Take your dried herbs and grind them with a spice or coffee grinder, mortar, and pestle. Choose the one that best works for the herbs you want to use at the time you have at your disposal, especially if you have an abundance of dry herbs at home to cook with. Keep in mind that many people feel that herbs change their flavor when dried, so dried versions tend to offer more punch per ounce. Shrink the herb or herb leaves with water to dry them, or remove the water to shrink the leaves. This concentrates the flavor, so you will end up with a lot more dried herbs than you might expect. There is not much difference between cooking dried herbs and cooking fresh when it comes to quantity. Dried foods tend to intensify the taste, so that you may need three times as many fresh herbs to give a recipe the same nuance. When using dried herbs, especially when fresh herbs are not available, it should be noted that the taste of dried herbs may be stronger than that of fresh herbs.
This is not the case with herbs such as basil and tarragon whose strong flavor is reduced by the drying process, but with herbs such as marjoram, oregano, and thyme.
Most of the flavor of fresh herbs is lost in meals that simmer or boil for a long time. Less delicate herbs and robust herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and summery savory parsley are easier to dry in the dehydrator.
Delicate leafy herbs like basil, oregano, tarragon, lemon balm, and mint have a high moisture content and can easily turn moldy if not dried properly. Air drying herbs are ideal for herbs with large leaves such as mint, basil, oregano, and marjoram. Air drying is also possible for better color and taste binding by drying indoors. Air drying works with herbs that do not have a high moisture content such as laurel, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and summer bean thyme the best. Air drying is not the easiest or most expensive method of drying fresh herbs, but it can help to preserve the essential oils in the herbs, preserving their flavor. Drying herbs in the oven is the fastest method of air drying but you need to be careful not to burn herbs, so you have to experiment with the oven to find the ideal technique.
If you live in a dry climate, herbs such as basil and parsley can be dried with thick juicy leaves in a dehydrator. Rinse small bunches of herbs under running cold water, lay them out in the sun to wither and dry, and bind them firmly. Whenever the herbs arose, sweep them into a clean pillowcase or heavy paper bag, crush them and store them in a jar to dry in a dark place.
Dried herbs lose their effectiveness after about 6 months, so it makes sense to dry your small batches. An electric food dryer with eight trays extracts moisture at low temperature (about 95 degrees) with continuous airflow through the drying rack and preserves the rich flavors of kitchen herbs better than an oven or air drying. Once your herbs have dried, you can pear them and store them in small jars or plastic bags.
As you work one herb after another, place dried herbs and spices in a single layer on a sheet of paper that fits into your microwave. You can also air-dry herbs in a bundle, which takes longer than spreading on a rack and takes up more space than dried herbs, but the likelihood of herbs rotting or moldy when they dry is lower. If you want to dry herbs with this method, you can make a mosquito net drying shade mounted on a wooden frame. Spread individual leaves and sprigs of herbs on a rack or baking tray lined with cheesecloth.
Dry fresh herbs without having to throw them away. If you don't use fresh herbs, drying herbs yourself is a good option to ensure they don't stand on the shelf for years and add the best possible flavor. Tarragon, bay leaf, mint, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, and small leaves such as thyme can all be dried in the air and are excellent for beginners. The leaves of small, feathery herbs such as dill and fennel, which have their stems, can also be dried after completion.
Remove the stems and store them in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks for the best taste. Small-leaved herbs such as thyme, oregano, and rosemary need 4 to 7 days to dry.
Leave the herbs in your dehydrator or oven for about 30 minutes, then you can check them regularly. Empty the container into a canning jar or spice jar and start transferring the herbs, using a funnel for easy transfer. Shake off excess water and pat dry damaged fresh herbs with two clean kitchen towels.
The other way to dry in the air is to pick the leaves from the stem and lay them out on a rack or tray to dry to make sure there is no breeze blowing over them. Make sure you use a rubber band to hold the whole herb while it dries, as the stem under the band shrinks, so make sure the binding stays tight. Moisture from the leaves crumbles the dried leaves in the container and preserves them.
A dehydrator for the home has proven to be a great method for drying herbs, especially when most of your appliance has a mesh insert to prevent the leaves from falling out. Herbs can be dried in a dehydrator at a temperature between 95 and 110 degrees.
Drying can lead to a loss of flavor and color, so watch out for delicate herbs. The duration varies from plant to plant, but once a herb has dried, it retains a green color and can crumble in the hand when rubbed with the fingers. Small thyme leaves can be dried in 2 to 8 hours, while larger, dense, woody herbs take up to 18 hours.
For herbs with large leaves such as basil, mint, and sage, remove the leaf from the stalk. In the case of small-leaved herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme, the leaves can be dried by attaching the stems. Place the sheets on a reusable silicone air mat on a wire cooling rack, drying basket, or unlined baking tray.