I believe in any kitchen counter always has a corner of herbs because they have a variety of uses including culinary, medical and in some cases, spiritual. While the herbs that you harvesting from the garden are freshly used, so the normal way to use is just in one season and another one is drying them for later use.
Drying is a common technique to lengthen their shelf life for a very long time. It is a simple and economical method than artificial ingredient one that you may know. But how to dry herbs and what equipment is used to dry herbs? In this article, I will let you know.
This is one of the easiest ways to dry herbs at home. As its name, it requires fresh air and direct sunlight to dehydrate homemade herbs. If you live in a humid area or want to dry herbs in a humid atmosphere, the procedure may be lengthened and create a good condition for mold to develop. Therefore, dry seasons (from November to April) or in summer with high temperatures will be the most suitable environments for the best-dried herbs or even fruits. There are two methods you can use: by racks and ties.
Spreading herbs out over racks is an ideal technique that will dry your plants faster with less ability to be rotten before being completely dehydrated. Individual leaves or sprigs of herbs are laid evenly on the cheesecloth racks in a warm environment with warm sunlight. This method needs 2 to 3 days to dry out herbs when they reach the crumbly texture. Remember to turn over the leaves every 12 hours regularly in order to avoid mold and let them dry constantly.
Air-drying herbs by ties may take more time than by racks – up to 2 weeks but the results will be more beautiful and simple to store. With this method, you tie herbs into small bundles, do not tight larger or dense ones because they can create a good condition for mold to develop, especially in the humid air. After being fastened with a knot, hanging the brunches upside down in the warm spot and direct sunlight and then loosely wrapping in muslin or paper to keep out dust and keep leaves or seeds from falling. Normally, it may take about 10 days for herbs to become crispy when crushed.
Oven drying is a quite fast method due to its temperature adjustment. Though you have to be careful not to set too high heat or dry too long, it may burn your herbs and even lose their good taste. Depending on the size and thickness of herbs then adjusting drying time. Normal heat and time to dry is not over 100 degrees F and about 1 hour. Don’t forget to preheat the oven and turn over the leaves every 20 minutes to make sure your herbs will be evenly dried. After being completely dried, instead of taking herbs out, just let them cool inside the oven.
This technique definitely takes a shorter time than by air-drying and needs less effort to dry herbs than an oven. Microwaving suits for small quantities and when you don’t have much time. Place the separated leaves on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and cover them by another paper towel to avoid direct heat of the microwave. Turn it on high mode for about 1-10 minutes which seems to be different in every case. Keep an eye on your herbs to control the quality of herbs. If the herbs are not truly dried yet, you can continue spinning 30 seconds more.
After reading those details of how to dry herbs and how long does it take to dehydrate herbs, I hope this will be less challenging for you now so that you can cook many delicious food for your family from herbs which you dried.
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