How to Tell if Thyme Is Bad?

Thyme is a herb widely utilized in producing medications and other products worldwide. Thyme can flavor various meals, but it is most commonly used in rice dishes. So, if you’ve had a bundle of thyme in your cupboard for a while and aren’t sure if you should use it, you might wonder if thyme goes terrible.


When choosing thyme for cooking, look for an herb that remains green throughout the winter. Slightly acidic soil is perfect, but thyme does not grow well in deep shade. Thyme is easiest to grow as a transplant, so purchase it in the fall and plant it in spring. It is essential to plant thyme plants early in the spring, as seeds do not germinate well and are difficult to handle.

What Is Thyme?

Thyme is a Mediterranean herb that can be used in cooking, medicine, and as a decorative plant. Thyme has been used to treat various symptoms and problems with its flowers, leaves, and oil. Diarrhea, stomach discomfort, arthritis, and a sore throat are among them, and Thymus vulgaris is the most frequent. Thyme goods are available for purchase online in a variety of forms.

Chemicals in thyme may aid in treating bacterial and fungal illnesses, and they may potentially have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. People routinely use thyme to treat coughs, alopecia areata (patchy hair loss), dementia, and various other ailments, but there is no scientific proof to back up these claims. Thyme is not to be confused with wild thyme, and these two plants are not the same.

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:


You have to look at the spice to see if it has any discoloration, fresh or dried. Such a spice is hazardous if there is any discoloration. Immediately toss them out. Also, if there are any wilted sprigs, look for them. Immediately discard such a vegetable.

If Thyme Feels Too Soft

Feel the texture of the fresh veggie spice by touching, holding, and feeling it. Such fresh spice is unpleasant when it feels sticky, slimy, and mushy. Immediately toss them out. Also, if the spice is dry, give it a little squeeze and see if it feels scratchy and dusty. Immediately toss them out.

Off Smell

Take a whiff of the spices (dried or fresh). If you detect an off odor, the thyme has a terrible odor, or it no longer has the spicy aroma it once did, the spice is rotten and should be discarded.

Bad Taste

Take a bite of this incredible spice. Such spice is terrible if it tastes strange or different from how it used to taste. Throw them away right away, and don’t use them again.

What Is the Shelf Life of Thyme?

Dried thyme last on the counter for 7 to 8 months before going wrong, if you keep them properly in their proper conditions necessary on the counter. Raw dried thyme lasts in the fridge for 1 to 2 years before going wrong if you store them properly in the proper conditions necessary in the fridge. Dried thyme lasts in the freezer for 3 to 4 years before going wrong if you keep them properly in the proper conditions necessary in the freezer.

Raw dried thyme can do well on the counter, so there is no big deal storing dried thyme there since that’s a long time for storage, But ensure to store far away from excess moisture or sunlight, making it watery. To get more extended storage like for years, store dried spices on the counter, and they will do well there.

How To Store Thyme?

Fresh thyme needs refrigeration if you want it to last for more than a few days. Store it in a plastic bag with a moist paper towel for best results. Dried thyme should sit in a cool and dry place, tightly sealed. Storing dried thyme is no rocket science, and all it needs is to be away from any moisture.

It would be best always to store dried spices in an airtight container because that method is the safest for long-term storage. When it comes to fresh thyme, things are a bit more complicated. Sure, you can toss the bunch into the fridge, but that’s far from perfect.

How to Easily Dry Fresh Thyme?

To dry fresh thyme, do the following:

  1. Wash the thyme under running water and pat it dry.
  2. Tie the sprigs in bunches and hang them indoors (at room temperature) in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
  3. Let the leaves dry, which usually takes between 5 days and two weeks, depending on the temperature, humidity, and how tight you tie the bunch.
  4. Remove dried leaves from the sprigs, and place them in an airtight container.

It only takes around ten minutes of work and two weeks of waiting. After that, you’ll have “homemade” dried thyme on hand for months.

How to Freeze Fresh Thyme?

This is one of the easiest ways to freeze fresh thyme. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wash the herb and pat it dry. The latter is crucial because you don’t want any water drops or moisture in the freezer.
  2. Put the sprigs in a plastic bag and place the bag in the freezer. Leave it there until everything freezes. Overnight should be good enough, even if there are a few bunches.
  3. Roll over the frozen sprigs in the bag to separate the leaves from the stems. Throw out the stems and put the rest back in the freezer.

That’s it. Again, it only requires a few minutes of work to get it done. You can store the frozen thyme in the freezer for months without worrying it will go wrong.

Can You Use Out of Date Thyme?

The most outstanding quality dried thyme lasts for six to a year, but you can use it for months or even years. Thyme, like all fresh herbs, does not last long. Depending on how you store it, you may expect it to keep its quality for 7 to 14 days in the fridge.

Spices like thyme, which are nasty, melancholy, and flavorless, will not make you sick. But here’s the deal: Your spices may be rotten, but they aren’t outdated. Although the expiration date on the bottle is essential for keeping track of freshness (and remember freshness = flavor), you can still use a spice after it has beyond that date.


Thyme leaves are versatile and add a wonderful flavor to any dish. Try marinating vegetables or seasoning meat. The mild, aromatic flavor of thyme leaves will elevate any dish. You can also use thyme leaves to enhance the taste of cheese or other ingredients. They blend well with many other herbs and add a sophisticated flavor to any recipe.

The best part about thyme leaves is that they don’t take away the flavor of the other ingredients in the dish. Store fresh thyme loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Discard once the leaves begin to turn brown. Once removed from the stem, thyme leaves will stay fresh in a small sealed container in the refrigerator for three days.