General care herbs

How to dry herbs – Different methods

There are several ways to dry herbs, but they must always be fresh and clean beforehand. Read the following to learn more about the methods of drying herbs in order to choose the one that suits you best.

Hang the herbs to dry

Hanging herbs to dry at room temperature is the easiest and cheapest way to dry them. Remove the lower leaves and bundle four to six branches together, securing them with a rope or elastic band. Place them upside down in a brown paper bag, with the stems sticking out and the loop closed. Make small holes in the top to allow air to circulate. Hang the bag in a warm, dark place for about two to four weeks, checking periodically until the herbs are dry.

This process works best with low humidity herbs such as :

  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Summer savory
  • Thyme

Herbs with a high moisture content become mouldy if they are not dried quickly. Therefore, if you have to air dry this type of herbs, make sure that the packages are small and placed in a well-ventilated place. These herbs include :

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Lemon balm
  • Mint

Baked dried grass

A kitchen oven is often used to dry herbs. Box for microwave oven

will also be used to accelerate the drying of herbs. When the herbs are drying in the oven, place the leaves or stems on a cookie sheet and heat for one to two hours with the oven door open at approximately 180°F. Microwave the herbs on a paper towel on high heat for one to three minutes, turning them every 30 seconds.

Microwave ovens should only be used as a last resort for drying herbs. Although microwave drying of herbs is faster, it can reduce both the oil content and the taste, especially if dried too quickly.

Herbs dried with electric dehydrator

Another quick, easy and effective way to dry herbs is to dry them with an electric dehydrator. The temperature and air circulation can be controlled more easily. Preheat the dehydrator from 35°C to 46°C or slightly higher for wetter areas. Place the herbs in a single layer on the drier trays and dry them for one to four hours, checking periodically. Herbs are dry when they crumble and the stems break when they bend.

How to dry herbs using other methods

Drying herbs on trays is another method. This can be done by stacking trays on top of each other and placing them in a warm, dark place until the herbs are dry. In the same way, the leaves can be removed from the stems and placed on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and continue to spread the paper as needed. Dry in a cool oven overnight, using only oven light.

Herbs dried in silica sand should not be used for edible herbs. This method of drying herbs is the most suitable for artisanal use. Place a layer of silica sand at the bottom of an old shoe box, place the herbs on top and cover them with another layer of silica sand. Place the shoebox in a warm room for about two to four weeks until the herbs are completely dry.

Once the herbs are dry, store them in airtight containers labeled and dated, as it is best to use them within a year. Place them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

Whether you have decided to try drying herbs in the oven, hanging them up to dry, drying them in the microwave or drying them with an electric dehydrator, taking the time to do so will allow you to preserve the taste of summer for the winter months.

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