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How to Dry Herbs? 3 Best and Fastest Herb Drying Methods

Dried herbs are perfect for cooking. Of course, you can decide to purchase some at a store. But your own dried herbs are far better. Have you never tried such a challenge, and now you are wondering how to dry herbs? Is there the best way to dry herbs? You can find it out. These useful tips will change your cooking forever.

How to Dry Herbs? 3 Best and Fastest Herb Drying Methods

What are the best herbs to dry?

Although it seems that drying herbs is always a good idea, as it turns out, only some of them are suitable for this form of processing. Here are the most popular potted herbs that can be dried without issues:

  • basil,
  • mint,
  • thyme,
  • rosemary,
  • marjoram,
  • oregano,
  • savory,
  • chamomile,
  • sage,
  • nettle,
  • common horsetail.

Interestingly enough, some less obvious herbs can also be dried. They include asperula, sagebrush, or lavender. These are less popular for cooking, which doesn’t mean they are any worse.

Of course, there is also a whole list of herbs that aren’t worth drying – at least not at home. The species below are the most commonly mentioned within this group:

  • dock,
  • lovage,
  • borage,
  • cress.

What are the best herbs to dry?

Is herb drying worth the effort?

Are you wondering whether drying herbs is something worth the effort? Of course, it is. Various studies indicate that this way, one can preserve a lot of minerals. By adding dried herbs to various dishes, you aid your organism.

Do you want to know which herbs are the most beneficial? Each has different properties, for instance:

  • savory and thyme contain a lot of potassium, iron and copper,
  • nettle is rich in C, K and E vitamins, as well as lecithin and chlorophyll,
  • chamomile contains anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory chemical compounds,
  • mint has essential oils that relieve pain during gastric problems,
  • common horsetail is a source of B1 vitamin.

When to dry herbs?

Herbs can be dried once they are well-developed, but don’t bloom yet. But this is not the most important part. Herbs need to be dried immediately after being harvested. Why is it so crucial? Otherwise, they might begin to rot. If it happens, the plants aren’t suitable for anything and have to be disposed.

When to dry herbs?

How to harvest herbs for drying?

Herbs for drying can be harvested in two ways. The first one involves simply plucking either branches or leaves of the plant. It might be inconvenient, and if the stems are hard, you risk damaging the plant.

Another, much better way is using sharp scissors. Thanks to this, you can cut the exact parts of the plant you want. It’s also much more comfortable.

How to use dried herbs?

Dried herbs are a perfect addition used in the kitchen. Thanks to them, you can season a salad, marinate meats or enhance the taste of soups. That’s not all. Many people prepare flavored butters – using herbs, they know exactly what’s inside such product.

  • Some dried herbs make perfect teas. Chamomile and mint are commonly used in this way.
  • Mint and basil taste great with ice cream.
  • Dried nettle can be used if face care masks.

How to use dried herbs?

What is the best temperature for drying herbs?

To keep all the nutrients of dried herbs, the entire drying process requires an adequate temperature. How high should it be? People who dry herbs professionally suggest that the temperature shouldn’t exceed 40°C (104°F). Of course, certain plants can endure higher temperatures as well, while retaining their nutritional value. But the great majority of herbs doesn’t like excessive warmth.

How to store dried herbs?

Proper storing is highly important for the freshness and edibility of dried herbs. Why is it so essential? Because poorly secured supply of herbs might become infested with pantry moths or other household pests.

We recommend keeping your dried herbs in glass airtight containers. Make sure they don’t come into contact with each other. Otherwise, one natural spice might dominate the other. Each plant should be kept separately.

How to dry herbs in the oven?

Are you wondering if you should and how to dry herbs in the oven? This method is the most popular methods. It’s also the best one. When drying herbs in the oven, you can control the temperature precisely. Thanks to this, the plants retain their properties.

How to dry herbs using an oven? Follow a few precious rules:

  • set the temperature between 35 and 40°C (95-104°F),
  • dry the herbs with the oven door slightly open,
  • take the plants out of the deviice after drying.

How to dry herbs in the oven?

Drying herbs in a dehydrator

A food dehydrator, often used for mushrooms, is a good option for drying herbs – as good as the oven. Are you wondering how to dry herbs in a dehydrator?

First check the construction of the device. The racks might have large holes in them – if so, some herbs might fall through them. A layer of baking sheet solves the problem.

Drying herbs in a dehydrator should be done too quickly. If you set a too high temperature, the plants might lose their properties. Dry them slowly – start from a lower temperature and increase it gradually. Sometimes, you need even a few days to dry the herbs well.

Drying herbs in a dehydrator

Drying herbs in the microwave

Drying herbs in the microwave is the most complicated method of all three. It requires a lot of patience – but, as some say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” How to dry herbs in the microwave? Make sure to follow these steps:

  • prepare a big plate and spread a paper towel on it,
  • put the herbs on the paper,
  • put the plate in the microwave,
  • set the right temperature and turn on the heating for 3-4 minutes,
  • flip the herbs every 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, this method won’t work for all herbs. You might also have to repeat the entire process a few times. You can try, though – especially with mint and basil.

Drying herbs in the microwave

Is drying herbs in the sun a good idea?

Although many people decide to dry herbs in the sun, it’s not the best idea. Are you wondering why? With this method, you can’t control the temperature. Intense sunlight might dry the plants too much. As a result, they lose their precious properties.

📍 How to dry herbs at home?

Drying herbs is nothing difficult. Just pick a method which is the most suitable for you. Many people use an oven or a food dehydrator. What's more, you can also try drying herbs in the microwave. But don't dry herbs directly in the sun.

📍 How to dry herbs for a bunny?

Herbs for a bunny are dried the same way as the ones for humans. You can use different methods to preserve their properties. But make sure to check which herbs are suitable for the animal. Some of them might be dangerous for the pet.

📍 How long should herbs be dried?

It's difficult to tell how long herbs should be dried. Usually, such process lasts from a few to a dozen of hours. A lot depends on the plants and the method.

📍 When and how to dry herbs?

Herbs can be dried whenever they are in season. Many people cultivate them in containers on windowsills or in gardens. Once they grow, they should be harvested before blooming. You can use scissors. Then, pick one of the drying methods. As the herbs are dried, put them in airtight glass containers.