Does Thyme Go Bad?

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Thyme is an herb, and it is used a lot in making medicines and many other things worldwide. People also use thyme to add flavor to some dishes, and mostly it can be used in rice dishes. So if you have a bundle of thyme sitting in your pantry for a long time and you are not sure whether to use it or not, as you may be wondering, does thyme go bad?

Like other eatables and food products, thyme has a stable shelf life, especially dried ones. Fresh thymes can not last for a long time, and you will have to take care of it to make the fresh thyme last for a long time. If you were looking for some helpful information related to thyme, then you are at the right place.

How to Store Thyme?

You can find thyme anywhere in the supermarkets or stores. The dried ones come in sealed packages, and the fresh ones are not packed in a container. They have small leaves like mint. You don’t have to worry about its shelf life for the dried thyme as it is a shelf-stable product.

Fresh thyme needs some proper storage conditions. Otherwise, it will go bad very quickly. If you don’t know how to store the fresh and dried thyme, don’t worry. Following are some important guidelines for storing thyme.

Store in refrigerator

If you have bought fresh thyme from the market, then you should not store it at room temperature for a long time because it can go bad very quickly at room temperature. The best place for the storage of fresh thyme is only the refrigerator.

The refrigerator can keep the thyme fresh for a couple of days in its calm and cool environment. However, avoid washing the thyme before storing it in the refrigerator, as water can affect the quality of the leaves. It will be best for you to pack them in plastic bags with a moist towel before storing them in the refrigerator.

Keep away from moist

Moisture can affect the quality of dried thyme. Fresh thyme does not get affected by the moisture, but the dried or powdered form of thyme may get affected by the moisture. So, you should keep it away from moisture so that it can last for a long time.

Keep it sealed tightly

As moisture and air can affect thyme’s quality, you should better keep it sealed tightly. Most of the time, the thyme comes in sealed packets, and it can last for many months as long as the packet is sealed. However, once you open the packet, the thyme will get exposed to the air, and the process of oxidation will speed it.

To reduce that process, you should always keep the dried thyme sealed properly. For example, you can store it in an airtight container or a jar.

Store in freeze

For long-term preservation, you can also freeze the dried as well as fresh thyme for many months.

Can You Freeze Thyme?

Yes, you can freeze the fresh thyme to extend its shelf life. As we know that the shelf life of thyme is very short so, to increase that shelf life, you can store it in the freezer as it is the best way for the long preservation of thyme.

Wash the thyme carefully and after washing it, transfer it into a sealed container or freeze bags and store them in the freezer for long preservation.

How Long Does Thyme Last?

The shelf life of both dried and fresh thyme is completely different from one another. One has a stable shelf life, and the other has an unstable shelf life. The shelf life of thyme also depends on the storage conditions. If you take good care of the thyme, then you can enjoy its taste and flavor for a long time.

The dried thyme comes in packed packages with the best by date labeled on the package. It is an estimated date, and it can last for a few more months after passing the best by date labeled on it. At room temperature, dried thyme can last for almost a year. But the fresh thyme has a short life as compared to the dried thyme. It can stay fresh for a couple of days at room temperature and almost for a week in the fridge. If you freeze fresh thyme, then it may last for a couple of months.

How to Tell If Thyme Is Bad?

A time will come when your thyme will no longer be fresh, and it will show some signs of spoilage. To tell whether it is fresh or not, take care of the following things:

  • Check the texture of fresh thyme. If the leaves have become softer and mushier, then it means that they have gone bad.
  • If you notice any bacterial growth on fresh thyme leaves, then the thyme has gone bad. Therefore, you should not use it.
  • If the sprigs become saggy, then try to get rid of them at once.