping habit. For more information including growing thyme in pots, see this Thyme Growing Guide.
- Pruners or Scissors – Try these ratchet pruners for easy use from Amazon. (Paid link)
- Twine or Kitchen String
- Drying Racks (Optional)
How to Air dry Thyme
- Cut the Stems
First cut the stems just above a node (where new growth will shoot) preferably before the stem starts to flower.
- Bunch and Tie Together
Then bunch several stems together and tie at the end firmly with twine or kitchen string. Make a long loop with the string for hanging.
Find a place out of direct sunlight that has low humidity. Moisture in the air will increase the drying time and could result in mould forming on the leaves.
- Drying on Racks
The second method is to use drying racks which will shorten the drying time as long as the stems aren’t bunched together. You can either place the cut stems on the racks to dry and continue as for method one or take the leaves off the stems while green then leave on the racks to dry.
The drying time for loose leaves is quicker than when you leave them on the stems, however it is easier to take the leaves off a dried stem.
- Drying Time
Airing time will depend on your climate, but it will take at least a week. After drying, undo the stems then place on a large tray. To easily remove the leaves, place the top of the stem between your thumb and fore finger then run your other hand down the stem.
Drying Thyme on Trays
Don’t have drying racks? Place paper towels on a tray then lay the leaves on top in a thin layer. Leave in a place that is out of direct sunlight to dry.
Store the leaves in an airtight container in a cool place out of direct sunlight. The remaining stems can be put in your compost heap. They can be stored for up to 2 years but will loose potency over time.
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To save or print this guide on the easiest way to dry thyme, here is the PDF Version.
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