Learn How to Dry Herbs

I've been teaching home canning for a long time.  I'd love to share what I've learned with you.   Simply Canning School's online video based classes .

how to dry herbs

Learning how to dry herbs is fun, easy, and economical. Do you grow and cook with your own fresh kitchen herbs? Drying is a great way to preserve them to use in the winter months. On this page I describe how to dry oregano. The same procedures work for dehydrating most fresh herbs. 

There are two ways to dry herbs.

  • Hanging by the stems
  • Pulling the leaves and drying them separately

Drying herbs on the stem.  

Divide your herbs,  (I'm drying oregano today) into small bunches and bind each bunch together. I find twist ties work well, but you can also use rubber bands or even string. 

Place each bunch in a lunch bag sized paper bag. This will keep the sun and dust off as the herbs dry. Use a stapler to bind the herb stems in the corner. This holds the bag on when it is hung.  You could just hang the bunches without the bags. Be sure you hang them where they will not get full of dust.

Hang these bunches in a warm dry place until dry. The length of time it will take to dry will depend on your climate and temperature.

I live in a very dry climate and I hung my bags out in my garden shed where it gets pretty warm during the day. It only took a couple days and the oregano was dry and crispy. When the bunches are nice and dry simply use your fingers and crunch the leaves off the stems. 

Place the leaves in an airtight container. Canning Jars are perfect! 

Check your jar in a day or two to make sure that there is no condensation showing on the sides. If there is, the oregano is not quite dry enough.  If that happens just spread the oregano out in a pan and leave uncovered for another day or two to more fully dry. 

Be sure and label your jar. You will forget what you put in the jar!  You can always do a sniff test and see if you can guess what it was, but it is so much easier to just grab the labeled jar and know what you are getting.   I just used a sharpie marker. You could also use masking tape or get cute computer labels printed on your computer. 

Store in a dark place. A pantry or cupboard is fine. 

Oregano divided into bundles.
Tie the bundles together.
Wrap the bundles in small paper bags.
Allow to dry.
When crunchy crumble leaves off the stems.
Store in a jar.

How to dry herbs by removing the leaves first.  

Another way to dry herbs is to remove the leaves from the stems and then lay the leaves out on a tray or pan to dehydrate.  Cover with cheese cloth and set in a dark warm place for a few days until dry. 

Package the dried oregano in jars just as described above. Be sure and check your jar for any condensation.

This method works just as well as the first method above, but to me it is much easier to hang by the stems and crumble the leaves off after they have dried.  

You get to choose what method you like best for you!  

Pull the leaves off the stems.
Spread out on a tray and allow to dry.

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