Friday, July 27, 2012
How to Dry Herbs
First of all, different herbs require different drying methods. This is due to the varying moisture levels in the leaves. Sage, thyme, savory, dill, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram require air-drying. Basil, tarragon, lemon balm, and mints require an oven or dehydrator. Chives work best frozen. Whatever you do, don't use a microwave. The results just aren't good.
To air dry, follow these steps:
1. Cut your herbs when they are dry. Shake to remove insects, and remove damaged leaves.
2. Rinse the herbs with cold water and dry with a paper towel (or regular towel).
3. Remove the lower leaves from the stems.
4. Tie 5 or 6 stems together in a small bunch.
5. Put branches upside down in a paper bag and gather the bag around the stems. Poke some holes in the bag for ventilation.
6. Write the name of the herb and the date you started drying on the bag.
7. In about 2 - 3 weeks, your herbs will be dry.
8. Separate the leaves from the stem and store them in a glass or plastic container (make sure you mark what it is on the container). Ziploc bags can also work for storage.
To oven dry:
1. Follow the first three steps from the air drying directions.
2. Turn your oven to "warm" (140-200 F) for 20 minutes.
3. Turn oven off and pop in the herbs.
4. Leave undisturbed overnight.
5. You may need to repeat the process one more time.
6. Follow step 8 from the air drying directions.