Basil is a popular herb that is used in many different cuisines. It has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor and can be used fresh or dried. But how to dry basil? Before answering, let’s explore more of it.
Basil is also known for its health benefits, as it contains antioxidants and essential oils that can help boost immunity and fight inflammation.
There are many different ways to enjoy basil, whether it be in a dish or as a tea. When cooking with basil, it is important to remember that the herb can lose its flavor when heated for too long.
This is why it is often put at the end of cooking or just before serving. When making tea, simply steep fresh or dried basil in hot water for a few minutes.
Now, there’s no problem using fresh basil, but if you want it dried, how do you dry it? If you’re here to learn how to dry basil, you’ve come to the right place!
Why should you dry basil?
Drying basil is a good way to preserve it for later use. There are several reasons why you should dry basil.
- Drying basil helps to preserve the flavor of the herb.
When you dry herbs, they lose some of their water content and become more concentrated. This means that the flavor of dried basil will be more intense than fresh basil.
- Dried basil will last longer than fresh basil.
If you store your dried herbs properly, they can last for up to a year. This gives you enough time to use them in recipes or add them to other dishes.
- Dried basil is more versatile than fresh basil.
You can use it in a wider variety of dishes since it doesn’t need to be cooked. This makes it a great addition to dry rubs, spice blends, and other seasonings.
- Drying basil is a quick and easy way to preserve the herb.
You don’t need any special equipment or knowledge to do it. Simply place the basil leaves on a drying rack or in a dehydrator and let them dry.
What you’ll need in drying basil leaves?
There are only two to three ingredients and materials you need when drying basil, depending on your method.
- First, you need lots of basil leaves.
- Second, you need either a microwave, an oven, or a dehydrator.
Tips for picking the right basil leaves before drying them out
If you’re looking to dry your own basil, there are things you need to remember when picking the leaves.
- First, try to pick them up early in the morning or right before the sun has the chance to dry them.
- You’ll want to get leaves that are deep green and free of blemishes.
- Once you’ve picked your leaves, rinse them off gently with cool water and pat them dry using a paper towel.
How to dry basil leaves using a microwave?
Drying basil leaves in a microwave is a quick and easy way to preserve your herbs.
- Place the basil leaves on a paper towel or coffee filter and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Check the leaves after 30 seconds and continue microwaving in 15-second intervals until they are dry.
- Once dry, store the basil leaves in an airtight container.
How to dry basil leaves using an oven?
If you’re looking to dry basil leaves using an oven, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, ensure your oven is set to a low temperature, such as no above 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Next, place the basil leaves on a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Make sure the leaves are spread out evenly and not touching each other.
- Then bake for 1-2 hours or until the leaves are completely dried out.
How to dry basil leaves using a dehydrator?
You can also use a dehydrator to dry basil leaves quickly and easily.
- Simply spread the leaves out on the dehydrator tray and set the temperature to between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The drying time will vary depending on how thick the leaves are, but it should only take a few hours.
- Once the leaves are dry, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to six months.
How to dry basil without any equipment?
If you’re looking to dry basil leaves without any equipment, there are two methods you can use.
- One method is simply placing the leaves on a clean, dry surface in direct sunlight. Make sure to turn the leaves over periodically to dry them out evenly.
- Another method is to tie the basil stems and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated area until the leaves are completely dried out.
Whichever method you choose, ensure your basil leaves are completely dry before storing them in an airtight container for future use.
How to use dry basil when cooking?
Dry basil is an excellent way to add flavor to your cooking. Here are a few tips on how to use dry basil when cooking.
- Add dry basil to soups and stews for extra flavor.
- Sprinkle dry basil on top of pasta dishes or casseroles.
- Mix dry basil with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese for a flavorful topping for baked vegetables.
- Rub chicken, fish, or pork with olive oil and then sprinkle with dry basil before cooking.
Which method is the best?
There are various ways you can dry basil, and each has its advantages. Here are each method for drying basil, along with the pros and cons of each.
Air-drying: Air-drying is probably the simplest way to dry basil. All you need to do is tie a bunch of fresh basil together with string or rubber bands. But it would take 4 to 5 weeks to dry out.
Microwave: This is the fastest way of drying leaves, but it decreases the natural flavor of basil.
Dehydrator: Using a dehydrator is faster than air-drying but requires some extra equipment. And if you don’t have it, it isn’t a cheap option.
Oven: You can also dry basil in the oven, although this method is not recommended for large batches. But it retains most of the basil’s flavor. So yes, we prefer the oven rather than other methods.