If you are a home grower, having access to fresh herbs is the dream. However, fresh herbs don’t have a long shelf life and need to be used immediately.
If your herb gardening is thriving, you can easily extend their life span by drying them. This way, you will have jars of dried herbs all year long, even after their growing season.
Home dried herbs are packed with more flavour than store-bought versions. When harvested, dried, and stored properly, your herbs retain flavour all year long. You can whip out your dried herb jars and sprinkle them over your favourite dishes whenever you want.
How To Dry Herbs In The Oven
There are several ways you can dry your herbs at home. This article will explore how to dry herbs in your oven.
Herbs You Can Dry
If you want to dry herbs, you have to be mindful of the harvesting time. You should pick your herbs before they bloom. The timing matters. If you have outdoor plants, wait for dry, warm mornings after the dew has passed before you harvest the stems and leaves.
Below is a list of some of the best herbs you can dry and add to your spice collection.
- Lemon Grass.
- Lemon Balm.
How To Dry Herbs?
There are different quick methods to fill up your jars with dried herbs at home. You will not require specialized equipment of any kind for these methods. You can air dry them, dry them in your oven or microwave, or make the best of a food dehydrator if you have one.
Whatever method you use, here are a few tips you should keep in mind. Do not place your herbs in direct sunlight however tempting it may seem. This will affect the flavour and colour of your herbs. Additionally, if you are drying them outdoors, bring them inside at night. Otherwise, the dew will harm them.
You will also have to ensure there is excellent air circulation around the herbs so that you do not tempt mold. Pick out the best of your herb plant and throw away any wilted or dead parts.
Here are the step-by-step details of how you can dry herbs in the oven.
In The Oven
If you have big batches of herbs to dry, using an oven is your best bet. To maintain the potency of the herbs, you should dry them at low temperatures, at the lowest possible setting of your oven.
Since oven temperatures vary across brands, you will have to use a thermometer to get the best results. It is also best if you do a trial run first to figure out what works best for drying your herbs.
Hardy herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, etc., dry extremely well in the oven.
Get Your Herbs Ready:
Sort through your harvest and select the best herbs to dry. Separate the best leaves and arrange them on a parchment paper-covered oven rack in one layer. If you are using delicate leaves, you can include the stems too.
If your herbs are homegrown and organic, you do not need to rinse them off. However, if you are using store-bought herbs, you should give them a gentle rinse and dry them thoroughly before placing them on the oven rack.
Preheat Your Oven:
Preheat your oven at the lowest possible setting. For most ovens, this is about 100°F. You can use an oven thermometer to get accurate temperature readings.
Pop Your Herbs In:
Pop the oven rack with the herbs into the pre-heated oven. Do not close the oven door all the way. Leave it cracked open so that any excess moisture has a way out. This will also help maintain a lower temperature. You can use a wooden spoon to wedge the door open.
Flip The Herbs:
Keep an eye on the clock. Once 30 minutes have passed, flip your herbs. Check their level of dryness. If you feel they could use some more time in the oven, set the timer for additional 15 minutes.
Give the herbs 60 minutes in the oven before you turn down the heat completely. Once your oven is off, allow the herbs to cool down completely.
How To Dry Herbs In Oven: The Takeaway
Herbs are easy to dry if done the right way. Oven drying your herbs is quite efficient. You can easily dry your choice of herbs in an hour. Once they are dried, store them in airtight containers to preserve their flavour. This flavour stays stable the entire year.