How to make dried basil


Summer has finally appeared here in the Pacific Northwest with temperatures in the 90s I decided this would be a good time to dry some herbs in the garage given it was already at the right drying temperature without any heating required.

Here is the basic steps to harvest, dry, and store your own dried basil.

  1. 1. Pick and clean (optional) the leaves
  2. Start by trimming as much as you may need for the next month.  If the leaves are dirty give them a quick rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel.  If the leaves are clean you can skip this step.  You want to pick the greenest leaves you can find.  In my case many of the leaves were not as green as I would have likes (they are getting better now the weather is improving)
  3. 2. Strip the leaves from the stem
  4. Unlike oregano this part if very easy use scissors (or just pinch off with your finger nails.
  5. 3. Dry the leaves
  6. If you have a food dehydrator place the leaves in a single layer and set to 90-100 degree F for about 24 hours.  Alternately you can also dry the leaves by placing them in a screen in a dry warm place.  You will know they are down when the leaves are crispy and can be pulverized easily with your fingers.
  7. 4. Storing the leaves
  8. Now you have two choices:
  9. 1. Keep the leaves whole and chop them as you need them for added flavor
  10. 2. Chop them up using a spice/coffee grinder (or Magic Bullet with the grinding blade) and use them immediately as needed

As you can see the freshly dried basil (left) looks much better than the stuff hanging around in my spice rack, which was only a few months old.

The picture above had two purposes, I actually place my herbs on paper then fold to easily pour into the old bottles.


8 Responses to “How to make dried basil”

  1. Teresia Says:

    oooh.. I have basil envy.. the slugs (or some creepy crawly) ate my basil to the ground. 🙁
    I put egg shells around it and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I actually get a harvest this summer.

  2. meemsnyc Says:

    Oh, I’ll have to try that! I love basil fresh and dried!

  3. Mary C. Says:

    thank you again, you often remind me of things I’ve been putting off doing in my garden…and how to do them!

  4. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Mary C, glad to be an inspiration this morning 🙂

  5. Robin Says:

    Plant green suggested putting them in your car on a hot day. This uses absolutely no energy. Definately cheap! + the car smells great!

  6. How To Dry Basil Says:

    […] via How to make dried basil. […]

  7. Mia Says:

    !!! IMPORTANT !!!

    I just wanted to advise you that from what I read DRIED BASIL CAN CAUSE CANCER because the process of
    drying it activates a carcinogenic substance called ESTRAGOLE. …so only eat fresh basil.

  8. Mia Says:

    !!! IMPORTANT !!!

    …and only take leafs from basil plants that are at least 15cm high for the same above reason.

    …my 2cents from Italy 🙂

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