From my summer herb garden, my basil plants have yielded more than I can use. I decided that drying them for long-term use would be more beneficial. I had to look and combine several websites to get the results needed for this post. There is a lot of debate out there for the proper drying methods. There’s the issue of the herb’s oils and nutrients being lost, radioactivity with microwaves, personal preferences and space in the kitchen.
I am drying mine in the oven because I do not have room to hang bunches of herbs upside down in my tiny apartment kitchen. We can barely fit two people in my kitchen; I don’t need to make it smaller, reducing the head space, by hanging basil from the ceiling. Plus we are not really supposed to make holes in the walls or ceiling for hooks.
The oven method was easy enough for a novice to accomplish, required very little effort and cleaning. Hope this helps you all 🙂
- Fresh Basil (as much as you want)
- Salad Spinner or Colander
- Knife or Shears
- Cutting board
- Parchment Paper
- Cookie Tray
Step 1: Clean the basil either in a salad spinner (Oh man I really want one), dunking it in water, or under a faucet with a colander.
Step 2: Using a cutting board, knife or cutting shears, remove stems and damaged parts of the basil.
Can you tell which is the damaged basil versus the healthy basil in the picture below? The damaged, ugly basil is on the right side.
Step 3: Slice the healthy basil into small pieces.
Step 4: Pre-heat your oven to the lowest seating on your oven.
Step 5: Line a cookie pan with parchment paper. Layer the sliced basil evenly over the pan.
Step 6: Bake for 40-60 minutes.
Step 7: Using the parchment paper, you can funnel the dried basil into a mason jar, plastic baggies or storage unit of your choice.
*Note: If you would like the basil to be smaller, you can crumble it with your hands before transferring it to be stored.