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Old 12-22-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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ISO advice when to add thyme

I don't remember the recipe, but I read a while back that thyme enhances meat flavor and should be added early in the cooking because its flavor enhancing quality takes a while to work. Then today I read, in an article on general use of thyme, that it should be added late because otherwise the oils and whatnot will be cooked away.

Who's right? Both, depending?

Sometimes I throw some(ground) in just 'cause I like the smell.

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Old 12-22-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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Good question. I have read both as well. I suspect it depends. But, does it depend on cooking method or if it is fresh or dried thyme, or maybe what you are cooking or maybe something else.

Maybe put some in at the beginning and some at the end to be safe.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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Taxlady, thanks. That's a good idea. That way I get to smell it twice! :-)
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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I think for most slow methods, I would put it in early and let it infuse. If it was a fast method and I wanted it to have a distinct presence, I think I'd put it in late, timed so that it would get the brief heat exposure it needs to bloom. I'm thinking of braising as a slow method, and it's all contained in the vessel. Of course, in such as braising, I would be removing the plant parts at the end.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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I usually add dry thyme at the beginning, but for some recipes where I'm using sprigs of fresh thyme, I tie the sprigs together with dental floss and add them at the beginning, but on top of the meat, and remove the bundle before serving. For adding fresh thyme leaves to soups, etc., I strip the leaves off the stems (they are woody) and add the leaves to the top of the pot.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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Thyme can be used either way. In SV/braising or searing. It's very versatile.

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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You add dry herbs at the beginning and fresh toward the end.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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I'm with GLC on this one. I only use fresh thyme, never dried, because it's an herb I always have on hand from my garden but generally use it for simmered or braised dishes and in fact don't usually like the taste of thyme unless it's infused into the food, so I almost always add whole sprigs early in the cooking process and remove them before serving.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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Dried thyme is an ingredient in many dry rubs, so in such grilling, barbecue and roasting recipes, it's naturally used at the start. I use it often when roasting a chicken, either as a rub at the start, or as part of an infusion in the basting liquid (often just butter or olive oil, and herbs).

I use it a lot, both fresh and dried, maybe too often, but it's one of those aromatic herbs that I really love. Marries well with rosemary or marjoram.
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