Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to Dry Herbs

Hanging Dried Herbs by T. C. Chiu
Hanging Dried Herbs
If you grow you own herbs you should really learn how to dry and store them. Herbs are very easy to grow and fresh herbs are wonderful to cook with. One of my favorite summertime sandwiches to eat is a slice of fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil with a little salt.

Drying Herbs With a Microwave

  • Wash herbs well, pat dry and lay aside for an hour. You want to make sure there is no moisture on them before heating.
  • Place herbs in a single layer on a paper towel, cover with another paper towel. Place in microwave and heat for 2 minutes on high. Turn paper towel and microwave for another 1 minute or reheat in 30 second intervals until herbs are dry and brittle.
  • Pack herbs in ziploc bags (remove all air) or airtight containers and store in a dark, dry place. Use as needed.
  • Can be used for up to one year.

Air Dry Method for Herbs

  • This is the preferred method for drying herbs since most of the flavor and essential oils of the herb are retained. If you have the space and the time, you can tie small bunches of cleaned herbs together (about 4 or 5 stems) and hang them upside down in a dark, warm, well ventilated area. The drying time is about 2 to 4 weeks–you want the leaves to be crispy and easily crumble between your fingers before you pack them.

Oven Dry Method

  • Arrange cleaned herb stems in a single layer on a cookie sheet with temperature set at 180° F. Heat for about 4 hours, keeping the oven door open the entire time (to let moisture escape). Stir herbs occasionally during this heating process.

Important: If you notice any moisture in the airtight containers or sealed plastic bags after storing the dried herbs–this is a sign that they weren’t completely dried when packed. Mold can develop because of the moisture, so make sure the herbs are thoroughly dried and have absolutely no moisture left in them.

Article from Tipnut


Farmer's Daughter said...

Thanks for this post! Last summer I had more herbs than I knew what to do with, and I wish I had done more than only making pesto.

I'll be sure to reference this when the time comes!

Angelena said...

Glad you could use the information. I will be referring to it as well this summer.

TheWritersPorch said...

Well now....this was a great post as I do plan to grow fresh herbs this year. I buy them at the store and they are going sky high! Thanks for the tips!
(( hugs,))

Angelena said...

Everything in the store is going sky high isn't it? I am planning on a larger than normal garden this year as well.

fullfreezer said...

Great post, I've heard of the microwave drying but never heard how. I air dried a lot of basil last year and made lots of pesto. I need to expand my herbs this summer since they are quite expensive.