I love adding herbs to my food recipes. They take the recipes to another level with their flavor and aroma.
However, most herbs are seasonal and get expensive off-season. Also, some fresh herbs like mint can wilt off soon.
Dehydrating herbs is a great way to store and use them later on. It saves me from store trips and extra splurges.
The best way to dehydrate herbs is to use an air fryer for the job. It is a convenient option, one that only requires a little effort.
Allow me to tell you all about dehydrating herbs in the air fryer.
How to Dehydrate Herbs in the Air Fryer?
Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to dehydrate your herbs in the air fryer:
Step One- Preheat the Air Fryer
The first step to dehydrating the herbs is to Preheat the air fryer.
Preheat your air fryer for around 5 minutes at 125° to 130° degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on your air fryer model, choose the lowest temperature setting.
Step Two- Wash and Dry them Up
Wash the herbs under running water to remove all traces of dirt or debris. Once cleaned, use a kitchen towel or paper towel to pat them dry.
Remove all traces of moisture from the herbs before proceeding to the next step.
You can also spread them out on a kitchen towel or a paper towel and let them air dry naturally.
Step Three- Prepare Your Herbs
Once the herbs are dry, it is time to prepare them for dehydration in the air fryer. Remove the stems from the leaves and discard them.
You can also remove buds, stalks, and anything you don’t want to preserve.
Step Four- Place Them in the Air Fryer
Place the herbs in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You can also use a baking tray to spread them out.
Tie them with twine or cover them with a rack.
Avoid overstacking, as that can interfere with evenly dehydrating herbs.
If you have a lot of herbs, dehydrate them in batches.
Step Five- Dehydrate the Herbs
For dehydrating your herbs, set the temperature to 125-130F (depending on your air fryer model).
Let them dehydrate for one to three hours. The time duration depends on the thickness of the herbs.
Keep checking every 30 mins. Once they start crumbling in your hands, they are dehydrated.
Step Six- Store Your Herbs
Once the herbs are done, place them on a parchment sheet or any cookware to cool down.
You can then crush them or store them whole. You can also dehydrate different herbs, crush them together and make a herb mix.
Here are some options you can choose to store them:
- Glass jars
- Vacuum-sealed bags
- Ziploc bags
- Plastic containers
- Brown paper bags
Glass jars are ideal for a large number of herbs.
Make sure it fits tightly and allows no moisture inside. Leave some space on top for air circulation.
Vacuum-sealed bags and Ziploc bags are some other air-tight options that do not allow moisture inside.
As a result, there is less risk of mold formation. They are flexible and can easily be stacked and stored anywhere.
Plastic containers can also be used to store the herbs. Just make sure to use containers made from food-grade plastic.
These will not leach harmful chemicals into your herbs. The lid should have an air-tight seal so no moisture can seep inside.
If you find no other option, you can store them in regular brown paper bags. These bags are porous enough to allow air circulation but act as a barrier to moisture.
Always store herbs in an air-tight container to improve their life span. Make sure to label the container with the herb type and the date of dehydration.
This will make it easy for you to recognize and use them accordingly. Store in a cool, dark place.
Also read: Can You Use Air Fryer to Dehydrate Fruits?
Benefits of Dehydrating Herbs in the Air Fryer
Dehydrating herbs in an air fryer offers many advantages over traditional methods like using a dehydrator, oven, or sunlight.
One of the important benefits is the even distribution of heat, which results in uniformly dried herbs.
Air fryers are also more energy-efficient than ovens, which require a longer time to dehydrate herbs.
Their compact size and design make them ideal for home usage. They take up less space in your kitchen.
Air fryers also provide an easy and convenient way to dehydrate herbs without needing any additional equipment or special attachments.
The temperature can also be easily controlled to ensure that the herbs are dehydrated at a low temperature.
Lastly, using an air fryer also reduces the risk of contamination that can occur with other methods.
This means that the dehydrated herbs will be safe for consumption and free from potential bacteria or mold that may develop in less controlled environments.
Also read: Disadvantages of Dehydrating Food
What Herbs are Best for Dehydrating in the Air Fryer?
You can dehydrate most kitchen herbs in the air fryer comfortably.
Here are some of the herbs that come out great when dehydrated in the air fryer:
- Basil – Use to season soups, pasta, and other dishes
- Thyme – Dried Thyme tastes best with stews, roasts, and other savories
- Oregano – Use oregano to season pizza, salads, and pasta
- Mint – Mint leaves taste well in sauces, meat, and mojitos
- Rosemary – Use Rosemary herbs for seasoning vegetables and meat
- Sage – This herb has an earthy flavor and tastes best with pork, chicken, sauces, and marinades.
How to Use the Dehydrated Herbs
Once you have dehydrated the herbs above, you can find hundreds of recipes online to use in your food preparations.
Here are some ways to make them useful:
Use them for Seasoning
Dehydrated herbs taste best when used as a seasoning.
You can experiment and use them to flavor vegetables, meat, stews, sauces, soups, and marinades.
Dip them in Tea
You make a herbal tea with dried herbs. You can also steep them in regular black tea for additional flavor.
I add dried mint leaves to my black tea and a dash of lemon.
Use them in Potpourri
Potpourris are a dried blend of herbs and flowers that are used for decorative purposes.
You can use a few herbs like mint and add them to potpourri. They are great for removing foul odors and unwanted smells from the room.
There is a recent trend of using natural herbs for ailments. You can do some research and use it for digestive issues, colds, headaches, and insomnia.
Summing up, you can use herbs to season different food preparations and teas or use them in potpourris or herbal remedies.
The world is your space, as dehydrated herbs are quite versatile. Research, test, and make them useful.
What are the Best Air Fryers for Dehydrating Herbs?
Dehydrating works at low temperatures. Standard air fryers do not have low-temperature settings.
Although to cut competition, nowadays, manufacturers are including it in air fryers.
Here are the three best air fryers you can choose for dehydrating your herbs:
This is a seven-quart air fryer that comes with three dehydrator racks.
It features a wide temperature range from 90 degrees up to 400° F.
It is large enough to feed six people. You can comfortably dehydrate herbs, fruits, and even meat in this air fryer.
Ninja AF 101 Air Fryer
This is a four-quart versatile air fryer. It features a wide temperature range from 105° F to 400° F.
It has a ceramic-coated basket. The dehydrator accessory is a stainless steel rack on which you can dehydrate herbs, fruits, vegetables, and meat.
Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer
This is a stainless steel air fryer oven. It has a built-in dehydrator feature. It comes with a dehydrating rack and has a lot of space.
You can dehydrate a lot of herbs in one go.
You can also use the crisper tray and baking pan accessory inside the oven to spread out more herbs. The minimum temperature setting is 100° F.
Tips for Dehydrating Herbs in the Air Fryer
Sharing with you a few tricks and tips that will help you to dehydrate herbs better in the air fryer:
- For best results, use fresh herbs
- To decrease the time duration, you could chop the herbs into small pieces. Just make sure to place a rack on top to prevent them from flying around.
- If your air fryer does not have a setting of 125-130, choose the lowest setting possible and keep an eye.
- Check every half an hour for best results and to prevent over-drying
- It is a good idea to experiment with different herbs for your food until you find the perfect fit.
Other Appliances That Can Be Used to Dehydrate Herbs
Apart from air fryers, several other appliances can be used for dehydrating herbs.
Each type of appliance has its unique benefits. Choose the one suiting your needs and preferences.
Food dehydrators are specifically designed for dehydrating various foods, including herbs.
They offer precise temperature control, usually within the range of 95° F to 115° F.
Additionally, food dehydrators typically have multiple trays that allow for dehydrating a large number of herbs at the same time.
Also read: Air Fryer vs Dehydrator – What the Difference?
Conventional ovens can also be used for dehydrating herbs. However, they are less efficient compared to food dehydrators.
The key to using an oven for this purpose is to set it at its lowest possible temperature (170°F or lower), with the door slightly open for the moisture to escape.
Although not the most ideal method, microwave ovens can be used for quick, small-batch herb dehydration.
Place the herbs between layers of paper towels.
These help to absorb moisture. Microwave on low power and frequently check to avoid over-drying.
Lastly, the choice of the appliance will depend on the availability and your personal preference.
Now you are wiser and know how simple it is to dehydrate herbs in the air fryer.
All you need is an air fryer with low-temperature settings, a rack, and some fresh herbs.
I have mentioned some herbs that give excellent results when dehydrated in the air fryer.
I have also written about how to use dehydrated herbs for food and other purposes.
Don’t forget to go through the best air fryers that get the job done well.
Lastly, I have added some tips to keep you in top form for dehydrating herbs in your air fryer. All the best!
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