Taking a nostalgic glimpse at a shelf with spices while in a supermarket is a common picture. “If only I could have them all!” is something that goes through your mind. LUCKILY, I am here to cheer you up, as usual. The best thing of all is that you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them all. How so?
You can simply dry the herbs by yourself with some of the best herb drying racks. My article here will give you some useful info on how to choose the best herb drying rack. It’s nothing complicated at all, but it takes some time and knowledge of herbs. Which is, you will agree, nothing, compared to what you get in return. So, let’s get started!
How To Dry Herbs At Home?
Once you start exploring the topic, you realize there are many different ways to dry herbs at home. Whichever method you opt for, do know that all of them have one goal in common and that would be- preserving the aroma, color, and freshness of the herbs.
The most important is that you are familiar with each herb’s properties because they all require different conditions to dry. Some of them go through the process faster, some take a bit more time, and that can help you choose the most appropriate drying tools and methods.
1. Air Drying
This is one of the easiest yet the slowest method than the others. But, if you are patient enough, or you are not in a big rush, opt for this one, as it’s the best one at keeping the pure and clean flavor.
There are two ways- to dry the herbs in bundles or spread them over a rack. The other option minimizes the chances for herbs to mold or rot before they get dry totally. These products are available in shops but if you are into a DIY adventurous mission, why not making your own rack? It may take some additional time, but benefits are numerous:
You may end up with a gadget that is not only practical but very decorative as well.
2. Oven Drying
This method takes less time than airdrying, but you have to be extra careful not to burn the herbs. The best way to find out is to conduct a small experiment and test how it works. Yeah, that means sacrificing several stems, but there’s no better way to check out which are optimal conditions for drying herbs this way.
3. Microwave Drying
You have probably noticed that as the listing method progresses, each of them is quicker than the one I described previously. If you don’t feel like exercising your patience with the first method, this last one will probably be your favorite.
By drying them this way, you actually manage to keep them greener than when using other methods, and the taste itself is somewhat fresher.
If you ask me, I would definitely VOTE THE FIRST one as the best. Yeah, it’s the most natural way to have your herbs dried well, but it’s also the enjoyment that comes with all the procedure. You actually have a unique opportunity to observe the whole process and see how fresh herbs slowly become dry spices. I mentioned patience and that’s what this is all about. Gardening, in general, is a hobby which should make you feel calmer and more patient. So, why rushing things?
Different Types Of Drying Racks
As I said, you can get down to some creative work and make your very own rack, but in case you don’t feel like doing it, you can opt for one. They come in several forms, such as hanging and stackable, with the hanging ones coming in various forms.
1. Stackable racks for drying
Those are usually square and have stackable screens where you place the herbs. It’s interesting that they resemble those racks used in offices to put papers on them. The major pro of this one is that it doesn’t require a high hanging point. It’s easy to accommodate it on any flat surface and you don’t need much space for it.
2. Hanging with clips
It’s usually made of metal and it comes in various sizes. You can even hang smaller branches on it and trim the herbs when the drying process is complete.
3. Hanging with clip-on levels
The good thing about this one is that it has multiple levels which you can either connect or disconnect depending on how many of them you actually need. The only drawback of this model is that those individual units do not have hanging support on their own, only the one that goes on the top has it. This means that you cannot use the unit separately and independently.
4. Hanging with zippers
Similar to the model I described above, this one is equipped with zipper openings. This one is definitely well-secured against the impact of pests or debris.
5. Mesh hanging
The most common model of this type is an open air one. Single tier models usually have open tops while multi-tiered ones are closed between levels with a frontal opening on each level.
Who would have thought that there are so many different ways and models to have dried herbs. The point is that none of these is particularly good or bad when you compare it to the other type or model, it’s all a matter of personal preferences. Of course, the time you have and the type of herbs also counts.
Things To Have In Mind When Choosing A Herb Drying Rack
It’s not as complicated as buying a car or something, still, a systematic approach will help you get the best thing based on your preferences. Here’s what you should HAVE IN MIND:
Types of herbs
This is definitely the most important factor as it includes several factors. First of all, you must be knowledgeable about the structure of the herb itself, the time it requires to dry, the moisture level and so on.
Then, take into consideration the size and the number of herbs you would like to dry. If you are planning to dry different types at the same time on the same rack, group them in some logical order.
As you could see, the ones I described here are usually made of mesh, or you have the ones made from wood, metal etc. If you opt for models that are closed, make sure they are breathable enough. What I am trying to say is that they need to enable constant air flow so that the herbs could dry properly.
If you haven’t got much space, you will choose some smaller model, just do not overcrowd it with herbs. It’s much better to dry them group by group than ending up with a pile of rotten herbs which you can only throw away.
And another important thing to point out here- the size means both height and diameter, so take that into account when choosing a rack.
This is definitely a thing all the “what to look for” lists have in common. Buying the most expensive one certainly doesn’t guarantee you will get the best model ever. On the other hand, don’t be stingy, the goals is to end up with a bunch of delicious spices, and that is priceless. As soon as you check and test a rack for the abovementioned factors, and you have two models of same quality and different prices, you can opt for the less costly one.
1. Do you wash herbs before drying?
Of course, because that way you remove the pests, dust and any other particles. Do it in cold running water with moderate flow, and dry them on an absorbent towel before you place them on a rack.
2. How to pick and dry herbs?
You usually cut the entire branches, wash them gently and tie them in small bunches.
3. How do you hang herbs for drying?
The best way is to put them upside down. Twist ties are the best option because the stem shrinks as it gets drier and drier.
As you can see, there’s INDEED nothing that can cause you troubles here if you follow the steps carefully. People like me who are absolutely in love with gardening and all that comes along are willing to share all the tips and tricks related to this relaxing hobby. At least that’s how I see things.
At first, you will probably buy fresh herbs and dry them. But, let me tell you something, the ultimate goal here is harvesting the herbs you planted yourself and drying them to become aromatic herbs. You can only imagine how mouth-watering that meal would be.
Just be patient and this will become reality sooner than you can imagine. I hope my guide on how to choose the best herb drying rack helped you. If you have some tips to share with me, as always do not hesitate to leave a comment.Follow us on: