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 huge roll in making those dishes take great.

Air drying herbs is a simple process and when temperatures are warm it doesn’t take as long.  Herbs could also be dried in 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 expired greenery.

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.  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 in cold water.  I do this outdoors using a garden hose, then I sort through each stem to make sure there’s not any bugs; sometimes I have to wash a couple times.

Bundle it up!

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

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

I hang mine in our breezeway because it’s free from animal and human traffic.

Allow about a week maybe two for the herbs to completely dry out.

 

Prepping Dried Herbs 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 by removing all the green leaves from each stems and then place into a plastic bag.

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 you don’t risk putting a hole in the bag.

The final step is to store in jar.

This air drying process can be used with all types of herbs and if you jazz up the jar they can make neat 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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