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How Long Does Thyme Last In The Fridge?

Today, we’re putting the spotlight on one of the most versatile and beloved herbs – thyme. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a newbie in the kitchen, chances are you’ve encountered this aromatic herb at some point.

So, how long does thyme last in the fridge?

Fresh thyme can last in the fridge for up to two weeks. To store it, you can:

  • Clean and dry the thyme
  • Wrap it in a damp paper towel
  • Place it in a plastic bag with a few punctured holes
  • Keep it in the fridge

Thyme that has gone bad may be slimy, mushy, or have wilted sprigs.

So, let’s start now.

How Long Does Fresh Thyme Last?

When stored properly, fresh thyme can last up to two weeks in the fridge.

How Long Does Thyme Last In The Fridge-2

It is a relatively low-maintenance herb, making it a great addition to any kitchen. However, it is important to store it correctly to ensure its freshness and shelf life.

Storage Method Shelf Life Best For
Fridge Up to 14 days Short-term storage (1-2 weeks)
Freezer (in water or olive oil) Up to 6 months Long-term storage (6+ months)

Factors That Affect Fresh Thyme’s Shelf Life

When it comes to keeping fresh thyme in the fridge, there are several factors to consider that can affect its shelf life. These include storage method, temperature, humidity, air exposure, contamination, and the quality of the herb itself.

One of the key factors in preserving fresh thyme is the storage method. It’s crucial to store it properly to prevent spoilage. The best way to do this is by loosely wrapping it in a damp paper towel and placing it in a plastic bag or container. This will help maintain its freshness and prevent wilting.

Temperature also plays a critical role in extending the shelf life of fresh thyme. The ideal temperature for storing it is between 35-40°F (2-4°C). Storing it at a lower temperature may cause freezing and loss of flavor, while higher temperatures can speed up spoilage.

Humidity is another factor that can impact the shelf life of fresh thyme in the fridge. High levels of humidity can cause it to spoil faster, so it’s important to store it in a cool, dry place.

Exposure to air can also affect the freshness of thyme. Keeping it tightly wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container can prevent wilting and loss of flavor.

Contamination from bacteria or other microorganisms can also lead to spoilage. Properly washing and drying the herb before storage can help prevent bacterial growth and contamination.

Lastly, the quality of the thyme itself can significantly impact its shelf life. Using fresh, high-quality herbs can help prolong its freshness compared to older or lower-quality herbs.

In conclusion, by considering factors such as storage method, temperature, humidity, air exposure, contamination, and herb quality, you can ensure that your fresh thyme stays flavorful and fresh for a longer period of time.

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How to Store Fresh Thyme

Proper storage is key to extend the lifespan of fresh thyme up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

To maintain its freshness, follow these simple steps:

Prepare the Thyme

Before refrigerating, make sure to prep the fresh thyme properly. Rinse the sprigs with cool water and gently pat them dry using a paper towel.

Discard any wilted or discolored leaves, as well as tough or woody stems.

Wrap with Damp Paper Towel

For optimal taste, wrap the thyme sprigs in a damp paper towel.

This will help retain moisture and prevent wilting.

Seal in a Plastic Bag

Place the wrapped thyme in a resealable plastic bag, ensuring it is tightly sealed to prevent air and moisture from entering.


Keep the bag of fresh thyme in the refrigerator, ideally in the crisper drawer or on a back shelf where it’s cooler. Avoid storing it near fruits and vegetables that release ethylene gas, as this can speed up spoilage.

Change Towel or Water Regularly

To prolong its freshness, remember to change the damp paper towel every few days or when it begins to dry out. If storing in water, change it every couple of days.

Check for Spoilage

Always check for signs of spoilage before using the fresh thyme, such as mold, discoloration, loss of aroma, wilted leaves, or a bitter taste. If any of these are present, discard the thyme and do not use it.

By following these steps and storing fresh thyme properly in the fridge, you can keep it fresh for longer periods.

Signs That Fresh Thyme Has Gone Bad

Fresh thyme is a versatile herb that can add a burst of flavor to any dish. However, like all fresh produce, it has a limited shelf life and can go bad if not stored properly. Here are the telltale signs that fresh thyme has gone bad and how you can determine if it is still safe to eat.

  • Soft and slimy texture: When fresh thyme starts to spoil, the leaves will become soft and slimy to the touch. This is a clear indication that the herb has gone bad and should not be consumed.
  • Wilting: Fresh thyme that has expired will also start to wilt. The sprigs will lose their firmness and become limp, making them difficult to use in cooking. This is a sign that the herb is no longer fresh and should be discarded.
  • Drying out, browning, and loss of aroma: Another sign that fresh thyme has spoiled is when it starts to dry out, turn brown, and lose its signature aroma. The herb will become brittle and crumble easily when touched. If this occurs, it is best to discard it as it will not provide any flavor or nutrition to your dishes.
  • Wilting, yellowing, and dark spots: As fresh thyme continues to spoil, you may notice that the leaves start to turn yellow and develop dark spots. This is a sign of bacterial or fungal growth and should be avoided.
  • Mold growth: The most obvious sign that fresh thyme has gone bad is the appearance of mold on the leaves. If you see any fuzz or discoloration on the herb, it is a clear indicator that it has spoiled and should not be eaten.
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To prevent these signs of spoilage, make sure to properly store your fresh thyme in the refrigerator. Wrap it in a damp paper towel, seal it in a plastic bag, and change the towel or water regularly to keep the herb fresh. When using fresh thyme, always check for any signs of spoilage before adding it to your dish.

Also Read: Do Tootsie Rolls Go Bad?


In conclusion, storing thyme in the fridge is a delicate task that requires attention to detail and proper techniques.

To keep your thyme fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, consider factors such as temperature, humidity, air exposure, and the quality of the herb itself. By wrapping it in a damp paper towel, regularly changing it out, and checking for signs of spoilage before use, you can extend its shelf life for up to two weeks.

Don’t underestimate the impact of proper storage – it can make all the difference in preserving the vibrant green leaves and aromatic scent of this beloved herb.