Drying Herbs in a Closet?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Susan Hamilton
Posted on: April 26, 2004

I have read the answers given on your web site for drying herbs in a microwave. However, I was wondering if I could dry my herbs in small bundles, tied with string, in a closet? I have oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and dill. They are growing so well, and I want to encourage more growth, so I need to cut them and dry some.

I would be concerned about the build-up of moisture when drying herbs in a closet. Yes, the closet will be dark, which is good for drying, and probably it will be warm, which is good also, but it will have little ventilation, which is not good. Good ventilation is necessary for moving moisture away from the drying herbs. If the moisture builds up too much in an enclosed area then you run the risk of mould developing.

Drying herbs in hanging bunches is a picturesque way to dry herbs, but dust can settle on the herbs during the drying process. Also, drying in bunches takes longer than other methods because the stems continue to supply moisture to the leaves, and because the crowded branches restrict ventilation. Drying using a sweater dryer, our preferred method, is much faster and more reliable. The sweater dryer method results in product with good green colour and good flavour and aroma. The key is to strip the leaves off the stems while they are still fresh; and once stripped the leaves are then spread over a sweater dryer to dry away from direct sunlight.

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