Chives are a tasty and versatile herb. They are easy to grow, but they die back during winter. So, how do you dry chives so that you can use them in dishes all year round? This post has all the details on how to dry chives, from harvesting them, and preparing them, through to storing them once they are dried.
Chives are one of the most popular garden herbs. They’re easy to grow in your own backyard and they add a delicious flavor to a lot of recipes, and are really versatile – You can use them raw as a garnish, add them to sauces, or even put them on a pizza.
Chives are perennial and easy to grow at home, but they do die back in winter. Drying chives at the end of the growing season is a great way to store them for use over the winter so you can use them all year long.
>>Related article: How to store chives
Scroll down for our printable step-by-step guide on how to dry chives, or read on for all the details.
3 methods to dry chives
When it comes to drying chives, you have a few different options. There are 3 basic ways to go about it:
The first way is to use a dehydrator. This is probably the quickest and easiest way to dry chives, but not everyone has a dehydrator.
The other ways are to dry them naturally, either between sheets of parchment, or by hanging bunches up to dry.
Some people use their oven or microwave to dry chives, but I have found that this leads to a loss of flavor. The heat generated using these methods will dry the moisture out of the herb quickly, but unfortunately it can also lead to a loss of flavor as the natural oils in the herb (that give it its flavor) are lost too.
If you can smell the chives while they drying in the oven then you know that is losing the essential oils, reducing the strength of the final dried herb.
How to dry chives
Step 1: Harvest the chives leaves
Cut the chives off close to the ground surface. Harvest from the outside of the cup in. If you are harvesting them at the end of the season then just cut them all off.
Step 2: Prepare the chives
Discard any chives that are discolored or damaged. Then wash the chives to remove any dust and dirt, and gently pat them dry.
If you are using a dehydrator or planning to dry the chives on paper (see below), then finely chop the chives, just as you would to use them in a recipe.
Step 3: Arrange the chives
Whether you are using a dehydrator or sheets of paper on a cookie tray, spread the chopped chives in an even thin layer so that they are not clumped together. This will allow them to dry evenly, and more quickly.
If you are drying bunches of chives, carefully tie them together into small bunches using twine or an elastic band, being careful not to damage them as you do this. Then cover with a paper bag or a folded sheet of parchment to keep the dust off.
Step 4: Leave the chives to dry
Hang bunches, or place a baking tray in a warm dry place until the chives are completely dry.
Storing dried chives
Store dried chives in an air-tight 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.
- 1 bunch fresh chives
- Large tray or baking sheet and baking parchment or paper towels OR
- Garden twine or string and a paper bag
Harvest the Chives and Prepare
- Harvest the chives.
- Wash the chives thoroughly. Gently shake off excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Method 1: Dry Chives on Paper
- Finely chop the chives.
- Prepare the drying surface - line a large tray, baking sheet, or another flat surface with parchment paper or paper towels.
- Spread the chopped chives out in a thin even layer on the prepared drying surface.
- Place another layer of parchment or paper towels over the top of the chives.
- Place the tray in a dry area where it will not be disturbed, and leave the chives to dry.
Technique 2: Dry Bunches of Chives
- Tie small bunches of chives together using twine or elastic bands.
- Hang the bunches of chives in a warm dry area where they will not be disturbed. Cover with a paper bag to keep the dust off, and leave to dry completely.
Collect and store dried chives
- It will take a few days for the chives to dry - after around day 4 start to check daily to see when the chives have lost all their moisture. When they are ready they will feel crunchy rather than bend.
- When the chives have completely dried out, roughly chop them.
- Store dried chives in an air tight jar or pot in a cool dark place.
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