Fresh Thyme to Dried Thyme – The Conversion Ratio
Fresh thyme sprigs are commonly used to flavor soups, stews, stuffings and meats dishes. During winter months when fresh, locally-grown thyme may not be readily available, dried thyme can be substituted for fresh thyme in most recipes. However, that does not mean that you can just replace the fresh thyme your recipe calls for with an equal amount of the dried product. Why? Because the dehydration process pulls water out of herbs, decreasing their volume. It is essential to keep this in mind when converting fresh and dried thyme.
So, how do you convert fresh thyme to dried thyme? You use a conversion ratio! Unlike some other common herbs, thyme retains much of its flavor and aroma when dried. Therefore, healwithfood.org recommends the following conversion ratio for substituting dried thyme for fresh thyme:
6 fresh thyme sprigs = 3/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme
If your recipe calls for tablespoons of fresh thyme instead of sprigs, you can use the ratio 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme equals about 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme.
When converting fresh thyme to dried thyme in recipes, it is important to keep in mind that the conversion formulas should only be used as a general guideline. The ideal substitution amounts can vary drastically depending on how old your dried thyme is and how long the packet has been open. Furthermore, there are often significant differences between different brands.
Therefore, it is important to taste the dish as it cooks and add small amounts of the herb if the recipe needs additional flavor.
What to Do When Neither Fresh nor Dried Thyme is Available?
The above conversion ratio is helpful if you are in a situation where you are out of fresh thyme but have dried thyme. However, it may happen that you have neither fresh nor dried thyme at home; yet, your recipe calls for this aromatic herb. In such a situation, you may be happy to learn that there are several herbs that can be substituted for thyme in many recipes. Some of the most common substitutes include oregano, savory and marjoram. These herbs work particularly well in recipes that use fresh thyme sprigs as a garnish. Also blends that contain thyme (such as herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning) can often be used as a substitute for ground dried thyme.