How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Learn how to hang dry herbs at home with this easy tutorial. It’s a fun simple way to preserve your summer herb garden, and the flavour is far superior to the dried herbs you’ll find at the grocery store.

farmhouse kitchen wooden table with strand of herbs hanging to dry - How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Why dry your own herbs?

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the flavour that fresh herbs add to your cooking. It’s actually super easy to preserve your summer herb garden to enjoy all year round! You don’t need any fancy equipment either. Just some string and a bounty of herbs! Here’s some of the top reasons why you should dry your own herbs at home:

  • Home-dried herbs have way more flavour than store-bought ones.
  • You’ll save money by not purchasing herbs from the store.
  • You have control over the growing process, such as ensuring organic methods are used.
  • Dried herbs hanging on your wall add a charming and cozy decorative touch.
  • It’s a fun activity that connects you with nature, plus kids would love doing this too!
Hang Dry Herbs At Home

What is the best way to dry herbs at home?

Drying herbs at home is so easy, and while my preferred method is to hang them on the wall, there are several alternatives you might consider:

  1. Microwave Drying: Sandwich the herbs between paper towels and zap them for 2-3 minutes, followed by 15-second intervals until they’re brittle. This method is quick, although it might reduce the herbs’ tastiness.
  2. Using a Food Dehydrator: If you’re lucky enough to own a dehydrator, you can use it to dry your herbs. For guidance, check out this post.
  3. Freeze Drying: This technique is excellent for long-term preservation and maintaining flavour. Freeze dryers are a bit of an investment, but well worth it. I’m currently saving up for one! In the mean time, you can check out this post for more information on how to dry herbs in a freeze dryer.
  4. Oven Drying: Set your oven to the lowest temperature and leave the door slightly open for airflow. Use a cooling rack instead of a tray for better air circulation and remember to put a sign on your oven to remind you that it’s in use.
  5. Wall Hanging: My top choice! Tie small bunches of herbs and hang them up to dry for a couple weeks. They look so pretty and this method produces the best flavour too. The full tutorial is below.

How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Here’s a quick overview on how to hang dry herbs at home. We’ll dive into all the details including a full tutorial below.

  • Step 1: Harvest The Herbs
  • Step 2: Bundle The Herbs
  • Step 3: Hang Herbs To Dry
  • Step 4: Store Dried Herbs
Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Which Fresh Herbs Should I Dry?

When deciding which fresh herbs to dry, consider those that retain their flavour well after the drying process. Here are some commonly dried herbs that are great for preserving:

  • Rosemary: Known for its strong flavour, it dries excellently and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • Thyme: Maintains its flavour when dried and is versatile in cooking.
  • Oregano: A staple in Italian cuisine, it dries well and its flavour can even intensify.
  • Sage: Perfect for drying, with its earthy flavour that complements many recipes.
  • Mint: Dries well and can be used for teas as well as culinary purposes.
  • Basil: While it can lose some flavour when dried, it’s still useful in cooked dishes.
  • Dill: The feathery pieces dry well and are wonderful in soups, stews, and pickles.
  • Parsley: Dries well and is a versatile herb for garnishing and flavouring a wide range of dishes.

Choose herbs that are abundant in your garden or that you frequently use in your cooking. Remember, the best time to harvest herbs for drying is just before they flower when their oils and flavours are at their peak.

How To Store Dried Herbs?

Make sure your herbs are completely dry before storing them to avoid mold. If the leaves or flowers still bend or aren’t crispy to the touch, they need more drying time. They should crumble easily when they’re dry.

Once dry, put your herbs in airtight glass jars and keep them in a dark, cool place like a closet, cabinet, or basement. Don’t forget to label each jar with the herb’s name and the date you stored it.

How Long Do Dried Herbs Last?

Dried herbs can last for 1 to 3 years, but they’re most flavourful if used within the first year. To keep them fresh, store them in a cool, dark place and keep them away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Check the colour and smell; if they’ve lost their vibrant colour or strong scent, it’s time to replace them.

close up of basket full of freshly picked herbs, held by girl wearing long floral dress in garden

How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Step 1: Harvest the Herbs

Pick your herbs in the early morning before it gets hot and sunny to capture their strongest flavour. Snip them with garden shears, leaving a long stem.

Rinse herbs with water and then lay to dry on a clean tea towel, flipping occasionally until all the water is gone.

blonde girl in long dress holding basket full of fresh herbs from garden
close up of basket full of fresh herbs from garden
blonde girl in long floral dress picking fresh herbs from garden box

Step 2: Bundle the Herbs

After the herbs are dry, take 4 or 5 stems and tie them into a bundle. It’s important to not tie too many together so they have enough space for air to circulate and dry properly.

I use cotton kitchen twine, making sure there’s ample string on one end to hang them up afterwards. Some people use elastic bands for tying herbs because they tighten as the herbs shrink, keeping them from dropping out. However, I haven’t found this to be an issue and I think the twine is prettier. So use whatever you prefer!

wooden table with basket of fresh herbs, scissors and twine
close up of herb bundle wrapped in twine
process photo showing hand tying knot around bundle of fresh herbs

Step 3: Hang the Herbs

I like to hang my herbs on an empty wall in the kitchen, but you can also use a shelf, attic, garage, or closet. You just need a dark spot away from direct sunlight.

Some people cover their herbs in brown paper bags to keep out light and dust and catch any herbs that might fall off the stem as they dry. I’ve had no problems thus far so I skip that step (I really love how pretty the herbs look hanging on my wall, and a bunch of brown paper bags would really kill the vibe lol).

I simply clip the herb bundles upside down on a string using clothes pegs. It’s important to hang them upside down to allow the flavourful oils in the stems to move down into the leaves as they dry.

girl in long dress standing on kitchen chair, hanging fresh herbs on wall
close up of hands hanging fresh herbs to dry on wall with close pin
farmhouse kitchen table with row of herbs drying above on string

Step 4: Store Dried Herbs

Once the herbs crumble easily, which usually takes 2 to 3 weeks, they’re ready to be put away. Make sure the herbs are completely dry to prevent any mold. If they’re not crisp when you touch them, they need to dry more.

When they’re fully dry, take the leaves off the stems and store them in sealed glass jars in a cool, dark spot. Always label your jars with the herb type and the date.

blonde girl in pink linen apron pulling leaves on dried herbs
close up pulling leaves off dried herbs
close up of dried herbs in blender

You can either grind them now in a blender or, for the best flavour, leave them whole and crush herbs right before you’re ready to cook with them. If stored properly, herbs should last between 1 to 3 years.

close up of finished dried herbs in glass jar
blonde girl in pink apron blending dried herbs

How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

Learn how to hang dry herbs at home with this easy tutorial. The perfect way to preserve your summer harvest: plus they're tastier and cheaper than store-bought!
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fresh Herbs from your Garden Any will work! Some of my favourites are oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, mint

Instructions

Step 1: Harvest the Herbs

  • Pick your herbs in the early morning before it gets hot and sunny to capture their strongest flavour. Snip them with garden shears, leaving a long stem.
  • Rinse herbs with water and then lay to dry on a clean tea towel, flipping occasionally until all the water is gone.

Step 2: Bundle the Herbs

  • After the herbs are dry, take 4 or 5 stems and tie them into a bundle.
  • It's important to not tie too many together so they have enough space for air to circulate and dry properly.
  • I use cotton kitchen twine, making sure there's ample string on one end to hang them up afterwards. Some people use elastic bands for tying herbs because they tighten as the herbs shrink, keeping them from dropping out. However, I've found that twine does the job and looks better, but it's really up to whatever you like best!

Step 3: Hang the Herbs

  • I like to hang my herbs on an empty wall in the kitchen, but you can also use a shelf, attic, garage, or closet. You just need a dark spot away from direct sunlight.
  • Some people cover their herbs in brown paper bags to keep out light and dust and catch any herbs that might fall off the stem as they dry. I've had no problems thus far so I skip that step (I really love how pretty the herbs look hanging on my wall, and a bunch of brown paper bags would really kill the vibe lol).
  • I simply clip the herb bundles upside down on a string using clothes pegs. It's important to hang them upside down to allow the flavourful oils in the stems to move down into the leaves as they dry.

Step 4: Store Dried Herbs

  • Once the herbs crumble easily, which usually takes 2 to 3 weeks, they’re ready to be put away. Make sure the herbs are completely dry to prevent any mold. If they’re not crisp when you touch them, they need to dry more.
  • When they’re fully dry, take the leaves off the stems and store them in sealed glass jars in a cool, dark spot. Always label your jars with the herb type and the date.
  • You can either grind them now in a blender or for the best flavour, leave them whole and crush herbs right before you’re ready to cook with them.
  • Stored properly, herbs will last between 1 and 3 years.

Pin It – Save Tutorial For Later!

How To Hang Dry Herbs At Home

If you try this tutorial out, I’d love to see it. Tag me on instagram @gwenthemilkmaid.

Watch: How To Dry Herbs

I also filmed the whole process of harvesting, hanging to dry and then blending the dried herbs in two youtube videos. You can check them out below. The videos also include a variety of other activities and random chit-chats, so make sure to skip ahead to the specified timestamp to go directly to the segment about herbs.

Jump to 24:30
Jump to 22:10

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