How to Air Dry Herbs

Having access to dried herbs during the winter months is very handy, especially for those days when I’m in a hurry or feeling too lazy to run to the garden to pick fresh.

I cook with herbs on a daily basis; this is something I learned from Grandma and discovered that food just taste better.  We eat a lot of Italian and Mexican dishes and the herb garden plays a roll into complimenting those dishes.


How you air drying herbs is a simple process and when temperatures are warm it doesn’t take as long for them to air dry.  You could also dry herbs using a dehydrator; I’ve heard that is also a quick process.

Getting Started

Begin with a healthy plant that is not in bloom. If the plant is blooming you can still harvest you just need to make sure you remove the blooms and any dead leaves.Always harvest in the early morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are below 80 degrees because you won’t have to deal with the stems wilting.

We’re starting with a parsley bush today.  I cut this back about a week ago and I’m amazed at how quickly it grew back. Once you have a nice bouquet harvested gather the stems and wash them in cold water.I do this outdoors using a garden hose, once I washed it off I then sort through each stem to make sure there’s not any bugs holding on; sometimes I have to wash a couple times.

Bundle it up!

We’re going to bundle it up like a bouquet and tie off with some heavy duty packing string.  Once it’s tied off shake out any excess water, this will also show you if you tied this bundle tight enough. Once the herbs begin to dry the string will become loose.

Find a clean place indoors to hang your parsley to dry; this could be on a dry rack or somewhere in your kitchen pantry.  I’ve also seen herbs air dried in garden sheds.

Where you air dry is a personal choice; I hang mine in our breezeway where we have our freezer.  No animals or traffic comes through this room that often so the herbs stay undisturbed.  Allow about a week maybe two for the herbs to completely dry out.

 

Prepping for Storage

Once the herbs are dry and it’s time to release the string and place on a cookie sheet.  I lay them flat and begin to separate.  Remove all the green leaves from the stems and then place into a plastic bag.

The stems can be tossed back to the garden for compost.Once the plastic bag is full use a rolling pin to break up the leaves or just crunch the bag by hand. Crunching is a faster process and there’s less possibility of putting a hole in the bag.  The final step is to store in jar.

Air drying herbs may have several steps but the good news is they’re stretched out so it doesn’t really seem like that much work.This air drying process can be used with all types of herbs and if you jazz up the jar they can make great gifts for special friends who enjoy cooking.

6 comments

  1. Dolly Sarrio says:

    Thanks for this advice. I am growing more herbs now and wanted to know a little about drying them.

    1. Hello Dolly, You're welcome hope it helps. I like to have them available through the winter and this is the least time consuming way I was taught by my grandma. Have a great day. -Carole

  2. Great advice Carol. Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

    1. Glad you liked it – I'm making pesto today – my house smells like basil. YUM! -Carole

  3. I love your gardening and harvesting tips! Thanks so much for sharing at my Creative Ways Link Party each week! I look forward to seeing what you'll bring this week!
    Blessings,
    Nici

    1. Thanks Nici – I saw you had a gluten free recipe up today, plan on going to go back to it later to save on Pinterest. I hope my garden tips are helpful. How are your potted plants doing? Not sure if I told you and many times I forget to comment cause I'm in a hurry, I like your new blog look and the hop is awesome. Oh and I'm headed to Fort Worth with Texas Home and Garden! -Carole

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