1. To air-dry fresh herbs, locate the cut end where they were removed from the plant and tightly tie on some butcher's twine. Attaching the butcher's twine to a rack or line, hang the herbs in a cool, dark, and dry place. If there is no place to hang the herbs, the same effect can be achieved by placing the herbs in an even layer on an elevated rack and leaving the rack in the same cool, dark, and dry place. 01:02
2. To oven-dry fresh herbs, adjust the oven to the lowest possible heat setting and organize the fresh herbs in a single layer on the sheet tray. Leave the fresh herbs in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. 01:27
What You'll Need
- Butcher's twine
- Small rack*
- Sheet tray
- Fresh herbs
*See Chef Notes for further information
Drying fresh herbs makes them far more potent. This allows you to use much less of them in recipes and makes it easier to incorporate a strong herb flavor into things like dry rubs, marinades, and oils.
One of the main challenges of drying herbs is fending off mold, especially when air-drying. The reason that herbs should be hung, or placed on an elevated rack, is that fresh herbs contain moisture. If this moisture comes into direct contact with a surface, where there will be little airflow, it will create serious mold potential. This is why a cool, dry, and dark place is so essential.
Dried herbs can go for as much as five dollars a bottle. Growing herbs in an outdoor garden or window sill is super simple and can be extremely satisfying. Think of the money you will save growing the herbs and drying them yourself!