Orders Placed M-F by 3:30pm EDT Ship Same Day!

1-888-762-8642

 

What's Better: Fresh or Dried Herbs?

So which is better - fresh herbs or dried herbs? Well, there really isn’t an either/ or answer.

Many chefs believe that fresh herbs are always superior to dried herbs, but that’s not always the case. Herbs typically have four primary flavor compounds - aldehydes, hydrocarbons, ketones and phenols. Some of these compounds are volatile, meaning they are fragile, and their flavor is easily lost when exposed to high temperatures for any length of time, which happens during the drying and cooking processes. Other herbs are much more stable, meaning their flavor remains largely intact when exposed to higher temperatures.


When to Use Fresh Herbs

If you have your own herb garden, using freshly picked herbs is a wonderful luxury. During the colder times of the year, buying fresh out-of-season herbs takes some planning, as they’re much more expensive and their shelf life is usually only a matter of days; even when storing them in the refrigerator.

Fresh herbs are best when used to finish a dish, and should be added at the end of cooking. Some chefs advise against using fresh when cooking a dish that needs to simmer longer than 45 minutes.

Herbs that are best when used fresh are basil, dill weed, chervil, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley and tarragon.


When to Use Dried Herbs

Dried herbs tend to do best when they're added earlier in the cooking process, so that their flavor has enough time to infuse the whole dish. Add them too late and the flavor isn’t near as robust.

With the right dried herbs, as long as you cook them for long enough to soften them, the flavor is just as good, and in many cases even better than the fresh version. They're also a whole lot cheaper and more convenient to use.

Herbs that are better dried than fresh include bay leaves, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme.


The Final Verdict

When a recipe calls for delicate herbs, it’s best to stick with fresh (as well as in all recipes that use herbs raw or to finish a dish). However, if a recipe calls for hardier herbs such as rosemary, oregano, sage, or thyme, their dried form can not only be an acceptable substitute, but will actually provide more flavor to a dish.

Just keep in mind that ounce for ounce, dried herbs are more potent than fresh. When substituting one for the other in a recipe use 1 part dried herb to 3 parts fresh as a general rule of thumb.


Related Posts

How to Store Spices
What is the Shelf Life of Herbs and Spices?
Are Spices Safe?
How Much Spice to Use and When to Add It

Pennsylvania Pepper

Pennsylvania Pepper

Starting at: $6.25

Pizza Seasoning

Pizza Seasoning

Starting at: $4.98

Ground Cumin

Ground Cumin

Starting at: $4.42

Smoked Sweet Paprika

Smoked Sweet Paprika

Starting at: $4.49

Black Tellicherry Peppercorns

Black Tellicherry Peppercorns

Starting at: $6.11

California Granulated Garlic

California Granulated Garlic

Starting at: $5.76

Ancho Chile Powder

Ancho Chile Powder

Starting at: $5.44

Tuscany Bread Dipping Seasoning

Tuscany Bread Dipping Seasoning

Starting at: $5.62

California Garlic Powder

California Garlic Powder

Starting at: $5.66

Flippin the Bird

Flippin the Bird

Starting at: $6.00

Loading...

Ready to be inspired?

Discover a rabbit hole of blogs, recipes, and spices that you won't find anywhere else