Dehydrated Home Grown Herbs
I just finished dehydrating the first round of fresh herbs from our garden. Every year I get more than enough to last me for the year. There is so much satisfaction when I cook and use my own home grown dehydrated herbs. I grow the herbs I use the most like parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaf, dill, oregano, chives and lemon thyme.
To prepare my herbs, I rinse them and gently pat them dry. I have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator that I dehydrate them in and I just love it! I started with a small inexpensive round 4-5 tray dehydrator. It was perfect to start out with so I could figure out if I wanted to continue drying the herbs and other food. The only problem with the small round dehydrator was I had to keep rotating the trays and it didn’t hold a lot at one time. It only had one set temperature where as my Excalibur has a thermostat and I don’t have to rotate the trays. The small one worked perfectly and had just as good of results as I get with my large Excalibur. Try a cheap small dehydrator first before you invest in a bigger, more expensive one.
You DO NOT need a dehydrator to dry herbs. Depending on what type of herb it is, you can air dry them or even dry them in the oven. Start by picking your herbs in the morning right after the dew dries off of them. Rinse them and gently pat them dry. They say not to crush your herbs once they are dried because it keeps the flavor of the herbs better. However, I always crush mine and store them in a sealed jar. I don’t want to mess around with crushing them every time I want to use them and they take up much less room crushed, but the choice is yours.
According to HGTV.com, the best herbs to dry in the oven are the low moisture herbs like rosemary, oregano, dill, thyme and marjoram. Place the herbs on a cookie sheet spreading them out as thin as you can trying not to let them touch. Place them in the oven at the lowest setting, ours is 170 degrees. Never dry at 180 degrees or higher or you will bake them. Leave the oven door open, like when you broil, as the herbs need circulation to dry and not bake. Keep them in the oven for 2-4 hours or until the herbs are completely dry and they are crumbly.
HGTV.com states that herbs with a higher moisture content like basil, mint and chives are better dried in a dehydrator. Some dehydrators only have one setting to dry. My Excalibur has a thermostat that tells me what temperature to dehydrate each type of food. Read the manual on your dehydrator to see what setting it calls for. Like in the oven, place your herbs so they are not touching.
HGTV.com said that natural air drying is another method of drying your herbs. Gather about 8 branches of the herb and tie them together with a string at the base of the stem. Take a paper bag and poke holes in it. Place your herbs in the bag stem side up and tie the end of the bag closed. Hang the bag, stem side up, in a warm ventilated room. They will be dry in a week or more.
So whatever method you choose to dry your herbs, they will be fresher than any jar of herbs you will buy in the grocery store. Compare your freshly dried herbs with the ones from the store and you will be amazed at the difference in color and taste!
Categories: Dehydrated, Fresh Herbs
I have never tried to dry my hers but definitely are better than the dry ones that we buy in the jar from the grocery store. I always prefer to have them fresh but sometimes is not possible, so this is a great idea! Thank you Diane! 😉
Thank you I dry mine every year. I hate waste…lol
Oh me too! No waste definitely! 🙂
I love to air dry my chives and 🌿 basil
I have so many chives!
When we moved to Louisville, our next door neighbor gave me an “herb garden” window box as a welcome gift. I have been in love with basil ever since. Thanks for the tips!
What a wonderful gift and nice neighbor! You’re welcome!
That’s an awesome gift idea!
I took hot red peppers out of the dehydrator just this morning.
Awesome!!! I have beef jerky in mine as I type.
I dry Basil in a brown paper bag. I set it on the back of the kitchen counter and it works.
I like the way you do it! I would love having my parsley and sage dried!
There are many ways to dry it and they all work! I like the way I do it just because I don’t have to look at bags of it sitting around. I can crush it and hide it in jars in my cupboard…lol
I agree with you. As I begin to grow more …I will try it your way.
And because we leave for AZ… I can’t take it with me.
Your way is perfect!
My oregano is overgrown. I am certainly going to dry it. Thanks for sharing the method.
You’re welcome! This was the first year I found an oregano plant. I am so excited to have it!
Oh, your home grown dehydrated herbs that is great idea!
Thanks they are so easy to grow.
I think my basil plant is turning into a tree! I’ll need to harvest and dehydrate soon…thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome! Just don’t let it flower and it will be fine. I love this stuff!!!
I like this post. Based on my personal experience sometimes dried herbs and vegetables are more aromatic than fresh ones. I also dry herbs at home and am happy with that. Thanks for your post.
I agree! I would rather use dried herbs in cooking because I always get the same taste from them. Sometimes the fresh herbs are rather potent like my parsley this year. However, I do like the fresh herbs for garnish. Thank you for your nice comment!
You’re welcome 🌹
Good tips for herbs! They look very healthy! Blessings! 🙂
Thanks so much Tammy!
You’re most welcome!
I grow my own herbs and when I pick them I put them in a metal mixing bowl I have. I put the mesh splatter screen..you know the type you put over the fry pan to stop the fat from splattering.. on the top of the mixing bowl so bugs dont get in, and sit the bowl on the balcony in the sun.. usually its done in a few hours, sometimes less in the heat of the summer… dehydrated herbs ready to pour into a container for future use… just a hint for those who are like me and too stingy to buy a dehydrator 😉
Wow I never heard of drying them that way before. I can’t believe they dry that fast that’s crazy. Does that work for basil too?
Great way to store herbs! It was really hard for me to keep herbs fresh for a long time.Definitely try one of these .Thanks for sharing these tips.
You’re welcome! I think it is fun drying them. It is amazing how much you get from just one plant.
Trying to reach you to thank you for following me. My first follower I don’t actually know. 🤗
Tried on your contact page but didn’t like my URL. I was likely entering it incorrectly. Anyway, thanks so much.
You are welcome! I am sure you will have many more since your pictures are amazing!! Feel free to check out my blog at http://www.InDianesKitchen.com if you want.
Beauties. Therapy I imagine!
Oh yes! I love taking them off the stem after they dry then crushing them…lol
It is a wonderful idea to use these home-grown herbs for seasoning all through the year. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you so much!
There are drying herbs all over my kitchen at the moment. Nice mix of oregano, sage, and lavender at the moment. Do you know why they suggest putting the paper bag over them?
I believe it is to catch any small pieces that fall once they dry. I bet it smells amazing in your kitchen!
You are an all-purpose cook Diane!
Thanks Linda I just made beef jerky too. My husband went to the store and I asked him to get a me a single container of Greek yogurt so I could make homemade yogurt and he brought home a gigantic container! So now I don’t need to make it ugh! I only needed 1/4 cup of the Greek yogurt to get the live culture to make my own not a gigantic tub…..men!
You’ll be eating it all week and no doubt it is plain which has no taste at all – ugh. I like Greek yogurt especially the Oikos Triple Zero. Yes men don’t always pay attention! 🙂
I’m saving this! I had SO many herbs last year and tried to air dry them and they got moldy! I think I put them away before they were truly fully dry (I seriously waited weeks though and they really did appear dry!!). Next time I’m using the oven method like you said! What about “wetter” herbs like basil? Would that still work in the oven?
You could try it, however, HGTV said basil is better dried in the dehydrator. That is the only way I have ever dried it. It takes a while to dry even in my dehydrator due to all the moisture content. Another suggestion for you is to purchase the”made for food” moisture absorbers. Amazon sells them. They would be great when you think the herbs are dry, then drop one absorber into the jar you store the herb in for added protection against mold. You also can purchase small inexpensive dehydrators, that is how I started. I hope this helped Chrissy!
Oh wow I would love to grow my own herbs and dehydrate them to have my own as well but I dont have a garden and it seems next to impossible around here with the amount of insects and cats running all over the place lol. I might need to buy a greenhouse if I ever do that here.
Anyway it sounds super easy to dehydrate even at home without a dehydrator, I will have to look into this process and also growing herbs because I use a few of them myself as well.
It is so simple to grow them in pots. I have never had a problem with bugs and we have cats running around and they have not been a problem either. They actual sell units to grow herbs inside that have a grow light that sits on your counter. So crazy with the things they come up with…lol
oooh I’ll have to look into the counter ones with lights! sounds like something I can get on with 😀
I’ve heard they give great results.
Thanks for these tips! I love thyme❤️
OMG me too! I found Lemon Thyme to plant this year with my regular thyme, so excited! I already have enough dehydrated to last until next year.