If you already have a garden full of fresh, beautiful herbs, why not take it upon yourself and dry them? Dried herbs are a must have in any kitchen, but drying your own herbs will save you a ton of money as opposed to buying them. Learning how to dry herbs is actually pretty easy, albeit a little bit time consuming, but in the end, totally worth it! Even if you don't grow your own fresh herbs, you can find discount herbs at your local farmer's market and dry them at home.
How to Dry Herbs
Another benefit of drying your own herbs (other than saving money), is that YOUR herbs as opposed to purchased herbs will be organic. You can also control the amount of herbs you want to dry, so that they'll always be nice and fresh and you'll never have to throw any out!
- String or twine
- A warm, dry place where to hang your herbs
Gather herbs from your garden. You can literally do this with ANY herb! Make sure to pick them in the morning before the sun hits them and before they start flowering.
Wash your herbs and dry them well. At this point, you can also remove any dead leaves or branches.
If you're drying herbs that have a low moisture content such as rosemary, oregano, and sage, air dry them by tying them up with string or twine and hang them in a warm and dry place with some air circulation.
High moisture herbs such as basil, lemon balm, and mint, can start to mold if they're not dried quickly enough. If you have a fireplace, hanging them in front of it, is perfect, but if you don't, position a fan directly in front of the herbs.
Another way to dry moisture rich herbs is to put them in the oven. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting it will go and leave the door open. Let it warm up just a little bit, and turn the oven off. Stick your herbs in there and close the door. Leave them in until the oven has come down to room temperature. Take them out, and repeat the process again if needed, until herbs have dried.
Now it's time to store your herbs! Separate stems from leaves and store each in clean, airtight containers or jars. The best place to store dried herbs is in a cool, dry place.
So now that you know how to dry herbs, it's time to get to work!