Dill, or dill weed, is an aromatic herb used in cuisine worldwide, most often as a seasoning or to pickle things. Fresh dill is not available year-round, so preserving any fresh dill you grow or buy is crucial if you want to use it outside of its peak season. One popular technique for preserving dill is to freeze it.
Freezing dill is the best way to store the herb long-term. There are a few ways you can freeze dill, including washing and freezing, blanching and flash freezing, and freezing the dill as ice cubes. Deciding which method to use depends on how you will use the frozen dill.
In the rest of this article, I will go into detail on how to freeze dill. I will also give information on how to use frozen dill and how long the herb lasts in the freezer.
How To Freeze Dill (3 Methods)
Freezing is a popular method for storing foods so that they last much longer than just keeping them in the fridge. Freezing the popular herb dill is a perfect way to make sure that you always have some on hand when you need it.
When it comes to freezing dill, the best method of freezing depends on how you plan to use the dill in the future. If you are freezing the dill as whole stalks, use either the wash and freeze method or the blanch and flash freeze method. If you are freezing the dill chopped, your best bet is to freeze it as ice cubes.
1. Wash and Freeze Method For Freezing Dill
The wash and freeze method is the fastest but generally not the best method for freezing stalks of dill weed. Dill is soft to begin with and loses even more of its texture the longer it stays frozen. If you choose to freeze dill with this method, you’ll want to use the dill sooner rather than later.
There are three steps to the wash and freeze method for freezing dill:
- Clean the stalks. Gently clean the dill stalks under cold running water to get rid of any dirt or bugs that may be on them. This step might not be necessary if the dill is store-bought as it has most likely already been cleaned.
- Dry the stalks. After cleaning the stalks, fully dry them. You can do this one of two ways: either hang them upside down to maintain their shape or lay them on paper towels and pat dry with more paper towels.
- Put dry dill in containers and freezer. After the dill has completely dried, but before it becomes “crusty,” put the dill in a freezer-safe bag and place it in the freezer after first pressing out all of the excess air in the bag. Alternatively, you can use either a glass jar or another airtight container if you prefer.
2. Blanch and Flash Freeze Method For Freezing Dill
If you have a little more time and want to freeze your dill as whole stalks, I suggest the blanch and fast freeze method. Blanching keeps the color of the dill vibrant for longer and it retains more enzymes and nutrients. Blanching consists of shocking the vegetable or herb by briefly boiling it then placing it in cold water.
There are five steps in the blanch and freeze method for freezing dill:
- Wash the stalks. If the stalks have dirt and or bugs in them, gently wash them under running cold water. Remember, if you bought the dill, this step is likely unnecessary but never hurts.
- Blanch the stalks. To blanch, boil water in a pot and place the dill stalks in the water for a few seconds, then immediately place the stalks in an ice bath for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. This blanching procedure will ensure the dill stalks keep their vibrant color.
- Dry the stalks. Either hang the blanched dill stalks or pat them dry with paper towels.
- Flash freeze the stalks. To flash freeze, place the now dry, blanched dill on a cookie sheet and stick it in the freezer until frozen.
- Put dill stalks in containers and freezer. When the dill stalks are frozen, you can place them in either airtight jars or freezer bags and place them in the freezer.
3. Ice Cube Method For Freezing Dill
If you want to freeze dill chopped rather than whole, I suggest using the ice cube method. Using this method, you can accurately measure dill for recipes that call for a specific amount, such as so many teaspoons, et cetera.
There are four steps in the ice cube method:
- Prep the dill. To prepare the dill, remove the fronds from the stalk and finely chop them.
- Fill an ice cube tray with the chopped dill. When you fill the ice cube trays, you can measure, for example, 1 tsp (5.69 grams) per cube. After placing the chopped dill in the tray, fill the tray with just enough water or olive oil to cover the dill.
- Freeze the ice cube tray. After filling the ice cube tray with water or olive oil, wrap the tray with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.
- Bag the ice cubes. When the ice cubes with dill are completely frozen, take them out of the tray and place them into a freezer bag. Then put the bags of dill ice cubes back in the freezer.
How Long Will Dill Keep When Frozen
Dill lasts for three to four months in the freezer. Note that the color and flavor of the dill will diminish as time passes. After four months, the frozen dill is likely to still be safe to eat but its color and taste will be noticeably reduced.
How To Thaw and Use Frozen Dill
Thawing frozen dill is not always necessary, depending on your chosen freezing technique and in what capacity you are using the dill. The stalks of dill are thin, so if you decide to defrost, it shouldn’t take too long.
To defrost, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Thawed dill should be used immediately after defrosting. You can use frozen dill in pretty much every way you can use fresh dill, but your best bet is to use it in dips, soups, and stews.
If you’ve frozen your dill in cube form, no defrosting is required. You can just toss the desired amount of cubes into whatever recipe you’re making.
Important: Once you have defrosted your dill, do not refreeze it. The flavor that the thawed dill has retained from the first freezing will not survive another freezing.
Dill is a herb that can only be harvested in the summer or early fall, so it is difficult to use it in the off-season. Freezing dill is a common and great way to store the herb for use when it is not in season.
There are three ways to freeze dill, depending on how you want to keep it: either chopped or whole. If you want your dill frozen as a whole stalk, the best way to freeze it is by flash freezing the herb. If you want the dill frozen chopped, freeze them as ice cubes.