Drying dill is an easy way to preserve the herb if you have a lot to harvest, or need to prune your dill plant. This post has all the details on how to dry dill quickly and easily at home.
How to dry dill at home
If you’ve ever grown dill, you know that it’s a fast-growing, easy-to-grow, and easy-to-harvest herb that adds a unique flavor to many dishes.
With a sour-sweet flavor that goes well with fish, chicken, and potatoes, dill is one of the most widely used herbs in both home and commercial kitchens.
>> Related post: How to Use Dill in Cooking
Since it’s relatively easy to keep in your garden throughout the summer, you can dry your dill to add to stews, soups, and other dishes during the winter months, when fresh dill is not available.
Drying dill (or dill weed) is very easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps to ensure that it stays flavorful.
Dill is a delicate herb that can lose much of its flavor when dried, so air drying is the best way to dry dill. Any time you apply heat to speed up the drying process you will lose the essential oils that flavor the food when you use the leaves in cooking.
See this post on why it is best not to dry fresh herbs in the oven or microwave oven for more details.
Harvesting dill for drying
The best time of year to harvest dill is in early summer when there are delicate flowers on the plant; that is when the flavor is at its peak. The best time of day to gather herbs for drying is in the morning once the dew has dried.
The easiest way to harvest dill is simply to snip the sprigs off at the stem. Use sharp secateurs or scissors to harvest the dill weed. A clean cut is less likely to damage the parent plant.
- Rinse leaves in cool water prior to drying to remove any dirt. Gently shake off any excess water (or use a salad spinner) and pat the dill weed dry with paper towels.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Place dill sprigs in a single layer on the sheet. Try to ensure the leaves are not overlapping too much.
- Place another paper towel on top of the herbs. This should be loosely placed on top to allow air circulation.
- Place baking sheet in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight.
- Leave until completely dried out. This is likely to take 14 days or longer.
- When the dill has dried, use a knife to remove the dill leaves from the stems, for storage. When they are fully dried they should fall off the stems relatively easily.
If you have a larger amount to dry you can hang the fresh dill sprigs of it up in a warm dry place
To speed up the drying process you can use a dehydrator.
Storing dried dill
Store dried dill in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.
Find more info on storing dried herbs in this post: How to store dried herbs.
Drying Dill Instruction Card
- 1 bunch fresh dill weed
- Scissors, shears or a knife
- Large tray or baking sheet and baking parchment or paper towels OR
- Garden twine or string
- Harvest the dill - cut the dill when the leaves are mature (darker green).
- Wash the dill weed thoroughly. Gently shake off excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Prepare the drying surface - line a large tray, baking sheet or other flat surface with parchment paper or paper towels.
- Spread dill stalks out in a single layer on the prepared drying surface.
- Place another layer of parchment or paper towels over the dill stems.
- Place the tray in a warm dry area where it will not be disturbed, and leave dill to dry.
- It will take a few days for the dill to dry - after 4 days start to check daily to see when the leaves have lost all their moisture. When they are ready they will feel crunchy rather than bend.
- When the dill has completely dried out remove from the parchment, remove from the stems by shaking and use a knife to gently scrape the stems. The leaves should fall off easily.
- Store dried dill weed in an air tight jar or pot.
You may also like: