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Old 11-20-2007, 03:53 PM   #1
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Substituting dry herbs for fresh - how much?

I'm making a brine for my turkey, it calls for 4 sprigs fresh thyme and 4 sprigs fresh rosemary. How much would that be dried? Thanks much.

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Old 11-20-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
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How much brine? A couple gallons?
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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How much brine? A couple gallons?

2 gallons yes.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thats a lotta rosemary.

You use less dry than fresh. I'd suggest starting with a teaspoon of thyme and a generous pinch of rosemary. Taste the brine and adjust it accordingly.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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LOL - it depends on how big the sprigs are, if you want to go by the 3:1 or 2:1 ratio (fresh to dried) ratio, and how long your dried herbs have been hibernating in the cabinet.

Somewhere between 1-2 teaspoons of each should get you in the ballpark.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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LOL - it depends on how big the sprigs are, if you want to go by the 3:1 or 2:1 ratio (fresh to dried) ratio, and how long your dried herbs have been hibernating in the cabinet.
You know, I've wondered about this. How big is a standard (is there such a thing?) sprig of herb? Since I grow most of my own herbs, I can cut off as much as I want
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #7
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You know GG - I've wondered about this (and how big is a bunch) and was searching around for an answer when you posted this. According to this page on Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings - a standard sprig is assumed to be 4-inches long, unless othwise noted in the recipe.

I know that if I buy "fresh" herbs from Albertson's they all come in a clear plastic box about 4-inches long, but if I get a bunch of herbs from Central Market they are tied together with a rubber band, have the stems in water to keep them fresh, and range anywhere from 4-6 inches long, generally longer than 4-inches.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #8
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Margaret Fulton, the doyen of Australian cooking, recommends 1 teaspoon of dried herbs for every tablespoon of fresh. Here tablespoons are 20mL and teaspoons are 5mL.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
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Margaret Fulton, the doyen of Australian cooking, recommends 1 teaspoon of dried herbs for every tablespoon of fresh. Here tablespoons are 20mL and teaspoons are 5mL.
And how many milliletres are her sprigs?
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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I've always gone for the teaspoon dried to one tablespoon fresh. I would estimate a sprig to about a tablespoon - depends how chopped up.
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:26 AM   #11
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And how many milliletres are her sprigs?
She is talking about the leaf content, so a 20mL tablespoon of fresh leaves would be equal to one 5mL teaspoon of dried. She would not get into specifics about the length of a sprig. She would look at the volume of leaf content.

The length of a sprig is only any use if leaves are standardised on a plant ie how many leaves per inch of stem - which we know doesn't happen! If the sprig is sparsely populated with leaves, you would no doubt need a longer piece or at least a better "populated" one. But you can get too academic about some things.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:00 AM   #12
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Uhmmm....

I'm not looking to contradict people who probably know a lot more than I do, but...

... between the fresh herbs I grow, and the commercial dried stock in the pantry, I end up using 3x/4x MORE DRY than fresh to attain the same potency. Maybe it's because I'm comparing home-grown, ultra-fresh, selected-for-potency herbs to (probably) past-date, selected-for-yield bulk dry from the supermarket. But IMO the fresh have got a LOT more kick (not to mention depth) in their flavor.

In fact, A/B-ing my own thyme between the fresh and the dry, the fresh is definitely more potent. Both out of the same garden in the same year.

And woody herbs definitely preserve better than succulent ones. Parsley and lovage lose far more than rosemary or thyme through the drying process, to the point where they're hardly useful (lovage/celery seed and fresh parsley are better winter solutions than drying for those two, IMO).


Just my experience, YMMV.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:08 AM   #13
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LMJ, I would agree whole-heartedly with you on home-grown herbs. I find if I add home-grown (fresh) parsley, I barely have to add much for the flavour to permeate thru the dish, but do use a stack of it if I have bought it from the supermarket. Home-dried herbs are the same in this respect also. Much more pungent than packet stuff.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #14
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Assuming the dry herbs you have are fresh, dry will always be stronger because the flavor has been concentrated via evaporation.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:00 PM   #15
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Assuming the dry herbs you have are fresh, dry will always be stronger because the flavor has been concentrated via evaporation.
This is true, but it's often hard to gauge how fresh is "fresh" in dried herbs. If they've been in YOUR cupboard six or more months, they for sure are not fresh, and who can tell how long those poor things sat on the grocery shelf or in a warehouse somewhere (maybe even on a radiator!) before you bought them?

Smell and compare. If you know what the fresh herb smells like, then you know what scent you should get when you stick your nose into the can.

Technically, you should need 1 teaspoon of dry for every 1 Tablespoon of fresh.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:17 PM   #16
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I have just one word: Penzeys
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #17
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I have just one word: Penzeys
not bad, but I prefer Vann's.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:28 PM   #18
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not bad, but I prefer Vann's.
You can't physically walk into Vann's, take a whiff, and spend your whole paycheck, though.

I see that Vann's supposedly makes Fairway's label? If so, I was not that impressed. But my SIL's may have been around for awhile.

I'll pick something up next time I'm in Fairway or Zabars and compare.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:26 PM   #19
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You can't physically walk into Vann's, take a whiff, and spend your whole paycheck, though.

I see that Vann's supposedly makes Fairway's label? If so, I was not that impressed. But my SIL's may have been around for awhile.

I'll pick something up next time I'm in Fairway or Zabars and compare.
Once you are on their mailing list, they send you samples....
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:03 AM   #20
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Once you are on their mailing list, they send you samples....

Samples!!!
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