How To Dry Herbs For Cooking

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How To Dry Herbs To Use For Cooking

1. Once you have collected your herbs to dry, clear a kitchen bench or similar wide surface, cover it with clean brown paper or lining paper. Wash the herbs in a bowl of pure water, lay them out on your prepared table, the proceed as follows:

Dried herbs hanging

(a) If you are hanging them to dry, find a really dry room that is above 18c. Tie them around with string in smaller bunches. Smaller bunches allow them to dry faster and not grow any mildew. Natural drying takes 4 to 6 weeks.

(b) If you are planning on oven drying them see note 2 below –

2. In humid or rainy climates, it is best to oven dry herbs. Put a layer of brown paper in your oven and spread the herbs thinly across the paper. Put the oven on the lowest heat setting. Oven drying means you can store your herbs hours after harvesting, rather than weeks. With this method your herbs will never go mildew.

3. You will know when your herbs are dried when they are completely crisp, dry and not too brittle. But they will still retain some, if not a lot, of their original colour. Never ever leave them to bake brown. If you over bake your herbs they will be useless and you will have to throw them and start again. Barks and roots will go darker in the baking/drying process.

4. When the herbs are dried, crumple them up and place in an air tight container out of sunlight. Your herbs should last several years this way, not losing any of their potency.

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