How to Dry Herbs

We always have more herbs that we can used each summer, so we like to dry the herbs so we can use the summer harvest year-round (well til about Christmas, then we run out). Preserving the herbs is really easy and inexpensive.

Three simple steps:

  1. For the most flavor, cut herbs at the height of use life before they flower. Cut full stems of the healthy herbs, mid-morning, after the dew has dried and remove any dried or wilted leaves. Before bringing into the house check for insects or spider webs. Rinse the stems and pat dry carefully.
  2. Dry ‘Em
    • Gather branches together and tie with string. You can use as many stems per bundle as you would like however the smaller the bundle, the faster they dry. We typically do about 4 or 5 stems together at a time.
    • Create a paper bag for each herb you are drying, put the name of the herb on the outside, and poke holes in the lunch back to create air flow in the bag. Use a hole punch, goes thru both sides of the paper lunch bag. Lots of holes = good.
    • Place the bundle of herbs, stem-side up inside the bag. Put any loose leaves inside the bag too if you have any.
    • Hang the bag by the stem end in a warm, well-ventilated room. Check weekly. Once they crumble at touch, they are ready, typically 1-2 weeks
  3. Store ‘Em
    1. Once dry, store in labeled, dated airtight containers like canning jars, plastic storage containers or freezer storage bags.
    2. For maximize the flavor, keep the leaves whole until you are ready to use them. When ready, crush the amount of herbs you need.
    3. Dried herbs are best used within a year. If the color starts to fade, so has the flavor is one thing to watch for.
    4. One teaspoon of dried herbs is the same as a tablespoon of fresh in recipes.