Indoor Herb Garden: How to Dry Herbs

Share:

Indoor Herb Garden: How to Dry Herbs

Staff Writer · Feb 3, 2010

If you grow your own fresh herbs you should learn how to dry herbs in order to make the most of your harvest. While you can make use of your indoor herb garden by using fresh herbs in your cooking, drying your herbs will allow you to make use of your bounty when fresh herbs are not available.

Harvesting

The first step in successfully drying herbs is harvesting. All herbs should be harvested just before the plant forms flowers. This small window of time yields herbs with the best flavor. Once the plant has set on flowers the herbs will start to lose much of their flavor, but can still be dried. Start by cutting the healthiest looking branches from your plants with a clean knife or scissors. Rinse the branches with cool water and pat dry thoroughly on a clean paper towel. Remove the the lower leaves on the branch and bundle four or five branches together and tie them with a piece of twine.

Dry Herbs in a Bag

The cheapest and easiest way to dry herbs at home is to use a paper bag. The bag should be big enough to enclose your bundle of herbs without touching them. Start by cutting several air holes in the paper bag. Now put the herbs into the bag upside down and twist the top of the bag around the base of the herbs. Tie the bag closed with another piece of twine and hang in a dry, warm spot.

Checking Your Herbs

After ten to fourteen days check your herbs for dryness. When completely dried the leaves should be crisp and crumble easily when touched. If the herbs are not completely dry close up the bag and check again in a week. Some herbs like basil and mint have a lot of moisture in them and my take up to a month to dry thoroughly. Be patient, if your herbs have any moisture left in them they will not store well.

Storing Your Dried Herbs

Once your herbs are thoroughly dry you will need to store them in an airtight container to preserve them. You can buy glass or plastic jars made specifically for this purpose or reuse a jar that you already have. Make sure that whatever container you use is thoroughly dry and airtight. You can crumble the leaves of your herbs before you put them in the container by rubbing them gently between your fingers, or leave them whole and crumble them up as you go. Place your containers in a cool, dry and dark place. Properly dried herbs can be stored and will retain their flavor for at least one year.

Using Your Dried Herbs

Remember when using your dried herbs in cooking that dried herbs have a more intense flavor than fresh. When using your dried herbs in a recipe you should use one half to one third the amount that the recipe calls for.

You might also like:

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and/or living in them. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is truly like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight a major city across […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jan 31, 2024

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and/or living in them. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is truly like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight a major city across […]

Jessica Lee

 · Dec 28, 2023