Using a Food Dehydrator for Drying Herbs
How to Dry Herbs
You might consider drying herbs in your dehydrator if you've got too much. Whether you have an herb garden and simply can't use your herbs fresh before the season is over, or someone has handed you a fresh bunch of sage or marjoram that you'd love to hang on to, sometimes you can't use them up quickly enough. Drying herbs is really simple and straightforward and will make them last a long time.
If you're going to use a microwave, be careful. The problem is it's hard to gauge the heat the microwave will put out. But if you've got a good one, and you know your microwave, try it. You'll save plenty of time because they can generate so much heat so quickly. If you're in a big rush, stick with short bursts, so you can check the herbs for scorching or starting a fire. The herbs can get really brittle if you aren't paying attention.
When you are ready to dry a bunch of herbs, you'll find that one of the best way to dry them is just by hanging them up. Don't worry about washing the herbs if they are fairly clean, because this can remove some of their natural oils. Tie the herbs into bunches and hang them upside down. Keep them away from the sun and in a place that is well ventilated. If you want to make sure the herbs stay dust free, hang them wrapped up in paper bags with holes punched in the paper.
When you want to use a dehydrator to dry your herbs, you'll find that the process takes much less time and can be accomplished much more evenly. All you need to do is to put the leaves and stems down in a single layer on the tray. Then just set the dehydrator to the lowest setting possible and before you know it, you are going to have lovely dried herbs.
Storing Your Dried Herbs
As soon as you're done drying herbs, store them in air tight containers. You may use canning jars, good Tupperware, or zip-locked bags. Make sure that you write down what kind of herbs you are dealing with and label and date your containers. Ideally, your herbs will be stored in a cool, dark place. Keep an eye on them for an signs of mold and discoloration and remember that your herbs should be good for upwards of a year. Also keep in mind that it is much better to store your herbs in whole leaves; you will get more flavor out of them if you crush them just before you use them.
When it comes to getting the most effectively dried herbs, make sure you take a look at using a dehydrator. It's easy and you won't be ducking greenery every time you walk into the place wherever they're hanging. There are lots of uses for dried herbs, whether you are looking at making up some scent sachets or to give your cooking some extra zing. Dry your own herbs and make sure that you get the results that you need!