If you have come to this website looking to find how to dry herbs fast you are on the right web portal. Surely, you can easily hang your plants after harvesting them.
The use of a herb drying box such as Magic Herb Dryer has a controlled environment that gives you a complete and evenly distributed drying process before you cure.
This will optimize the quality of the plant. The Magic Herb Dryer dries your plants in the optimum range of 5-10 days.
How to dry and store and store aromatic and medicinal herbs fast without a drying box
The medicinal or aromatic herbs that we have in the garden are ideal to harvest and use them fresh but it is true that we will not always be able to dispose of them, so it is recommended that we dry them and store them for use throughout the year.
- Elastic bands
- A cool and dry place to hang them on a grocer.
- Clips for use as a hook.
When to cut them?
The plants should be as dry as possible to avoid rotting when we are going to dry them, so it is best to cut them on a sunny day and the dew has evaporated.
While we cut them we put them face down and shake them occasionally so that the bugs or spiders that may be on the plant fall. In flowering plants, we must choose those that are about to open so you can retain all its smell.
How to Prepare Them?
Once and we have the selected branches we can wash them if they are dirty and put them to dry on a towel. Once dry, we make small bunches of branches and tie them with the gums.
An ideal area is a place inside the house, without direct sunlight, it can be in total darkness, that is cool, without moisture and that is well ventilated. You should not sunbathe because it can affect the properties of the plant.
The twigs or bundles we put them face down and the rope we tie it to the rubber and the clip that we will subsequently hang on the rope as in the image above. If the leaves are very large we can separate them from the branches and just hang the leaves.
In the case of tree leaves such as laurel, drying can be done differently, as it is difficult to hang leaf by leaf if we have harvested them so the simplest is to use a rack that we can get, for example from a refrigerator shelf, something like that Similar is ideal.
We put a cloth of cloth and on top, we place the leaves well separated from each other so that they dry without danger to rot. The use of newspapers or magazines should be avoided because the ink can be transferred to the plant.
When to know that they are ready?
We should leave them like this for 2 to 4 weeks, checking them periodically to see that there are no rotting and everything is going correctly. The plant will be ready to store when a branch is folded it will split.
We can separate the leaves from the stems and store them in airtight jars. We label them with data such as date, name and what it is for.
There are other drying methods such as using the microwave but I think the best way is the natural one and that it has always been used.
What plants can I dry?
All plants for culinary or medicinal use can be dried for later use, but they keep their properties for only one year. Thyme, bay leaf, lavender, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena, sage, pennyroyal, mint, basil, rosemary …
The principle of drying is simple: remove the water contained in the plant as quickly as possible while safeguarding the essences and active principles. In general, the taste and qualities of the herbs are well preserved by drying.
|Herbs that retain their intact aroma:||Herbs that lose their aroma:|
Conditions to be respected for successful drying.
To minimize handling during drying, leave the leaves on the stems. Group these in small bouquets held by a loose knot. To dry faster, place large leaves on a rack and add a piece of mosquito net to prevent leaves from passing through the large holes in the grill.
The higher the drying temperature, the faster the operation. Warning! Above 35 ° C, the essential oils evaporate, while the color and flavor deteriorate. On the other hand, too low a temperature delays the process and creates condensation, which alters the taste.
It plays an important role in this method. It is necessary to quickly eliminate the moisture that escapes from the plants.
It fades the foliage and decreases the quality. This is why the harvested parts must always be placed in the shade.
The drying in the open air is the most common method to dry a few small bunches. Depending on the quantity and conditions, the herbs dry in four to eight days with this method. For large quantities, a simple heating element with a fan speeds up the process.
- Hang upside down in a dark, airy room.
- Wrap a holey paper bag to protect them from light and dust, if necessary.
- Place a clean cloth on the ground to collect the seeds. The seeds fall as they mature.
There are effective dehydrators on the market . Some are simply bunk trays whose bottom is screened. Others, more sophisticated and more expensive, contain a source of heat.
The electric oven is not recommended because the temperature is irregular. When the thermostat goes off, the temperature rises quickly. It is impossible to maintain a constant temperature below 35 ° C, the maximum temperature not to be exceeded during drying.
A gas oven with a pilot flame is more efficient. The heat released by the pilot is uniform and sufficient to dry the plants. It is necessary to calculate from three to six hours of drying.
The use of the microwave is fast but very delicate because a few seconds too much and the herbs are not dry but cooked! Unlike the conventional oven, the microwave heats only the water contained in the tissues thereof. Wrap the stems with a paper towel to absorb the water and keep the plant intact.
- About 1 minute: small leaves of thyme and rosemary.
- About 3 minutes: mint and lemon balm leaves that contain a lot of water.
- Watch for sage which, because of essential oils, can ignite at high temperatures.
Storage of dried crops
- Put in sealed pots, well-identified and in the dark.
- Do not reduce the powdered leaves.
- Check the condition of the crops daily and dry again as needed during the first week.