How to preserve basil by drying - this is how it works

How to preserve basil by drying - this is how it works

Harvest at the right time and skillfully prune

The time for harvest needs to be chosen carefully. If the royal herb is too young, little aroma has developed. On the other hand, as soon as it flowers, the herb plant takes on a bitter taste. Therefore, set an appointment shortly before flowering in the early morning hours. How to do it right:

  • harvest the branches as a whole, leaving a pair of leaves standing
  • from at least 2 remaining eyes the plant will sprout again
  • Use scissors to cut off the individual leaves including the petiole

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Before starting the actual drying process, rinse the basil leaves thoroughly under running water.

Uncomplicated and free - air-dry basil

Pat the washed basil dry with a kitchen towel to prevent mold from forming. Then tie the leaves together by their stems in several small bundles. Rubber bands, bast bands or binding wire are well suited. Attach the bouquets to the wall or ceiling in an airy place with hooks. When dried, royal herb takes on a dark green color.

In the course of two weeks, the leaflets are dry enough that they rustle. The binding material is now removed. Crumble the royal herb with your fingers and store it in a sealable, labeled container.

Dry royal cabbage in the oven - that's how it works

If air drying takes too long, your oven can be converted into an automatic dryer. The prepared basil leaves are spread out on the baking sheet. At a temperature of 50 degrees they are dried when the leaves no longer feel flexible and instead break. The process is a little faster if you use the air circulation function. It is important to note that the oven door is always a little open.

Dry properly in the dehydrator

If the housewife steadfastly refuses to open the oven for drying basil, the hour of the automatic dehydrator strikes. These devices are specially designed to preserve fruits and herbs. For this purpose they are equipped with several sieve trays and a small convection heater. How to tackle the straightforward procedure:

  • Spread the washed basil on the sieve bases
  • do not stack the sheets
  • Close the device and set it to 30 to 60 degrees Celsius

If the temperature is low, the process will take a long time; nevertheless, an optimum of aroma is retained in this way when the royal herb is dried.

Tips & Tricks

In the microwave, basil will dry in minutes. However, this rapid speed is at the expense of taste. Even at the lowest wattage, most of the essential oils, which are essentially responsible for the incomparable basil aroma, evaporate.


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