State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600288
At the end of the season, garden herbs may be dried and
stored for use during winter.
Herbs should be air-dried in a dark place that never gets
hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best dried herbs come from the tender, flavorful
leaves from the upper 6 inches of stalk.
Cut herbs on a sunny morning after the dew has been burned
off. The best plants are those that have just begun to
bloom. Leave most of the stem on when cutting herbs and
remove tough leaves growing lower than 6 inches on the
stalk. Take off blossom heads.
Wash herbs in cold water, drain and blot dry with a
single layer of cheesecloth. Place them in a dry, SHADY
place until the leaves are so dry that they crumble when
handled. Herbs dried in the shade have better color and
flavor than sun dried herbs.
Leafy stems may be tied in bunches and hung in a well-
ventilated, dust-free room to dry.
Microwave ovens may be used to dry small quantities of
herbs. The moisture content of herbs is extremely low, so
place on a small container of water in the oven during
drying to prevent damage to the magnetron tube.
Place 4 or 5 herb stalks with leaves between paper towels.
Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Check herbs for
dryness. If additional time is needed, set timer for 30
seconds. Check again and repeat with 30 second intervals,