How to Dry Herbs

Enjoy home-grown summer flavor all year by learning how to dry herbs! We cover various methods, helpful tips and step-by-step instructions to learn how to make a fragrant herb fire starter.

For thousands of years, dry was the lone manner to keep kitchen herb from spoiling. immediately, there are batch of new products that keep herbs fresh and tricks to store fresh herbs for weeks. So you may be wondering, why should I learn how to dry herbs the antique way ? The solution is simple : it ’ second easy, cheap and can keep herbs newly for years. If you ’ re looking to keep herb long-run, drying fresh herb is the direction to go .

How to Dry Herbs

herbs Suto Norbert Zsolt/Shutterstock

Getting Started

timing is everything when it comes to drying herbs. They should be picked before the flowers develop and harvested on warm, dry mornings after the dew has evaporated. Because each herb grows differently, we recommend picking and preparing one variety show at a time.

Reading: How to Dry Herbs

To prep herb, foremost you ’ ll need to discard any damaged leaves. then, strip large-leaved herb, such as sage and mint, from their stalks. Leave small, featherlike herb, like dill and fennel, on the stalks until drying is complete .
Tarragon, bay, mint, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary and small-leaved herbs such as thyme take well to air-drying, so they are great for beginners .

Drying Methods

Fresh dried herb bundles of different herbs hanging on the wall Shutterstock / Shawn Hempel
No matter which drying method acting you choose, effective drying relies on abundant dry, newly publicize more than heat. A well-ventilated position out of calculate sunlight is ideal. If you live in a humid area, the serve may be slower, and mold can be a problem. If mold is an consequence, we recommend using a small commercial dehydrator .

Hanging Dry

To hang dry herb, draw sprigs or branches into belittled bunches ( large, dense bunches can develop mold and discolor leaves ). Hang the bunches up to dry, leaves down, wrapped loosely in muslin or thin newspaper bags to keep out dust and to catch falling leaves or seeds. Avoid using fictile bags because of cast growth .
Allow seven to ten days to dry, depending on the size of the branches and humidity. Wondering if they ’ rhenium completely dry ? If the leaves sound like crisp cornflakes when crushed, they ’ rhenium good to go .
You besides can air-dry herb seeds like fennel, parsley, caraway and coriander. Seed heads tend to ripen raggedly, so once most of the head is brown, harvest it with about two feet of stalk ( or angstrom long a root as possible ). Bundle four to five stems together, then cover the heads with muslin or a paper cup of tea and hang them top depressed .

Rack Drying

You can speed up drying by spacing out individual sprigs or leaves of herb on racks. To make a dry wrack, load muslin, cheesecloth or net over a wooden inning and fix it in identify. Place the tray in an airing cupboard, in the warming drawer of an oven or in a ardent, airy touch out of conduct sunlight. Turn leaves frequently to ensure flush drying, which should take two or three days.

Oven Drying

The leaves of herbs such as sage, mint, rosemary, thyme and parsley, stripped from their stalks, are perfect for oven dry. Space out leaves on a muslin-covered tray in an oven set to the lowest possible temperature ( higher temperatures diminish the fragrant all-important oils ) with the door ajar to allow moisture to escape. Turn the leaves over after 30 minutes to ensure even drying ; they will be quite dry within an hour. Leave in the oven until cool .

Microwave Drying

Microwaving works well when drying small quantities of herb. Separate the leaves from the stems, rinse if necessary and let air out dry. Place a one layer of leaves on a composition towel on a microwave-safe plate. Lay another paper towel on crown, and microwave on high for one moment. Watch closely, and stop if you smell the herb sunburn. Continue heating at 30-second intervals, if needed, until the herbs are in full dry .

Storing and Using

Cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, clove, coriander seed spices and dried bay leaves, parsley, thyme, rosemary herbs in mason jars over white background; Shutterstock ID 293429393; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN/Shutterstock
To store herb, crumble the dried herb with your fingers ( discard the hard leafstalks and midrib ) and storehouse in little, airtight containers. If you use net glass containers, store them in a dark put so the herb wear ’ thymine lose their color .
Dried herbs are suitable for cook foods, but remember : dry concentrates the flavors, so you don ’ t need to use arsenic much in recipes. For exercise, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon of dry herb rather. Remember this trick when using dried herbs in fresh herb recipes .

Making a Fragrant Fire Starter

To make an aromatic herb fire crank, gather old newspaper and an assortment of herb. sage, basil and rosemary ferment well ; experiment with your favorites. ( If you have any basil left to spare, use it up in one of these easy ways to use basil. ) then, wrap the herb in a sail of newspaper and secure the ends with raffia or cotton wind .
To use, tuck a few of the herb bundles underneath the log pile, allowing the newspaper ends to stick out. Light the composition ends to start the fire. As the newspaper burns, the herb will catch fire, igniting the logs and sending a lovely olfactory property through the publicize.

next up : Use your home-dried herb in these lavender desserts .

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