Can you Dehydrate more than One Herb at a Time?
Numerous people consider food dehydrator as their best friend during the season of growing and harvesting. With the help of the food dehydrator, you can dehydrate and preserve the herbs for the medicinal and culinary use. There are numerous kinds of herbs that you can easily and quickly dehydrate in a food dehydrator for long term storage. But, can you dehydrate more than one herb at a time?
The drying process of the herbs is quite quick in a food dehydrator. You can dehydrate a few foods in the food dehydrator at the same time. But to know whether drying more than one herb at a time in a dehydrator is possible or not, you have to read the below article.
Is it possible to dehydrate more than one herb at a time in a dehydrator?
Yes, you can dehydrate more than one herb at a time in a dehydrator. You can dehydrate several different kinds of herbs at one time on the total number of trays that you have. There are very fewer chances that the flavors of the different herbs get the mix in the period of drying procedure.
You should always dehydrate the herbs at a very low temperature to get better nutrient value and flavor of the different herbs. Using the dehydrators for drying herbs of various kinds is one of the best and easier options for dehydration in comparison to the other drying methods.
How to dehydrate more than one herb at a time in a dehydrator?
The drying process of herbs is quite fast in comparison to the other kinds of foods. The herbs need very less space on the racks of the dehydrator. Maximum different types of herbs get dried in less than the period of 4 hours. After drying, you can strip off them from the stems and do the storing immediately.
The following are the steps that you need to follow for drying more than one herb at the same time in a food dehydrator:
1) Harvest the herbs
You can use the food dehydrator for drying nearly all kinds of herbs like oregano, basil, tarragon, mints, and lemon balm. Such herbs possess a high content of moisture, and if you do not dry them quickly then, they can get mold.
You should harvest the herbs only before the opening of the first flowers once the buds are complete. In the morning time, collect the herbs that you want to dehydrate after the evaporation of the dew. Remove the herbs with the spots or deformities.
2) Preparing the herbs
You have to prepare the different herbs for drying in the same way that you follow while drying other types of foods. You have to wash the herbs smoothly and pat them dry. There should be no moisture on any of the herb before placing them on the trays of the dehydrator. You can leave the tiny leaves on the herb’s stems for dehydrating and cut them off before storing. But don’t forget to remove the big leaves from the dense stems of the herbs as they can take a long time for drying.
3) Place on the dehydrator tray in a Single Layer
After patting dry all the different herbs, place all the leaves in a single layer inside the dehydrator. You should put the different categories of herbs on different trays, so they do not get mix after drying, and moreover, it helps in the even drying of all the herbs. You have to cover the trays with the help of the fine screen so that it does not let the herbs fall off to the machine’s bottom.
If some leaves of the herbs are larger then, you can take off few trays from the dehydrator that not required for drying. You should keep in mind that the entire leaves of all the different herbs should get proper air circulation.
4) Dehydrate on the Possible Lowest temperature setting
If you want to get a fine flavor of all the different herbs, set their temperature on the lowest setting. But some of you might not have the feature of adjustable thermostat inside your machine then, in such case you can set the shortest probable time. The recommended temperature for drying herbs is 95 degrees F to 115 degrees F, however in environments of high moisture; you might use the temperature setting of 125 degrees F.
The usual dehydrating time for herbs is 1 hour to 4 hours. The herbs get dehydrate once their leaves get crumbled and you can easily break their stems while bending.
5) Storing the Dried Herbs
After drying all the herbs, you should store them separately in different airtight containers like the whole leaves because it helps in perfectly preserving the flavor and aroma. Before using the herbs in recipes, you can crush them off. Some of you might want to use the herbs for making tea, in such case, it’s better if you keep the herbs in the crushed from inside the airtight jar.
All the different kinds of herbs should be stored in the airtight jar that you should keep in dark, cool and dry space. The exposure of any warmth or light can deteriorate the herbs quickly.
Tips for drying more than one herb at a time
Below are the tips for drying more than one herb at a time that you can use for time-saving and useful results:
- A food dehydrator helps in extracting the moisture from the herbs as they possess high water content. The herbs like mints, particularly apple-mint as well as spearmint too much time for drying.
- You can check the temperatures guide of your dehydrator before beginning the process.
- Do not place the different categories of herbs on the same tray for drying. Place them on different trays to avoid the issue of flavor mixing.
- Try to pick those herbs for drying together that need almost the same time and temperature, so that you do not have to face the issue of over dying and under drying herbs.
- The average drying temperature for drying herbs remains around 100 degrees F. Do not dry them at a higher temperature as this can break down the essential vitamins and oils.
- Some dehydrators that are high quality and have a high price in the market have a fan and heating element in them for circulating the air all over the trays for uniform and quick drying of the herbs. The dehydrators that come without the fan needs more time for even drying and circulation of air.
- If you want to get the excellent flavor of all the herbs, try to use them within the period of 6 months to 1 year.
Drying more than one herb at one time is possible in a food dehydrator with full control and flexibility. Dehydrator dries the herbs quickly, reliably and in a stress-free way if you follow all the above steps discussed in the article. So, if you had different herbs in your garden or kitchen but didn’t have much time to dehydrate them separately then don’t waste more time and try drying them all together for the next season usage.
You should note one more point that you can dehydrate more than one herb at a time but placing the different categories of herbs on different racks also recommended for stopping the flavors mixing.
Do you have any other views about the above topic? If yes then, share with us in the below comment box. You can also share your experiences and thoughts about drying more than one herb at the same time in your food dehydrator with us. We hope now you can preserve your all different herbs in a much better way with the benefit of time saving and useful results after reading the above info.