Compared to other drying methods—like hanging or using a low oven—the microwave produces the most potent dried herbs with the freshest flavor and the brightest color. You can't taste it, but there's as much flavor as there is color in there. You might also consider blanching and freezing it in ice cube trays. Your best option? https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/how-dry-herbs-microwave Microwaves are by far the most efficient method of heat transfer in your kitchen. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! * *Do not microwave recycled paper towels—they can contain tiny fragments of … J. Kenji López-Alt is a stay-at-home dad who moonlights as the Chief Culinary Consultant of Serious Eats and the Chef/Partner of Wursthall, a German-inspired California beer hall near his home in San Mateo. Try these Olive-Rosemary Spiced Cashews, for instance. You can take a batch of fresh herbs from the fridge to the dry pantry in just a couple of minutes—a fraction of the time it takes for your oven to even pre-heat! We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. If it doesn't crumble easily, give it another 20 second burst. This makes them hard to use in some craft projects, but works well for dried flower arrangements. They can take on a papery texture if used where fresh herbs would be used such as for salads or for garnishing. Let it sit out a minute for the last moisture to evaporate. What's different about the microwave than other methods of drying? All of my timing was done with a half ounce of fresh picked herbs (about as much as can fit on a dinner plate in a single layer) in an 800-watt microwave operating at full power. A few factors. An oven, on the other hand, heats everything evenly. Watch the process, leaves can char or burn easily in the microwave. But that's not to say that these herbs are completely useless in dried form, especially if you use the microwave to dry them. His first book, Smaller leaves will dry faster, so sort them roughly by size. Drying bay leaves in a microwave oven is recommended if you only have a few pieces to dry. I wouldn't recommend it. The best option is to just find a recipe that uses it, of course. Pick the leaves off the herbs and spread them on a microwave-safe plate lined with 2 layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.*. *Do not microwave recycled paper towels—they can contain tiny fragments of metal that can arc and cause fires. Here are the step-by-step instructions for this method: Rinse the bay leaves in cool water to remove dirt. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science (based on his Serious Eats column of the same name) is a New York Times best-seller, recipient of a James Beard Award, and was named Cookbook of the Year in 2015 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. See how much color is preserved? It simply flies off the herbs along with the water while you're dehydrating them. The main thing is that microwaves specifically target water as they're heating. And because microwaved herbs are so brittle and dry (air- or oven-dried herbs tend to be more tough than brittle), they can be reduced to fine, flavorful powders that incorporate beautifully into spice blends and rubs. Some comments may be held for manual review. Dried hearty herbs can be used very much like their fresh counterparts for flavoring roasts or sautés, for sprinkling into soups or on your pizza, or for stewing and braising. When it comes to picking which herbs to dry you've also got some decisions to make. Just look at this rosemary. So what makes a microwave so much better at drying than any other method? Expose to direct sunlight for a few days, checking every day or two to see whether they're dry. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Even better, it only takes two to three minutes to achieve your desired results. But we've all been there: you buy a bunch of parsley from the supermarket for those two tablespoons of garnish that you need, a week goes by, and you suddenly find yourself with a whole lot of fresh parsley that's on its way out. Pick the leaves off the herbs and spread them on a microwave-safe plate lined with 2 layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. The hot water in turn transfers energy to the rest of your food. Microwaves work by emitting waves of long electromagnetic radiation that cause polar molecules within your food to rapidly flip back and forth. So really, a microwave doesn't heat up all your food, it just heats up the water. Air-dry the leaves if you don't need to keep them flat. Most hearty herbs will take around 1 minute initially, followed by a few 20 second bursts until completely dry. In general, thick-leafed, hearty herbs that grow in hot, dry climates like rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram, and oregano fare well with drying. Herbs should crumble when you bend them when they're finished. Once the herbs are dry, you can store them whole or grind them into a powder for spice rubs or spice mixes. It's a trick I picked up from Daniel in his holiday story about spiced nuts. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. Delicate herbs will take 40 seconds followed by a few 20 second bursts until completely dry. Drying herbs will greatly extend their shelf life by removing any moisture that bacteria could use to survive. The ultimate creamy-in-the-middle, crispy-on-top casserole. They have to be. Drying herbs is a great way to extend the flavor of a bountiful crop. How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave Step 1: Spread the Herbs. Like oysters and princes, herbs are nearly always at their best when they're fresh. Delicate and moist herbs like parsley, mint, tarragon, cilantro, chervil, basil, and chives lose a great deal more of their flavor when dried. Herbs that would end up brown or gray and flavorless by the time they're done drying in the oven or through hanging will retain their bright green color and much of their aroma after the minute or so it takes to dry them in the microwave. The microwave. Kenji's next project is a children’s book called Every Night is Pizza Night, to be released in 2020, followed by another big cookbook in 2021. The fastest way just happens to involve your microwave. This is because their aromatic compounds are naturally less volatile than their more delicate, fair-weathered counterparts. If they weren't, they'd lose too many volatiles through evaporation under hot and sunny conditions. I've tried the technique to great success with every commonly available herb in even the fancy supermarkets and while I'll still stick to fresh herbs on a day to day basis, it's a relief to know that I have a good alternative whenever I find myself in a glut. Repeat until it does crumble easily. What this means is that a microwave can very efficiently case water to evaporate from your herbs—especially because they are so thin—while leaving flavorful compounds and colorful pigments mostly intact. Place leaves in a shallow container or tie them in bunches. The downside is that it also robs fresh herbs of flavor, aroma, color, and texture. The sunlight will dry out the leaves, but the edges may curl. Delicate herbs should be used for dishes that use moist cooking methods like soups, stews, and braises. What do you do? Keep it traditional with this sage and sausage dressing. By far the most abundant polar molecule in anything we eat is water. Stored this way they'll last for several months while maintaining flavor and color. Yes, really. It works best with herbs like bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme, and there are a couple methods you can use. Whether left whole, crumbled, or in powder form, dried herbs should be stored in a tightly sealing airtight container in a cool pantry away from light. Or you might want to dry it. Stunningly crisp skin, perfectly cooked breast and leg, and a flavorful gravy in one fell swoop. Crisp-Skinned Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Roast Turkey With Gravy, Classic Sage and Sausage Stuffing (Dressing), Cook the Book: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes, BraveTart's House of Horror: How to Make a Super-Spooky Halloween Gingerbread House, Pantry Essentials: All About Liquid Smoke, The Food Lab: The Importance of Resting Meat. The batch on the left was dried in the microwave while the batch on the right is fresh. But there are ways to mitigate this loss. Cover the herbs with a second paper towel or clean dish towel, then microwave them on high power. I use either a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder to reduce the herbs to powder. Learn more on our Terms of Use page. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! If the herbs are still pliant, continue cooking them until completely dried.

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