Wondering if your dill has gone bad? Or can you still save it from having to be thrown out? Our best storage tips as well. I will also briefly mention some issues you can experience with your dill plants you are growing.
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Did you pick some fresh dill from the farmers market, grocery store, or your garden? Did you forget about it in the back of the fridge and now it's not looking so hot?
Let us tell you what to do and what issues to look for. We will help you to see if you can still salvage. Also read our tips on how to store it better so you don't have this issue again. I will also address a couple issues you might have if you are growing your own dill.
When a dill plant matures it will eventually produce yellow flower heads. The buds start to form at the top of the plant. As long as the flowers are not opened yet, the dill is still good to use.
Dill that is sold as "pickling" dill will have these yellow buds on it. People look for this type of dill when they want to make their own homemade pickles. In most places, dill grows to this "pickling" stage at the same point in the season as the pickling cucumbers are ready to harvest.
If it's the leaves of the dill (and yes those little strains are still considered leaves) are turning yellow then the dill is beginning to break down. It may have an off bitter taste. If it's not too much it may taste perfectly fine. Any regard, you need to use this dill up immediately before it completely goes bad.
If we are talking about a dill plant itself turning yellow before it was picked, what does that mean? This is often caused by the dill either getting too much water or too little water. Try your best to adjust the amount of water the plant is getting.
⚫ Black or Brown
When dill starts to turn black or brown it loses it's usefulness. It won't taste good. You can remove the black parts of the herb and use the dill that is still green unless...
If your dill plant is turning brown while still growing that could mean that it's not getting enough sun or too little water. It will begin to wilt. If there is still some green you may be able to recover.
No doubt at this point you need to toss it out. There was too much moisture. Follow your storage tips below to prevent this form happening again in the future.
🥶 How to Store
The best way to store dill is in the fridge in your crisper drawer. If you buy it as a bunch in no packaging, you can take it home and wrap it loosely in slightly damp paper towel. You don't want to keep it in a plastic bag as they may hold in moisture that will turn the dill moldy.
If your dill comes with long stems or roots attached, you can treat it like a flower. Stick it in a vase with some water and leave it on the counter. Change the water every couple days and still try to use up as quickly as you can - 3 to 5 days would be best.
Make sure the vase you are using is tall enough so that dill doesn't hang over the edge. You want to be standing straight up.
💡 Tip - If you don't think you will use up all your dill before it goes bad, you can freeze it. If you use ice cube trays you can package it so it's easy to use. Chop up the dill, add a little bit of olive oil and freeze the tray. Pop the cubes out when frozen and put into a plastic bag. Pull them out when you want to add dill to your dish. You could fold them right into a batch of mashed potatoes!
🧼 Should I Wash It?
Before you use the dill you can give it a rinse. Never store it wet. If you want to clean when you bring it home make sure to dry it out before you put it in the fridge. You can gently dry it with a towel.
📅 Best By Date
If you buy packaged dill that has a best by date on it, ignore it. Go by how the dill looks instead of that date.
🤏 How to Select Dill
Make sure you are buying dill that has solid green color without any black. If you can buy dill that is in bunches instead of buying them in plastic packages. Those packages are nearly always more money and you get far less. Plus it's just more plastic waste that isn't necessary.
⚪ Dill Seed
If you want to have "dill flavor" on hand at all times, you can buy dill seeds. It will last a lot longer than fresh. I would say it has a similar flavor profile. Fresh dill is well going to taste fresher, more green and dill seed will have more bitterness.
I think it can be a good replacement. It's not like cilantro where the seeds are called coriander and have a different flavor all together.
🗑️ Toss or Keep
Check out these other posts in our Toss or Keep series.