Drying herbs at home

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Marlingardener

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Apr 24, 2022
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We grow and use a lot of herbs. Mostly fresh in season, but we dry herbs for winter use. I find that whole leaf, air dried herbs keep their taste better than the powdered herbs from the store.

I store them in glass jars in the cool, dark pantry, and with an overabundance, can share with fellow cooks.

Do you dry your own, or buy from the grocery?
 

taxlady

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near Montreal, Quebec
I usually buy dry herbs from the store. I don't grow many. I do buy some live herbs. I often freeze fresh herbs, especially if I don't think I will use them up before they will go off.
 

blissful

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Mar 25, 2008
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when I grow it, I dehydrate it at 95 deg F. I've tried air drying chives for instance, they dry in the air and turn straw colored. I can get them to stay green if I use the dehydrator. We live in a very humid place, and I blame that. In a humid environment they take a long time to get very dry and the leaves seems to rot or ferment somewhat before they dry.



Then I store them in glass jars sealed, in the basement spice shelf. Sage, thyme, summer savory, chives, rosemary, and also teas: lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, blackberry leaves, raspberry leaves, and also lettuce.
 

GotGarlic

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I grow a lot of herbs. Most woody herbs, like bay, sage, rosemary, thyme and mint are perennials here, so I have no need to preserve them; chives are perennials here, too, unless we get a sustained period of below-freezing temperatures, which is rare. I do like to dry thyme, though, because it's much easier to remove dried thyme from the stems. I let it dry out in a vase with no water in it. I agree with you that they keep their flavors and colors better when they're dried and stored as whole leaves.
 

larry_stewart

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Dec 25, 2006
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Long Island, New York
Mints I do all the time. Sometimes in the dehydrator and other times just hanging in bunches . Dill I prefer to freeze as it freezes very well and doesnt lose its flavor.
 

Marlingardener

Senior Cook
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Apr 24, 2022
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unincorporated area
Larry, you are absolutely right--dill does keep its flavor if frozen. I chop our dill for freezing, as I do basil and parsley. Do you chop yours, or freeze "whole stem"?
Jennyema, we don't grow mint, since we don't like it much. You may have made me a convert to growing and drying mint. Which mints do you grow?
 

blissful

Executive Chef
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Mar 25, 2008
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I have a patch of spearmint, I've already cut and dried, which is now a foot tall again. If cut, it would fill a 9 tray excalibur dehydrator and fill a quart jar dry. I have at least 3 qts of it. For teas. If I knew one person that would appreciate it, I'd give it away. SE Wisconsin (PM me if you are in the area and want it)
 

taxlady

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near Montreal, Quebec
I freeze dill, parsley, chives, and sometimes cilantro. I freeze those in "bouquets", rolled up tightly in waxed paper and then into a plastic bag. I "slice" off the tops of the bouquets to use the herbs. They don't usually need any more chopping than that. Then I put what's left back in the freezer. This works even better with curly parsley than with flat leaf parsley.
 

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