Adding a small herb garden to your kitchen, or your yard if you have the space can be a game changer when you are cooking. I love to keep some basil, parsley, and chives around to add flavor to my recipes. While I typically love using fresh herbs, I do dry my herbs from time to time. Drying herbs helps me save money on buying them from the store, and I know for sure where they were grown. Mostly, I dry herbs in the oven, but there are several methods. Here is my guide to help you quickly preserve your herb harvest.
Step 1: Gather/ Clip Your Herbs
Harvest your herbs before they flower. I can tell you from experience that they typically turn sour. Learn how to clip each type of herb so that it can properly grow back.
For example, with chives, you can just cut straight across, it just grows back like a weed.
With parsley I cut at the basil of the longer stems where I see new growth. Then I remove the leaves to dry.
With basil, I tend to cut right above the bulb. Like trimming off the top. I also then remove the leaves.
Step 2: How To Prep Your Herbs
After you have harvested your herbs, now it’s time to prep!
As mentioned remove the leaves from the stalks where appropriate, and wash your herbs thoroughly.
You also want to remove any dead leaves or bugs you may find in the process, and pat dry before adding them to the oven.
Set your stove to the lowest temp, use 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius) and set the herbs in your pan in a single layer. Dry your herbs for 2-4 hours max, so that you don’t lose the flavor. You don’t want them burnt to a crisp.
Step 3: How To Store Your Herbs
After your herbs are dried, you can cut them up further. I used a mortar to do it by hand, but you can also use herb cutting scissors.
After they are sufficiently crushed, you can add them to an airtight container. I typically use old spice containers that are already labeled.
- Fresh herbs (Basil/ Parsley/Chives
- Cookie sheet
- Sharp scissors or pruning shears