Drying Fresh Herbs with the Microwave

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Do you ever wonder about the analytics used by FaceBook to decide what kind of random “suggested” posts will show up on your newsfeed?  As mentioned in an earlier post, I am one of those who do wonder … does whatever idea someone is promoting really work?? The many posts I was subject to about drying herbs in the microwave fell into the “does it really work” category.

I’ve dried herbs by hanging them in a dry cool place. I’ve dried them by hanging in a not so dry cool place. I’ve dried them in the oven. All of these techniques met with different degrees of success. Although I wanted to preserve the fresh taste of homegrown herbs, my earlier dried herbs were mostly usable, but lost quality of taste and appearance. I have now dried fresh herbs in the microwave and I can report that drying herbs in the microwave falls into that “Yes, it really does work” category.

Since moving into a little cottage downtown, I’ve enjoyed minimal house/yard maintenance responsibilities. I have a lovely porch and have filled it with pots of herbs, flowers, etc.  My chives needed a “haircut” this weekend (but I had no plans to cook with chives anytime in the near future). So, it looked like a good day to try the microwave drying technique!











Out came the kitchen scissors. I sheared off the top (left about 1.5 inches), washed them well and placed on a paper towel to completely dry.













Most of the directions I read instructed to microwave the herbs whole and then “crumble” when dry. I didn’t want my dried chives to be in “crumble” form so when they were dry I snipped them into “sprinkle” size and spread them out on a new layer of paper towels.












Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Repeating until the herb is completely dry and crispy. This is a close-up of what the chives looked like after two 30-second trips around the microwave. They are still bright green, and just starting to dry out and feel crisp.













They don’t look much different here, but the chives are now completely dry and crisp after a total of 2 minutes time in the microwave on high, and they are still a nice bright appetizing green color.












As the plant grows I can continue to add to my little jar, and I will have preserved the fresh taste of my chives for fall and winter, when the porch plant is but a fond memory!












I can’t wait for my basil and rosemary to need their own “haircuts”!



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