Hang-Dried Vs. Not-So-Hang-Dried Herbs

Welcome back! Today I have an interesting one for you. You know how a lot of times you’ll see the pretty pictures of herbs hung up to dry? If you haven’t this is what I’m talking about:

Photo by Plato Terentev on

I myself have done my fair share of hanging herbs to dry and it has always worked out fairly well. However, recently I simply set my herbs onto a plate to let them dry that way. They are dried… but, they don’t look very appetizing. Let me show you what I’m working with:

Image taken by yours truly

Yeah, not very tasty looking. This is lemon balm, and here is what it looks like when you hang dry it:

Image taken by yours truly

Since I am such a researcher I decided I should look it up because I had some questions:

  1. Are the brown ones safe to eat?
  2. Should you only dry your herbs by hanging them?
  3. Are there other methods to drying herbs?
  4. Will the not-so-hang-dried herbs taste just as good as the hang-dried ones?
  5. Which method is faster and more safe?

So to save you the research part I have compiled all the answers right here!

Well it turns out that my brown ones did in fact spoil. Don’t worry I have thrown them out, and I will not be eating them.

Image taken by yours truly

They spoiled because they weren’t able to get rid of the moisture by laying flat on a paper plate. It does turn out that there is a method called screen drying, where you lay the herbs out on a screen. This method isn’t perfect and your herbs can still become spoiled, however it is way better than just setting your herbs out on a plate.

Image from

Besides screen drying there are a couple other options.

  • Dehydrating

If you own a dehydrator than this one is a great option! It’s faster than the two above methods and it is a bit more controlled. It isn’t the fastest method though as you will see with our next options.

Image from
  • Drying in your oven

With this method, you risk burning your herbs into unappetizing crisps! So be warned if your oven doesn’t go to settings as low as 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit. This method also takes a watchful eye and some patience.

  • Drying in your mircowave

Another method that is quick yet very risky. This method will get your herbs dry and crispy however if preserving color and vibrancy is important to you I would stick to the tried and true hang drying. Just lay your herbs out on a paper towel and microwave in 15 second increments until you have crispy dried herbs.

That is all my friends! If you have any questions, drop them in the comments and I will happily respond, hopefully with some answers. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!


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