Methods to dry contemporary herbs in a sizzling air fryer

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I’ve made no secret of my love for fresh herbs, and no, I’m in no way in league with Big Herb. They’re just an affordable and easy way to make simple cooking seem like a major hassle, and if you don’t believe me, throw a handful of chopped cilantro in a bag of Cheetos and see how you feel about it. On days when you’re too busy or stressed to prepare a proper recipe, cover almost anything warm with butter and fresh herbs and it’s like dining at the Four Seasons. Magic!

But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t use all of the fresh herbs you have. Perhaps your herb garden has grown way beyond control, or you grossly overestimated the tarragon requirements when ordering groceries. If that happens, you have a couple of options: slide them to the back of the refrigerator and forget about them until they rot, freeze them in an airtight zipper bag, or dry them out.

I’m a fan of the latter, and to do this in minutes, I’ll turn to mine handy dandy hot air fryer. Since air fryers are just tiny convection ovens, they’re a perfect shortcut for making strong dried herbs that you can keep in the pantry. Here’s how to air-fry herbs to dry them out:

1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Use a small piece of kitchen twine to tie the herbs in a bundle so that they don’t fly around in the frying basket while air is circulating.

3. Throw the herbs in the deep fryer and check them every 30 seconds. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your air fryer and the number of herbs you are drying, but I can tell you that a large bunch of basil in a 4L basket model would take about 90 seconds.

If you find your herbs flying around all over the place despite being bundled, weight them down with a crumpled piece of aluminum foil and remember to use tongs to pick them up when checking their progress. You won’t be able to love your dried herbs to the fullest if you piss them off with a finger burn.

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