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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking with Thyme?

Janis Adams
Janis Adams

There are a number of different tips for cooking with thyme that will aid the cook in getting the most flavor from this spice. An important consideration is choosing the type of thyme that will be used in the dish you are preparing, as there are two popular types of thyme, both bringing distinctly different flavors. A second very important factor to take into consideration when cooking with thyme is whether you will be using the spice in a dried or fresh form.

When choosing to add the spice to a dish, it is best to know the difference between the two types of thyme most commonly found in groceries and markets. There is lemon thyme, which, as its name implies, has a lemony zest that it brings to whatever it is added to. Lemon thyme is especially good when used to flavor chicken and fish dishes. The second popular type of the spice is called common thyme. Common thyme has a strong scent and lends itself well to bringing zest to stews and stocks.

A good tip for cooking with thyme is to add it at the end of the cooking process. This allows for the maximum flavor to be absorbed into the food. It is important to take into consideration that as thyme cooks it tends to loose its flavor.

Thyme leaves may be used as a flavoring for stews.
Thyme leaves may be used as a flavoring for stews.

When cooking with thyme a whole sprig of the herb may be added. Once the full flavor has been incorporated into the food, it is best to remove the sprig before serving the dish, as no one wants to eat the branchlike part of the sprig. Oftentimes, the leaves will fall off the sprig during the cooking process. If this is something you do not want to have happen, wrap the thyme and any others herbs you may be adding to the dish in cheese clothe and tie off the top to create a small bundle which can be easily added and then removed when the cooking process is finished.

Oregano complements the flavor of thyme.
Oregano complements the flavor of thyme.

Fresh thyme is much stronger in taste and fragrance than dried thyme. It is important to keep this in mind when adding the spice to a recipe. When cooking with fresh thyme it is best to use approximately half of what you would use if you were cooking with dried thyme.

Cooking with thyme lends a savory flavor to any dish. It can be combined with a variety of other spices to create a tasty blend of flavors. Some of the spices that thyme combines well with are rosemary and oregano. Many Mediterranean recipes lend themselves to the addition of thyme.

Discussion Comments


Thyme is one herb that I don't want to be without as it complements so many other herbs and adds flavor to many dishes.

One quick and easy way to add distinct flavor to your vegetables is roast them in the oven. I will put a layer of potatoes and carrots on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with some thyme and a little bit of sea salt. This is much more flavorful than boiling them on the stove or microwaving in the oven.


Thyme is often known for its use in flavoring chicken, fish, soups and vegetables, but one of our family favorites is using in homemade biscuits.

I will add some thyme and cheese to my biscuit batter and the extra flavor is delicious when served alone or with soup or any kind of meat. My times I will also add sage along with the thyme for something a little bit different.

If you are looking for thyme recipes, the internet is full of many tips and recipes on how to use this wonderful, versatile herb.


When cooking with thyme, there aren't really any hard and fast rules. I think the best tip is just to use it. Experiment with it and you will find all kinds of ways to help your food taste better.

It can be as easy as laying a sprig of thyme across chicken or fish as it is baking, or sprinkling on some dried thyme when you are frying. If you are just learning how to cook with herbs, you will love how much flavor they add to your recipes. Thyme is one of those that you just can't go wrong with, and would be one of the first ones I started to experiment with.

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    • Thyme leaves may be used as a flavoring for stews.
      By: margo555
      Thyme leaves may be used as a flavoring for stews.
    • Oregano complements the flavor of thyme.
      By: Scisetti Alfio
      Oregano complements the flavor of thyme.
    • Thyme can be a good addition to savory dishes.
      By: sumnersgraphicsinc
      Thyme can be a good addition to savory dishes.
    • Lemon thyme goes well with fish.
      By: askihuseyin
      Lemon thyme goes well with fish.