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Herbs and food dehydrators

In the past I've always hung and air died herbs (or bag dried). This year, however, I want to put my husbands two food dehydrators (American Harvest Snackmaster Pro) to work (while single he used them for making jerky).The trays include sheets and fine screen add-ons.

Has anyone used dehydrators for herbs? Any tips? I've thinned my dill patch yesterday and have lots of dill weed to dry.
 
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yesterday and have lots of dill weed to dry.

I have always heard that air drying them is the best method for drying herbs. I have never tried using my dehydrator for doing herbs.
 
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Well, I went ahead and did it; Lord knows I have more than enough dill if things don't work. Surprise! It worked wonderfully, although slower than expected.

The dill weed retained good color, strong scent, dried without crumbly fragility when you look at it (Hate when you can't even pick it up, lol). The secret--which makes it tedious--is to strip away as much water retaining stem as possible. And to use a low setting.

Now I want to try others. It's just a matter of which ones.
 
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I suppose any of them will do. I remember planting dill one year and that stuff grew like crazy. I never replanted but every year for about 5 years it kept coming back.
 
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Jems, I dry dill, sage, basil, oregano, chive and parsley in the dehydrator. Because you have to dry them at lower settings, it does take a while. Anywhere from 12-24 hrs. The humidity in your air plays a part in the time as well.

Some days I can dry basil in 8-10 hrs, other days it's 24. I let the basil sit for a day or two before putting it in the dehydrator.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Mumsey, thanks for the advice on basil! Letting it air dry a bit makes sense. I will probably wait as long as possible hoping for lower humidity.

I was very pleased with the dill weed results, but haven't tried others yet. The dill weed took roughly 10 hours.
 
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Thanks Mumsey for the info. Have a dehydrator someone gave me several years ago and I never tried.

Have a question about the basil. I started a couple different kinds later than usual. They're up an inch or more with a couple sets of leaves. But the leaves on every plant in one container in particular have brown places in them. Don't think this is normal! any suggestions? I tried pinching them off this morning to see what would happen.

Hope you don't mind another question. Somewhere on one of the other threads (think it had something to do with tomatoes) someone mentioned "Mumsey's Mix" (or something along that line. Think it was used like a fertilizer. Can you tell us what it consists of? I may email.....
 
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Cooking with herbs isn't difficult. Herbs add flavor to the food and make it nutritious. Both fresh and dried herbs can be used for cooking. Fresh herbs should be used three times more than the dried herb. Unlike dried herbs, fresh herbs are usually added toward the end in cooked dishes to preserve their flavor. Here is a combination of some herbs and food. Vermont Drug Treatment
 
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Hi,

I grow and process herbs for a retail market.

I use a commercial dehydrater as well as a drying barn. ( hanging ) I have found that most any herb will dry well either way, with the exception of basil. It really does much better by stripping the leaves and drying in natural light. It will dry ok otherwise, but the dehydrater causes a color change in the leaves.
Really doesn't effect the taste.

Most dehydraters operate on forced air and not heat, so, yes, it does take longer to dry this way.
 
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For me, I live in Missouri. IT is really humid here and lately really bad on weather. I know hanging the plant upside down is the best but in my weather condition not a good idea. Plus we don't have central air yet, window units so our house is really hot all the time. I am borrowing my b/f mom dehydrator and it worked great with the Lavender. Now I can make oil. Trying out basil. I tried basil my first batch and let it sit for 3 days and then put it into the dehydrator, that did not work. This time, I washed them and put them on paper towels, once my lavender was done (which was fast), basil's are in. I am not conformable putting them in the oven or microwave. Is there another option besides the dehydrator? What temperature should I have for the basil? Right now I have 95, should I raise it one level?
 
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I have one of those old cheap Ronco dehydrators...it works just fine for all my herbs. It has a heating element in the bottom like an oven, no forced air.
My basil doesn't loose much color when I dry it in there nor any of my other herbs.
Most take me about 12-20 hrs. to dry and we are really humid down here.

Before I had the dehydrator I put everything into paper bags & sat them on top of the refrigerator. The heat from the fridge motor would dry them fairly quickly...several days. But it only works if they are in paper sacks...not plastic. And I always folded the top over too. They did lose a lot of color doing it that way but tasted fine.
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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