Drying is the most effective way to extend the shelf-life of your herbs. This method doesn’t have any expiration date and the flavor remains intact for a long period of time which makes them perfect for packing & storing.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to dry your fresh herbs, an air fryer is the perfect solution. Not only is it easy to use, but it also does the job quickly and efficiently.
All you need to do is set the temperature to 360°F and put the herbs in, then they should be good after 3-4 mins. This method is great for achieving perfectly dried herbs in no time.
To find out more about the benefits of drying and dehydrating herbs, keep reading!
Why Dehydrate Herbs?
An alternate way to dry herbs is through dehydration. This process works faster than air drying and oven drying and helps in preserving the herbs’ natural flavor & nutrients since only a low temperature is used. The result of dehydrating herbs is superior as compared to other methods.
Dehydrating herbs in an air fryer is a great way to keep them fresh, while preserving their nutrients. Not only is it convenient & energy efficient, but the herbs also stay fresher for longer. Additionally, their flavour is much better than those purchased from grocery stores as they are more vibrant & intense.
Dehydrating Herbs Vs. Drying Herbs
Air drying herbs can take a lot longer compared to dehydrating and its efficiency in preserving the flavor, aroma and nutrients is also not as good. Consequently, dehydrating is often the preferred method of drying herbs.
High levels of humidity in the air can be a breeding ground for mold, particularly for plants with a high water content like basil, chives and mint.
Oven drying herbs is different from dehydrating as it involves higher temperatures which can consequently lead to the herbs being cooked. This will reduce their potency & flavor, requiring you to use a higher amount of herbs while cooking in comparison to the amount used after dehydrating.
Drying Herbs In An Air Fryer
To get your dried herbs with minimal effort, just follow these few simple steps and you’ll be ready to go in no time!
- Before you start, make sure to preheat the air fryer to 360°F. After washing the herbs properly, use a paper towel to pat them dry.
- After taking the stems off the herbs, put them in the air fryer’s basket. Make sure to cover them with a rack so that they don’t fly around while cooking.
- Set the air fryer to 360°F and let it air fry for 3 minutes. After 1 minute, give your herbs a quick stir to make sure they get evenly dried up.
- Once the herbs are done cooking, move them to a bowl and let them cool completely. When they have cooled down, you can either store them as is or crush them for a more fragrant taste.
Dehydrating Herbs In An Air Fryer
Although air-drying your herbs can make the process faster, it doesn’t completely remove the water content. To achieve complete dehydration, you need to use a dehydrator.
To dehydrate herbs, you need to take your time and use a low temperature. Here’s how you can do it with an air fryer – follow the steps correctly for the best results!
- Adjust the air fryer to a temperature in the range of 125-150°F. Alternatively, if your air fryer has a pre-programmed dehydrating option, choose that instead.
- Be sure to take the necessary steps to prepare your herbs for dehydration. This includes washing, cleaning and patting them dry before carefully evenly-distributing them on the basket. This process can take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on how many herbs you’re drying.
- Once your herbs are done dehydrating, you can test them with your hands. If they crumble easily, this is a sign that the drying process is complete.
Drying Herbs with Oven
Follow these simple steps to quickly dry your herbs in the oven:
- Begin by placing a silicon tray onto the oven tray. By doing this, it’ll help keep the herbs from sticking to the baking sheet. After that, set the oven temperature to its lowest heat setting possible.
- Set your timer for 30 minutes; after this time frame is up, check your herbs and test if you can crumble them easily. If so, then the baking process is complete.
Drying Herbs with Microwave
It’s super easy to dry herbs in a microwave, however you must be vigilant to prevent burning. This technique can quickly burn herbs if not monitored.
- Start by separating the leaves of the herbs. Put them between two pieces of paper towel and warm them up in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Give the herbs a quick check and, if necessary, give them another 30 seconds (or more) in the microwave.
Tips for Storing Dried Herbs
- Store in a cool, dry place: Dried herbs should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, moisture, and heat. Sunlight can cause the herbs to lose their flavor, while moisture and heat can cause them to spoil.
- Use airtight containers: Use airtight containers such as glass jars with tight-fitting lids or resealable bags to keep the herbs fresh. This will prevent air and moisture from getting in and spoiling the herbs.
- Label the containers: Label each container with the name of the herb and the date of purchase or drying. This will help you keep track of the freshness and age of your herbs.
- Store away from strong odors: Keep your dried herbs away from strong-smelling spices and food items such as onions and garlic. Herbs can absorb the odor and flavor of these items, which can affect their taste.
- Crush or grind just before use: Crushing or grinding dried herbs just before use releases their oils and flavors, making them more potent and flavorful. This is especially true for delicate herbs such as basil and mint.
- Don’t store for too long: While dried herbs can last for a long time, they do lose their potency over time. It’s best to use them within six months to a year for maximum flavor and freshness.
When herbs have finished their drying or dehydrating process, it’s up to you whether you’d like to store them intact or grind them into a powder. The decision really depends on how you’re planning to use them.
To save your food from spoilage, it is important to store them in an airtight container. Glass Mason jars or paper bags are both great options for protecting your food for prolonged periods of time.