Air drying is the easiest and least expensive way to preserve fresh herbs. This slow drying process retains the natural oils of the herbs, which helps to maintain their flavor. Here are some quick tips.
Air drying works best with herbs that do not have a high moisture content, like rosemary, dill, bay, marjoram, thyme, and oregano.
Tie sprigs into small bunches. Large, dense bunches can develop mold and discolor leaves.
Using baker’s twine or whatever you have on hand to tie the end of your sprigs together and hang downward. You can wrap them loosely in paper bags to catch falling leaves. Do not use plastic bags as it can hold moisture, causing mold to develop. Effective drying relies more on abundant dry, fresh air than on heat. A well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight is ideal. Allow them to dry for seven to 10 days, depending on your humidity. They’re completely dry when the leaves easily crunch when crushed.
Once dry, crumble the dried herbs with your fingers, discard the stalks, and store in airtight containers. If you’re using clear containers, store them in a dark place so the herbs don’t lose their color.