Not too long ago, I did a post about our basil and the best way to dry it. I wasn’t very happy with the results of drying it on my new soil sifter (thanks dad!;), and it was in the heat of summer that I tried it that way even though it was in dappled shade. I decided to dry my basil 3 different ways (thanks to hubby) to really get an idea of how best to go about it. I want my dried basil to end up with good flavor, and be fragrant too- unlike store bought, dried basil.
So, the results are in. I tried drying it on the soil sifter, as you remember. Then I tried it in the dehydrator, and the third choice was to hang it in a cool, dark place in a mesh-type bag. I chose to use the little bags lemons come in. To start off, I was so unimpressed with the basil I dried outside on the soil sifter, I tossed it. Now maybe if the heat hadn’t been so high that week, I might have had a different outcome- something to think about for next year, maybe.
The basil dried with the dehydrator left me a little disenchanted as well, but for comparison sake I didn’t toss it. I then grabbed some fresh from the garden and put it in a bag (lemon bag) and hung it in a cool, dark spot that doesn’t get disturbed much. I also left the dehydrated batch on a plate in the same location. You can see a picture of the sad outside, heat dried basil here, and read the previous post.
On the left is the dehydrator dried basil, the right is the air dried basil. I can say, without a doubt, that the air dried basil has a heavenly scent that causes my mouth to water! The color is a little brighter green, which is hard to see in this shot, but the scent is really strong compared to the other- which is almost void of any scent at all. The flavor is far superior as well...and just in time for some fall/winter dishes- Yum!
Now maybe I shouldn’t have dried the first batch during a really hot week outside. And maybe I over dried the second batch in the dehydrator- I think it was Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions that warned me of the dehydrator being a tricky way to do it- maybe take a look at her comment on the previous basil post. All I know is that the 3rd batch that was dried in a cool, dark, indoor spot ended up the best- and that is how I’ve always done it, just with much smaller bunches. Next year, I plan on drying some in a dark, cooler area outdoors (a shed maybe?) and we’ll see what happens- this is all assuming I can grow it next year!
I hope you are all enjoying the days heading into fall- our sun is gone now and it looks like our typical, cloudy, dreary days are now upon us- and will be for quite a long time. Goodbye sun, it was nice knowing you.