Herbs forum: Drying Herbs?

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Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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Nov 12, 2015 8:57 AM CST
So do you dry and store herbs? If so, which ones, and what is your process?

I don't want to purchase a dehydrator, though I wouldn't mind having one. Although I've grown several culinary herbs for quite a few years, I really didn't use them much to cook with. But that is changing.

So, I cut and banded a bunch of standard thyme, oregano, and sweet Italian basil. I actually hung the bunches on my upper kitchen cabinet doors using yarn. I had given my mom a large bunch of oregano and she ended up tossing it because leaving it hanging, it got very dusty, so she thought.

So I might back up here. Before hanging, I rinsed the bunches and shook off the excess water.

After a few weeks, I placed the whole bunches in gallon size zipper freezer bags in hopes of keeping fresher and clean. I also placed a piece of paper towel in the bag in case there was still a lot of moisture unknown to me.

After about 4 weeks (*before* the bunches were placed in a freezer bag), when they felt fairly crispy and dried, I needed to use each. I was hoping to crumble them up, the leaves (after having tried to strip them off of the stems), between my thumb and first two fingers in a rubbing type motion. But this didn't happen very well. The pieces tended to remain large, which I didn't like. Some folks may like big pieces of herbs like that, but I prefer the tiny pieces like are in the bottle when store purchased.

I would like to finish processing the herbs where the are all ready to use, and place in small jars. Do folks use a chopper or something to chop up the herbs in tiny pieces? Are stems used also, or just the leaves? (Thyme has such tiny little leaves.)

[Last edited by HoosierHarvester - Nov 12, 2015 9:00 AM (+)]
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Delaware (Zone 7b)
Nov 14, 2015 9:46 PM CST
I don't own a dehydrator either.
I have used the same methods you described to dry and save herbs. It's all I do.
At the moment I'm not doing anything at all with herbs......I do miss them.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Nov 15, 2015 8:39 AM CST
I can't help you with drying in bunches like that. I dry mine in a single layer on plastic canvas trays I made for the purpose.
They dry quicker that way since air gets through from all sides
Depending on size of leaves they are usually dry in 2-7 days

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