petalfuzz
Green Thumb
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

I dried my first herb!

I have never grown any herbs before, and this year I tried cilantro. Production was very sparse and slow, so I just harvested all of it. It was about 2 or 3 bunches worth. Then I dried it in my dehydrator and when it was done I got about 1/4 cup of herbs. But it smells fantastic! I'll definitely try growing it again.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

smells fantastic!

Yay!! isn't it wonderful? that's one of the many reasons why we love to garden! I don't have a dehydrator, but I'm starting to think that's one of the next things I "need" to purchase to support my gardening habit! :)

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I planted cilantro several times this spring never had more than a few short stalks that went to flower or just died. I started another in a container that is on my front porch that seems to be doing well. I want it for homemade Pico de Gallo. I started making Pico last year and it was amazing, very tedious but simply awesome. Never had anyone not totally love it.

What is not to like about fresh tomatoes, fresh red onions, cilantro and lime juice, let's not forget the fresh Jalapeno (that my hornworm ate to the ground damn near).

I was thinking about getting a dehydrator myself. I just hung some oregano in the garage, which I should be doing something with. It is way done I think.
I always pull herbs dry them, get lazy and throw them away. Somebody slap me, please. :oops:

User avatar
Tinybu88les8
Senior Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:36 am
Location: Southern California

I have a dehydrator! I use it to make beef jerky! I cant believe it didnt cross my mind to dehydrate my herbs. I do so much cooking....this would be great. Especially since my herbs need to be tossed out. Ive defiantly had them over a year. How long do they take to dry? I cant imagine more than a couple hrs.... my jerky dries in 4. I have a ton of basil, sage, oregano, thyme (regular and lemon), italian parsley and dill (which wont stop flowering!). yay! New project! Im so excited!

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I have a ? about drying herbs if I may. I have some in my garage that have been drying for maybe 2 weeks. They are very dry (I keep forgetting they are there). I suppose they can't get too dry. I wanted to chop them for seasoning food. I suppose I just take off the leaves and chop the hell out of them and I'm good to go right?

Dono

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

gixxerific wrote:I have a ? about drying herbs if I may. I have some in my garage that have been drying for maybe 2 weeks. They are very dry (I keep forgetting they are there). I suppose they can't get too dry. I wanted to chop them for seasoning food. I suppose I just take off the leaves and chop the hell out of them and I'm good to go right?
Yes, although if they are very dry, you'll probably be able just to crumble the leaves with your fingers.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5216
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I use to have a factory made electric food dehydrator with about 6 or so shelves inside. It was a round thing each shelve had lots of holes. Fill it with fruit, herbs, beef jerky or what ever and dehydrator it. It did not get very hot 130 Deg F maybe. It was a lot of trouble so I sold it.

After that I put my herbs on paper plates and set them on a shelf to dry. They dried slower but they smell 3 times better. It makes the whole house smell wonderful.

Now I have a solar dehydrator. If I set it so the temperature only gets to about 140 deg F it works great. I can put in 4 bunches of herbs on paper plates and they are dry in full sun in 1 or 2 days. If I set it to 300 deg F I can bake a cake, bake bread, bake cookies, bread, brownies and beef herky too.

I notice if I dehydrate the herbs too hot they come out smelling about as worthless as grass clipping from the yard. If I dehydrate at 130 Deg F they smell great, at 175 they loose a lot of their flavor and aroma, at 225 most of the smell is gone, at 275 they have no smell at all.

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Nice Gary, that's some good real life info that is helpful. I have been kicking around a dehydrator, but unless I'm making jerky it seems kind of useless. By the way my oregano turned out great. Drying in the hot garage.

Dono

oldschoolvdub
Cool Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:46 pm
Location: Santa Maria, CA

I read somewhere that dried cilantro looses it's flavor so I have never tried to dry it. But when I get some more growth on my cilantro plant I'll try it. Is everyone else drying these in a window seal or in the garage or something?

a0c8c
Greener Thumb
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

oldschoolvdub wrote:I read somewhere that dried cilantro looses it's flavor so I have never tried to dry it.
All herbs use flavor when dried, but some recipes won't work with fresh herbs so you have to use dried. They'll also bring different notes to your palet, so theres benefits to both. I've seen recipes use dried and fresh basil before, but at completely different times.

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”