How to Dry Basil in the Oven

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Drying basil in the oven is an easy and effective way to preserve herbs. Whether you grow your own or want to take advantage of a sale at the farmers’ market, drying basil in the oven will extend its shelf life and provide a good supply of this flavorful herb all year round. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps involved in drying basil in a traditional oven.

1. Select Fresh Basil Leaves

Start by selecting fresh basil leaves from your garden or your local farmer’s market. Look for green leaves free from signs of wilting or yellowing.

2. Clean the Basil

Wash the basil leaves gently under cool water to remove dirt or debris. Pat the leaves dry with a clean towel. Once the basil leaves are clean and dry, remove them from the stems, discarding the stems and any damaged leaves. You can use whole leaves or chop them into smaller pieces. However, remember that smaller pieces are easy to overdry and may become brittle.

3. Preheat the Oven

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Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature, typically around 170°F (77°C). This setting is essential for slowly drying basil, which helps preserve its flavor and color.

4. Prepare the Basil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the basil leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.

5. Dry the Basil

Bake the basil leaves in the oven for 1 to 2 hours or until completely dry and crumbly. Keep an eye on the basil as it bakes to prevent burning. If the leaves are still moist after 2 hours, continue baking and checking them every 15 minutes until they are dry.

6. Cool and Crumble the Basil

Once the basil is dry, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Once the leaves are cool, store them whole or gently crumble them between your fingers. The leaves should be crisp and crumble easily.

7. Store the Dried Basil

Once the basil is completely cool, transfer it to an airtight container. Store the dried basil in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard, as far away from any heat or light source as possible. If stored properly, dried basil will remain good for at least three years and can also be stored in the freezer to extend its shelf life indefinitely.

8. Using Dried Basil

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Dried basil can be substituted for fresh basil in most recipes. If left whole, crumble the dried basil between your fingers and add it to soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. Dried basil can also be used to make herbal teas or infused oils.

Tips for Drying Basil in the Oven

  • Use a low-temperature setting to dry the basil slowly, which helps preserve its flavor and color.
  • Keep an eye on the basil as it bakes to ensure it does not burn.
  • Store dried basil in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain its freshness.

Final Thoughts

Drying basil in the oven is a quick and easy way to preserve this flavorful herb for later use. By following the steps mentioned in this article, you can enjoy the taste of fresh basil in your favorite dishes all year round.

And once you try this method, please let me know how it went in the comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Anne James

Anne James has a wealth of experience in a wide array of interests and is an expert in quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, mixing drinks (bartending), and making jelly. Anne has a professional canning business, has been featured in the local newspaper as well as on the Hershey website, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is. With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass. Amazingly, she doesn’t need to reference many resources due to her vast wealth of experience. She IS the source. Anne wants nothing more than to pass on her extensive knowledge to the next generations, whether that be family or anyone visiting her website, her YouTube channel, or survivalfreedom.com.

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