Dried herbs pack a powerful punch of flavour in every pinch you use. They last in the cupboard for a while but will lose their potency over time. So, is there a way to extend their shelf life a little further?
Can You Freeze Dried Herbs?
Yes, you can freeze dried herbs for up to 3 months. The best way to maintain their aroma for the longest time is to place them into an airtight container, press as much air out as possible, and then seal the container shut before freezing it.
Do Dried Herbs Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Dried Herbs? Yes
How to Freeze Dried Herbs
Although the go-to option for storing dried herbs is in the cupboard or larder, it is perfectly possible to freeze dried herbs:
- Clean Container: The first step to freezing dried herbs is ensuring that the airtight container you’re using is devoid of any smell or liquid.
- Transfer Herbs: When the container is clean and dry, transfer the dried herbs to it, and ensure that there’s as little excess air as possible. If you’re using a squashable container, press any excess air out.
- Seal: Seal the container with as little air as possible, and then transfer it to the freezer.
In the freezer, the herbs will keep for around three months without losing any of their integral aromatic compounds.
3 Tips for Freezing Dried Herbs
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing dried herbs to have the best results:
Don’t Forget Them
The process of evaporating aromatic chemicals takes place no matter where the food is kept. This means that they will lose their aroma, whether frozen or not. Make sure to use them within three months so that you can get them when they’re at their most effective.
Use an Airtight Container
Water getting into the container will essentially change the herbs into fresh herbs. This will mean that they spoil much more quickly and so should be avoided as much as possible.
Great Your Own Blends
To get the most out of your herbs, try blending them before adding them to the freezer. Blending them will ensure that you can easily scoop up a portion of, for example, Italian seasoning and add it to your cooking directly from the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Dried Herbs?
You can keep dried herbs in the freezer for up to three months.
The reason that this limit is on the process of freezing these herbs is a little different to the reason that the three-month limit is on other herbs.
In this case, compounds that give the herbs their flavour will evaporate over time, making them less useful.
To ensure that you use the herbs while they still have as many powerful aromatics as possible, we recommend keeping them in an airtight container and using them within three months of freezing.
How Do You Defrost Dried Herbs?
Dried herbs are typically formed of exceptionally small particulates of leaves and roots. This means they can be frozen and defrosted very quickly, just as you might freeze and defrost finely minced garlic or chilli.
Therefore, you can add frozen, dried herbs directly to your cooking – the heat of the food you’re making in the pan will defrost them almost instantly, meaning that they can immediately start to release powerful flavours into the meal you’re making.
To boost the herbs and their flavour, we recommend adding them to the meal at a point where there’s a lot of fat in the pan that’s yet to be absorbed into other ingredients – the fat will start to cook the herbs releasing their flavour.
This is why many recipes involve a blooming phase for the spices – the flavor chemicals release into fats very easily.
Can You Refreeze Dried Herbs?
Yes, you can refreeze dried herbs. The reason that it’s perfectly fine to refreeze dried herbs is because there’s little to no water content in them, and freezer burn from water content is the number one thing that prevents you from refreezing things in your kitchen.
The lack of water content means that the remaining elements of the herbs will freeze, thaw, and refreeze without any great trouble, leading to a perfectly well-maintained collection of herbs.
Do Dried Herbs Freeze Well?
Yes, dried herbs do freeze well. This is because the flavour chemicals within most different herbs and spices are dissolved within oils that are naturally within the plant. Therefore, no ice, condensation, or similar liquid will be able to dissolve them.
For this reason, the flavours of different herbs are perfectly powerful after they have been frozen, typically just as good as when they went into the freezer.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing dried herbs or herbs in general, then these may help:
Yes, fresh herbs can be frozen. Large leaves can be quickly blanched and then frozen in a freezer bag. Or, the preferred approach for freezing herbs is to finely chop them up, pack them into an ice cube tray and then freeze.
If you keep dried herbs in a dark cupboard away from temperature fluctuations, they will be safe to consume for years. However, over time, they will lose their strong flavour.
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