How to dry herbs

As many herbs peak in September before dying back until next spring, or just getting a bit tired looking over the colder months, it’s a good time for drying out leaves to store and use later on. It’s a really easy process too, and takes little actual time (you’re mainly just waiting for the herbs to dry) so well worth doing. You’ll find it’s easier to dry plants with a low moisture content like sage, rosemary and thyme as well as oregano and marjoram. Herbs with more moisture (basil, tarragon, mint, lemon balm, chives) have more tender leaves that will bruise more easily and are a little harder to dry, so you may prefer to preserve these by chopping them up and adding to olive oil, or you could mix them with butter for the freezer.

Step one: Cut your herbs. It is best to cut off stems of healthy looking leaves at mid morning after any morning dew has evaporated.

Step two: Tie them into a bunch. Just gather them together into a little bunch and tie at the base of the stems with twine.

Step three: Hang them upside down to dry. Be sure to hang them somewhere dry and warm. Lots of people hang them on the walls in the kitchen, for example.

Step four: Leave them for a week or so. Check them regularly and when they are fully dry you can take them down.

Step five: Pop them in a jar. It’s best to store them in a sealed glass jar, and keep them in a kitchen cupboard rather than on a spice rack as the darkness will help them store better.