The Best Method for Dehydrating Dill and Fresh Garden Herbs

fresh and dried dill on a plate
Dehydrating dill should be done in a food dehydrator for the best results. Cut sprigs from fresh dill, and rinse them in cool water. Dry the leaves on lined dehydrator trays at 95°F-100°F until thoroughly dried.

What is the Best Way to Dry Dill?

The best way to dry dill is in a food dehydrator. Dehydrating dill in a food dehydrator helps preserve flavor and texture without excessive color loss. It’s much faster than air-drying dill and has a lower risk of burning than oven-dried dill.

How to Dry Fresh Dill in a Food Dehydrator

If drying dill from your garden, harvest dill early in the morning after the dew dries but before the sun rises for the best quality.

Here’s how to use an electric food dehydrator to dry fresh dill:

  1. Remove the smaller dill stems and carefully remove the yellow or brown dill leaves from the fresh dill. Discard the stems.
  2. Rinse the dill leaves in cool water to remove dirt, bugs, and pesticides. Dab them dry with paper towels. Alternatively, use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
  3. Line food dehydrator trays with parchment paper or fruit leather sheets and spread the leaves in a single layer to allow for air circulation.
  4. Dry the leaves at 95°F-100°F for 4-6 hours. The drying time depends on the load size, herb freshness, and humidity.
  5. Test for doneness after 4 hours. Take out a few sprigs and cool them to room temperature. They should be crumbly when pressed between your fingers. Continue drying the herb if necessary.
  6. Once the dill leaves have dried, take them out and allow them to cool naturally to room temperature.
  7. Place them in clean, airtight containers such as glass jars.
  8. Label the containers with the date of drying and the contents. Store the dried dill at room temperature in a cool, dry, dark place.
Dill on food dehydrator trays
Dill in food dehydrator

How to Dehydrate Dill in an Oven

Drying herbs in the oven can be tricky, especially for delicate herbs like oregano, cilantro, and dill.

There are three safe oven-drying options for dill:

  1. Prep fresh dill by pinching the sprigs off the main stem, rinsing them in cold water, and removing the excess water in a salad spinner or using paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 125°F or the lowest temperature setting.
  3. Spread the dill leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and place this in the oven.
  4. Option 1: Dry the dill at the lowest setting for 2-4 hours until crumbly. Leave the door partially open for better airflow. Monitor the drying process closely, checking every 15 minutes.
  5. Option 2: Turn the oven off after preheating. Load the oven and close the door. Dehydrate the dill until it is crumbly. Monitor the progress every 30 minutes and reheat the oven as necessary.
  6. Option 3: Skip preheating the oven. Load the tray into the oven, turn the internal light on, and close the door. This will dry the dill at about 80°F until crumbly.
  7. Once all the dill has dried, take it out and allow it to cool to room temperature. Condition it for 3-7 days in airtight containers.
  8. Store the fully dried dill at room temperature in labeled airtight containers in a cool, dark, dry place.

Is Dried Dill as Good as Fresh Dill?

Dried dill is much better than fresh dill when it comes to flavor and texture. Drying the fresh herb removes moisture, concentrating the flavor. Dried dill weed is more versatile than the fresh version for this reason.

Fresh dill has a crunchy texture that can be irritating in food since the delicate herb is added close to the end of cooking for the best flavor. Dried dill eliminates this problem, especially if you grind it into dill powder. However, fresh dill provides better color and works well in cold dishes.

Dried dill on metal spoon
Dried dill

What Can You Use Dried Dill For?

Dried dill is versatile and ideal for various dishes such as:

Tzatziki dip with cucumber chips and pita chips
Tzatziki with dill

What are the Benefits of Drying Dill?

Growing your own herbs often means having a surplus that may go bad without taking steps to preserve it.

Drying dill has the following advantages:

  • Dried dill lasts longer at room temperature and in cold storage than fresh dill.
  • The citrusy, slightly grassy flavor of dill leaves intensifies with dehydration.
  • Using dried dill is easier and more convenient.
  • Your herb garden stays in a perfect cycle since you harvest dill as soon as it’s ready

How Long Does Dried Dill Last?

Dried dill lasts 4-6 months at room temperature in airtight containers kept in a cool, dry, dark place. Mason jars are ideal for storing dried herbs in the kitchen cupboard or pantry.

To extend the shelf life to 12 months, keep it at room temperature in vacuum-sealed containers or in the freezer in vacuum-sealed Mylar bags.

Alex Maina

Preserving food has become a meeting point for Alex's passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. Having grown up on a farm with cows, goats, chickens, and fresh fruits and vegetables, Alex knows the importance of preserving food for leaner times. He spends his time drying and canning foods, trying new recipes, and writing for Dehydrated Cookbook.

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