When it comes to spicing up your dishes, nothing beats fresh herbs. The flavor boost from fresh herbs hits so much better than the dry stuff. Of course, fresh herbs barely last any time. It seems that as soon as you buy them, they are well on their way to rotting. So, let’s teach you how to keep herbs fresh in the fridge.
How you go about keeping your herbs fresh in the fridge will depend on the type of herb you have. If you have soft herbs, then you will need to store them in water, much like you would put a flower bouquet in a vase. If you have hardy herbs, they need to be wrapped up in a damp kitchen roll.
We know that some of you may be confused about what soft and hardy herbs are. So, let’s talk about the differences. Let’s also give you some proper advice on keeping those herbs fresh in the fridge.
This will depend on the herb. Some will keep for just a few days in the fridge, while others will keep for several weeks.
For most herbs, if you use our methods, then you should find that the herbs will be fine for 2-3 weeks. Of course, much of this will depend on the quality of the herbs that you purchase. If you have purchased herbs from a store and those herbs have been sitting out for a while, then they are probably going to last less time in the fridge than freshly-picked herbs.
It is always best to carry out a visual inspection of the herbs before you serve them. Once they start to wilt or turn brown/black, then they probably aren’t going to be good to eat.
A Note on Basil
None of the advice that we give you will apply to basil. Unfortunately, basil cannot be stored in the fridge. When basil is stored in the fridge, it quickly goes bad. It may keep some of its flavor for a few days, but the leaves will turn black quickly. Basil should only ever be stored covered at room temperature.
Soft Herbs v Hardy Herbs
As we said, soft herbs and hardy herbs need to be stored in slightly different ways. So, how do you tell the difference between the two?
Generally speaking, soft herbs are anything where there are no issues eating the stem i.e. the stem of the herb is soft. You may also sometimes see these referred to as tender herbs. Soft herbs include:
Hardy herbs are herbs where you would remove the leaves from the stem. The stem is hard. You wouldn’t want to eat it. It would have an almost wood-like texture to it. One of the exceptions to this is chives, where you can eat the stalk. It is just quite thick, so it falls into the hardy category. These herbs include:
If you are unsure whether you have a soft or hardy herb, think about how you would use it. Soft herbs tend to be added during the last parts of the cooking process (or used as a garnish) because they don’t deal with heat well. Hardy herbs tend to be cooked into the dish. You will also find that hardy herbs can be dried, while soft herbs are not great at being dried. Of course, you can also Google it.
Storing Soft Herbs In The Fridge
To store soft herbs, you will need the following:
- A mason jar, preferably one with a lid.
- Plastic wrap
- Rubber band
- Paper towel
The process for storing soft herbs in the fridge is pretty easy:
- Cut the bottom of the stem off. You don’t need to take much. About a quarter of an inch should do.
- Remove any leaves that have started to wilt.
- Gently wash the herbs.
- Lay on a paper towel for around 15 minutes, allowing them to dry out.
- Pat the herbs dry.
- Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the mason jar.
- Add the herbs to the mason jar, similar to how you would put flowers in a flower pot.
- If the mason jar has a lid, put that on (make sure you don’t bend the herbs) and place it in the fridge.
- If the mason jar doesn’t have a lid, loosely wrap the plastic wrap around the top of the mason jar and secure it with a rubber band.
Storing Hardy Herbs In The Fridge
Hardy herbs require a bit less effort. You will need the following:
- Paper towels
- Plastic wrap
The process starts out the same as with the soft herbs. This means cutting off the bottom of the stems and removing any leaves that have started to wilt. You will then need to wash the herbs and allow them to dry slightly. After that, do the following:
- Lay the herbs out, without overlapping, on a damp paper towel.
- Roll the paper towel up, taking great care not to damage the herbs.
- Wrap the paper towel in plastic wrap, keeping the bundle airtight.
- Store in the fridge
On our website, we have a few other articles that are similar to these like How To Defrost A Refrigerator Fast, How Long Can Deer Meat Stay In Fridge Before Processing? and How To Store Cilantro In The Fridge?
Once you learn how to keep herbs fresh in the fridge, you can easily turn the lifespan of herbs from a couple of days to several weeks. It will take a bit of effort to store them, but it is worth it. Store herbs in the fridge properly, and you will be saving a lot of money. It also helps to ensure that your herbs stay tasting brilliant for as long as possible.