How To Dry Basil Leaves – Complete Guide
One of the brightest tasting herbs to have in the kitchen is basil. The best thing about this herb is that it’s just as good even if it’s dried.
Basil is very easy to grow in a home kitchen or garden. If you have a basil plant in your kitchen window there are good chances you are interested in knowing how to dry basil for storage purposes.
This blog will teach you everything about drying basil at home. Let’s dive right into it.
Why Dry Basil?
You may think people dry basil for storage purposes but there’s a lot more to it.
Dried basil has a more intense flavour compared to fresh basil! Dried herbs are 3 to 4 times stronger than fresh herbs. The lemony and spicy peppery flavour of the herb is preserved this way as well.
How to Dry Basil
Fresh basil leaves have a higher moisture content and they must be tried quickly for preventing moulding. Air must circulate around both side sides of the leaves to make them dry faster.
The art of drying fresh basil depends on the way it is harvested. First off, cut the herbs from the plant.
Remove the stems to about 1/4th inch above the growth node. Bind the stems together into small bunches and hang them to let them dry.
Drying Basil In Oven
Drying basil in the oven takes about 45 minutes. Follow these steps to get started:
- Wash the basil plant through and let it dry overnight in a towel
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
- Place the leaves on a baking sheet. They must not overlap.
- Bake them for 45 minutes to an hour or until the leaves have dried.
- Once they are ready, remove them from the oven
- Use a mortar and pestle to crumble or crush them up
- Store them in a jar and they are good to last for a year or so.
Drying herbs in the oven is so simple, right!
Drying Basil in Microwave
Drying herbs in the microwave is a great option when you only have a little basil at hand. Let’s have a look at the steps:
- Wash your basil thoroughly and remove the leaves
- Pat dry them with a towel and leave them overnight to dry
- Sandwich your basil in a single layer using two pieces of paper towel
- Put this in the microwave for 30 seconds
- Since each microwave has a different setting, use the one that works best for your microwave. You can also do small-batch drying for testing the results
- Take them out of the microwave and let them cool down for 30 seconds
- See if they are dry and brittle enough.
- Rotate the ones that still have moisture and put them back in the microwave for another 30 seconds
- Repeat the process until the leaves dry
- Let the dried basil cool down before placing them in a paper bag
- Crumble the leaves into the desired size and place them in a storage jar
These dried basils will easily last for up to 6 months before the flavour starts to fade.
Drying Basil in Air Fryer
Using an air fryer is another quick and convenient method of drying basil at home. It literally takes 3 minutes of your time.
This process is good for one large bunch of basil
- Preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees F
- Meanwhile, wash your basil under tap water and use a salad spinner to dry them out
- Place the leaves on a paper towel to remove the moisture
- Pluck the stems from the basil
- Place the dried leaves in the basket of the air fryer
- Cover the basil with a rack so that the leaves don’t fly in the air
- Let the fryer work for about 3 minutes
- Shake them after every one minute
- Turn off the fryer and check the condition of the leaves
- Once they have dried, transfer them to a plate and let them cool
- Make sure the leaves are completely dried before you crush them
- Store them in an airtight container and use them whenever required
Drying Basil Table
When you will search how to dry basil leaves, this is the method that will pop up in the options as well. It’s simple but can take a lot of time, depending on the moisture in the air.
In this method, you are basically air-drying the basil leaves. Here are the steps involved:
- Wash the basil leaves thoroughly
- Remove all the moisture from the leaves by letting them dry on a towel
- Separate the leaves from the stems
- Spread them on a wire mesh
- Place them under the sun to dry
- This method is only recommended when there is plenty of sunlight. It may take a few days for the leaves the dry completely.
Make sure there is no strong wind to blow the leaves away. Once the leaves are dried, crush them and store them in a jar.
Basil doesn’t just taste good, it is rich in vital vitamins and such as magnesium, calcium, potassium iron, and some vitamins. It was traditionally used for curing indigestion and some other health problems.
Having basil in your kitchen is a blessing!
Do you wash basil before drying?
Yes, you must thoroughly wash the basil to remove all the dirt and dust before drying.
How long does homemade dried basil last?
If the basil is dried and stored in its natural and whole form, it can last for 3 to 4 years.
What can I do with lots of basil?
Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.
This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!