The Right Way to Dry Your Herbs
| Asaf Amitai
Growing your own plants and herbs requires a lot of love and patience, but it’s worth it in the end when you have beautiful flowers and herbs that you can enjoy. Before using herbs, you’ll need to dry them to truly make the most out of what they have to offer. The drying process is a crucial and last step before getting perfectly dried herbs that smell and taste great. Drying your herbs and plants reduces moisture in the plant, which makes it last longer. With dried herbs, you can store them in a sealed jar or bag and use them for a very long time. Dried herbs are usually more potent in taste and smell.
Slow drying is the most effective way to do it, letting your herbs dry for about 5 to 7 days. Shortcuts, such as blowing hot air on them, using a microwave or stove, or putting them out in the sun to dry are not recommended. While this is a faster route, the result will be unusable. All of your hard work spent on taking care of this plant will result in herbs that smell horrible, taste bad, and are probably dangerous to consume because of mold and bacteria. An optimal drying environment is at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celcius), and 50% humidity with proper air ventilation and filtering in order to dry herbs for multiple days without developing mold or unpleasant odors.
Drying time is not set in stone, and varies depending on the plant. It is always best to err on the side of caution and remove plants from the dryer before they are ready rather than over-drying them. With WeDryer, you can always put them back if they need a bit more time, but once you’ve dried them out too much, there’s no going back.
While drying in the sun may sound logical, it is exactly the opposite. For high-quality results, you should dry in dark environments, as the darkness reduces chlorophyll (a substance in plants that can leave a scratchy feeling in your throat when consumed). Sunlight is too harsh and can lower the quality of the herbs, especially when slow-drying. Before drying anything, it is important to trim the plants and inspect them for infections, fungi, and mildew. If infected herbs are dried, the infection can spread and ruin the entire batch.