How to dry herbs and store them for longer

There’s nothing better than having your own set of herbs ready to spruce up any dish. Learn how to dry rosemary, basil and lots of other types of herbs with our easy guide.

19 July 2019

kitchen cabinet with white shelves full of tins and jars of dry food
Sustainability

Key steps

To home-dry fresh herbs without using a dehydrator follow these key steps:

1. Wash and dry the herbs

2. Place in either a paper bag

3. Place the paper bag in a warm airy room

4. Check from time to time; if they are not quite crumbly, continue drying

Fresh herbs are delicious in meals, there is no doubt about that. But seeing the green basil leaves you handpicked go to waste because you couldn’t use the whole bunch in your tomato sauce is more than disheartening. If you want to find out about how to dry your basil leaves, or how you could dry the rosemary or oregano leftover from your roast preparation, you are in the right place. With our guide, not only will you limit food waste, you will save money. Besides, dried herbs are a lot more versatile thank you think and can even be used as an attractive and fragrant feature in your home. Here we’ve got some useful tips on how best to dry and store dried herbs.

 Don’t limit your usage of dried herbs to cooking and baking. Dried herbs make great additions to homemade toiletries too - try drying out some lavender and basil and use these in DIY soaps. 

How to dry parsley, mint leaves, or any other kind of herb successfully: what to keep in mind

Whether you grew them yourself or picked up a bunch from your local supermarket, herbs are super handy in all sorts of cooking. If you’ve got some left over and don’t want them to go to waste here are some top tips on how to dry oregano, how to dry mint leaves and any other type of herb.

  • If you’re picking the herbs from your garden, always harvest before they flower to get the best flavour.
  • Always store dried herbs separately and label them clearly so they are easy to use in the future.
  • Avoid storing in plastic bags as these can create condensation which gets in the way of the drying process.

How to dry herbs: method 1 – Air drying

1. Cut the herbs to your preferred size.

2. Wash thoroughly and pat dry

3. Inspect your herbs for any stray insects or bugs

4. Remove any over-ripe herbs from the bunch

5. Combine the herbs into bunches of around 4-6 stems each and tie each bunch together with string (avoid rubber as this can harm the stem).

6. Place each bunch in a paper bag clearly labelled.

7. Cut a few air holes in the bag then hang upside down in a warm airy room

8. Check the herbs in about two weeks. You’ll know they are dry enough if they start to crumble. If not leave them for another week.

How to dry herbs: method 2 – dehydrator

1. Follow steps 1-4 from method 1

2. Place a single layer of herbs on each dehydrator tray

3. Put the trays back in the dehydrator

4. Dry herbs on the lowest possible setting, usually around 37 degrees Celsius

5. Check the herbs after one to four hours

6. They are ready when they naturally crumble, if not give them a bit more time

The above methods will come in handy whether you want to know how to dry rosemary, how to dry basil, how to dry parsley or any other type of herb our step-by-guide will show you the way. Follow one of these methods and you’ll avoid food wastage while ensuring lots of herb-filled tasty meals.

Dried food can still attract pests. To prevent this from happening, store them in dry and properly sealed containers. Always check thoroughly before consuming.