Here is all you need to know about drying basil in the oven!
Basil is a delicious and fragrant herb that can be used in many dishes. It’s also easy to dry at home so you can keep it on hand for all your cooking needs. In this article, we’ll describe the process of drying basil in an oven. We’ll give you tips on how to select the basil, prepare it for drying, and get the best results from your oven!
The Benefits of Drying Basil in the Oven
As any cook knows, herbs can make or break a dish. The wrong herb can throw off the flavor balance, while the right herb can take a dish from good to great. Basil is one of the most versatile and popular herbs, with a delicate flavor that pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes.
While fresh basil is always a good option, there are times when dried basil is a better choice. Oven-drying basil is a quick and easy way to preserve the herb’s flavor and aroma, making it a perfect ingredient for winter soups and stews. Sun-drying basil can also be effective, but it requires careful monitoring to prevent the leaves from burning. In general, oven-dried basil is the best option for preserving the herb’s flavor and aroma.
READ ALSO: 5 Simple Methods of Drying Basil at Home
How To Dry Basil In The Oven
How and When to Harvest Basil
How do you know when the basil is ready to harvest, and what is the best way to dry it?
Harvest the basil in late summer or early fall, when the leaves are at their largest and most flavorful. The best time to harvest basil leaves is in the morning.
Avoid using any leaves that are yellowing or browning, as these will not dry well.
Try to use only whole leaves, as torn or bruised leaves will not dry evenly.
Here is our full guide on harvesting basil: How to Harvest Fresh Basil for Drying
How to Prepare Basil for Drying in the Oven
Once you have your selected basil leaves, you will need to prepare them for drying in the oven. The process of preparing basil for oven-drying is very simple. All you have to do is follow these easy steps:
- Rinse the leaves thoroughly with cold water. Warm or hot water will cause the leaves to wilt and lose all of that wonderful fresh flavor.
- Gently pat the leaves dry with a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel. Make sure to be gentle so that you don’t bruise the leaves. Remember, bruised leaves will simply not taste as good!
- If you are using an entire basil plant, make sure to remove any large stems, as these will not provide any flavorful benefits when cooking, and will also be more difficult to crumble at the end of the drying process.
- Lay your basil leaves out to dry on a paper towel overnight or for at least 12 hours. This will help to remove any excess moisture from the leaves so that they dry more evenly in the oven.
The Process of Drying Basil in the Oven
Now that your basil is prepared, it’s time to start drying!
The process of drying basil in the oven is very simple and only takes about an hour.
- Preheat your oven to the lowest setting possible, between 80–90 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want to overcook them! Using the lowest possible setting is the best way to preserve that fresh flavor.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange your basil leaves to lie flat across the surface. Make sure that your basil leaves are not overlapping. Overlapping will cause uneven drying, and you might end up with some scorched leaves mixed in with undercooked leaves. You may need to use more than one baking tray to have enough space, depending on how much basil you intend to dry.
- Place the baking sheet (or sheets) in the preheated oven and set a timer for one hour, checking on them halfway through to ensure they aren’t burning. It may take up to four hours depending on your oven and the number of basil leaves you are drying. Just keep checking until your basil leaves have turned dry and crispy (but not burned).
How to Store Oven-Dried Basil
Once you have completed the process of drying your basil leaves, crumble them down to your desired texture and consistency using your hands, and store them in a spice jar or freezer bag. Keep your newly dried basil in a cool area in your pantry or along with any of your other dried herbs, and it will last for up to two years!
READ ALSO: How to Preserve and Store Dried Basil
Drying basil in the oven is a great way to preserve its flavor for later use. By following these simple steps, you can easily dry your own basil at home and enjoy its delicious flavor all year long!