Herbs serve a lot of unique functions. It has both health and nutritional significance which is why it is important to many. As a result of this, herbs need to be preserved because they can be effective both when fresh and when dry. They are mostly from plants and they are fresh but they will not remain fresh for long. They can develop moths and become contaminated without a proper preservation method. We cannot always rely on natural heat from the sun or high temperature to dry our herbs since they are mostly irregular in supply. So, there is a need for a sustainable source of heat energy to dry our herbs and that is what brings about the use of the drying machines to dry herbs.
Dehydrators are one of such but not everyone has that and that’s okay. There are still other alternatives to it that would still work effectively. If you have an oven and you are wondering if it is a good alternative to drying your herbs, this post is for you. Here you would learn the answer to that and more and also learn about the best ovens that can help your dry your herbs.
Best 3 Ovens For Drying Herbs
In a hurry? Let me just share with you the best 3 ovens for drying your herbs right away: (more details after the table)
|Product Name||Unique Feature||Price|
|Stainless Steel Convection Herb Drying Oven||hot air circulation system adopts the double air duct circulation of the low noise fan||Check Price on amazon|
|Vacuum Drying Oven for Herbs||dry herbs/foods and perform other oven related purpose||Check Price on amazon|
What Are Herbs?
Herbs have different meanings. They refer to plants that have medicinal or aromatic properties. They can be used as flavours for certain foods and as medicines to manage certain ailments. Herbs are special because of the purpose for which they are used. The usefulness of herbs underlies all activities involved from its harvesting, to preservation.
Can Herbs Be Dried In The Oven?
Yes, herbs can be dried in the oven. You can actually dry your herbs in the oven at well-regulated temperatures. This is because the oven can be very hot and it can even burn the herbs if it is not low and regulated. An oven will help the herbs to dry quickly by using their moisture content to heat them and get it dry. The oven is quite a good alternative to a food dehydrator when drying your herbs. It is a very efficient herb dryer because the temperature can be regulated to keep the herbs in a certain state before you get to store it dry.
Is The Oven Safe To Dry Herbs?
While the oven is not 100% safe for drying your herbs, it can still work as an efficient alternative to the food dehydrating machine. Drying your herb in an oven is not totally safe but it is a clean and quick way to efficiently dry your herbs.
If you are able to dry your herbs without overheating it, then it will not be affected by the negative effect of drying the herbs with an oven. The negative effect, if you are wondering, is the high temperature generated by the oven that can cook your herbs and destroy some minerals and helpful nutrients in the herb during the drying process. Although, this can only happen if the oven temperature is too high or you left it in the oven for longer than necessary.
Therefore, if you want to use an oven to dry your herbs, you need to have them in a large quantity to ensure that there is an even distribution inside the oven. Secondly, you should not leave them in the oven for too long so they don’t get cooked instead or get to lose their nutrients or even taste.
Why Is It Necessary To Dry Herbs?
It is necessary to dry herbs because they are mainly plants. They are often obtained when they are fresh and they may not last long that way, especially if you want to keep them for long. Drying them is the only way to preserve them so that they can be used again when you need them. If herbs are not dried, they can be attacked by pests, insects, moths, and algae which will make them a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. But once the herbs are dried, there won’t be any moisture in it. This way they can be properly stored or packaged for use since there is no room for any organism to live on it and grow.
Steps On How To Dry Your Fresh Herbs Without A Dehydrator (do this using your oven)
The process of drying herbs in the oven is very simple. It is much similar to the processes of warming or heating food items. Here is the simplest way you can dry your herbs in the oven with clear steps:
- First, the herbs should be washed properly to remove any dirt or dust. You are doing this because once the herbs come in contact with heat, any impurities on it can affect the herbs itself.
- Next, the herbs should be put in the oven neatly. You can place them directly on the oven gauze/rack depending on how large the herbs are or how thin your gauze spaces are. If you want, you can get a flat pan (the type used for baking) and arrange them on the pan before placing it in.
- Set the oven’s temperature at a low heat. The heat level is expected to be below 180 degrees to ensure that the herb does not burn or get cooked.
- Unlike other food items, the herbs should be checked from time to time (like in a 1-minute interval). This is to ensure that you monitor the process and not get your herbs burnt or cooked. You will know when your herb is dry by examining the leaves at intervals. Dry herb leaves often appear crumbled.
- When you have ascertained that your herb is dry and ready to be stored, get them out to cool down.
- Once they are cool, wrap them in old newspapers and place them in a safe place.
- Whenever you want to use them again, get them and resurrect them if you need them fresh again. By soaking them in water for a few minutes, you can get them out of the dried state and use them to cook your meals.
2 Perfect Ovens To Dry Herbs And How To Use Them
If you have the intention of drying your herbs but have no dehydrating machine, or you do not want to go the unhygienic way of leaving them out on the floor under the sun; then I’m pleased to tell you that you can dry your herbs with an oven that can also serve its normal purpose.
Have it in mind that not all ovens can do this work efficiently. Some would burn your herbs while others would cause them to even lose all their natural goodness without drying them properly. For this, you need to invest in a very good oven that can help you with dehydrating your herbs while also doing other things an oven can deliver.
I have actually taken the stress off your shoulders by helping you with the research. Here I have provided the best 3 ovens that can take care of drying your herbs with ease. These 3 ovens have got other cool features and many users have agreed that it has come in very handy for them for a lot of oven related things. So, let’s take a look at them:
1. Stainless Steel Convection Herb-Drying Oven:
This stainless steel oven uses forced air convection to dry your herbs and make them stay longer. It can be used to dry other foods apart from your herbs. The hot air circulation system adopts the double air duct circulation of the low noise fan. This ensures that the fan service life is longer and the temperature in the box is more uniform to give you the best drying experience.
Features of the oven
- Its capacity is 0.55 cu.ft / 10″ x 10″ x 10″ / 110V / 600W.
- The PID temp control is 50-250°C.
- The intelligent PID microcomputer clock has the function of timing, ringing the alarm and so on. This feature can guarantee safety when in use.
- It can be used to dry herbs, for circuit ageing test, glassware drying, mechanical parts drying and drying of other foods.
- The main material of the oven is 304 stainless steel chamber and cold laminating shell which is anti-acid and anti-corrosion.
- At the top of the oven, there is a ventilating valve. This can be used in deflating the wet air out of the oven when drying.
- It has got a large double-layer toughened glass window which is convenient to observe the changes of the contents in the oven.
- The oven was made with a new type of synthetic silicone seal
- It can run a high temperature for a long period of time. This is perfect for other things you would need it for aside drying your herbs.
- The oven is equipped with an independent fan switch that can be turned on or off as needed.
How does this oven dry herbs?
If you dry your herbs using this herb dryer, it will help to pull out the moisture in the herbs using forced air. The air dispenser and drying chamber run its course on the herbs and in the end, the dry product will be separated from the air and you are left with dry herbs.
Does this sound like something you want to own for drying your herbs? Head over to this Amazon link to find out all you need to know and also make your purchase to get it in no time.
2. YJINGRUI 0.85 cu.ft Vacuum Drying Oven For Herbs:
You can take your herb drying to an amazing level by using an oven that has this specification and can deliver just perfect. The oven can be used for other oven related purposes so you are sure of getting more value for your money.
Features of the oven
- This vacuum drying oven can help to dry herbs. It has a power level of 110V, 300W vacuum degree, <133Pa cold-rolled sheet chamber and an oven chamber size of 300mm by 300mm by 275mm.
- It has a temperature regulation feature which reduces the need for constant checking and temperate setting. Once the temperature is initially set, maximized performance is guaranteed.
- The vacuum drying oven is able to distribute heat evenly to enable the herbs to dry uniformly. This is known as gentle drying because no part of the content will be affected by heat more than the other.
- While your herbs or food are drying, you can look through a dual-layer observation window that has safety glass and an adjustable door handle to keep the vacuum level constant.
- It is easy to use and it has cost-effective maintenance.
- Its electrical components are separated from the main chamber to protect users from shock. While using the oven, you can set the bolt in a timer to guide you.
- You can enjoy a high efficiency with this oven. This is because the heating element is located in the internal partitions of the oven and the heating time reduces by 50% compared with traditional vacuum drying oven.
- The heating and drying are all carried out without oxygen or with inert gas, which does not lead to oxidation.
How does this oven dry herbs?
With this oven, the heating element is located in the internal partitions and this allows the herbs inside to get even distribution of airflow. By this means, your herbs get to be dehydrated efficiently until there is no water content left in it.
Is this oven what you need to dry herbs without having to get a food dehydrator? Click this link to be taken to the page on Amazon. There you will see more about it, read other people’s reviews and also make your own order.
Best way to use the above machines to oven-dry herbs
- First, place the leaves or stem of the herbs on a cookie sheet.
- When turning on your oven, allow it to heat for two hours. While heating, keep the oven door slightly open to ensure a temperature of 180 degrees. This will ensure that the temperature is uniform to avoid overheating some areas.
- After doing this, then wrap the herbs using a kitchen paper towel and place it in the oven carefully. Kitchen paper towels can soak up water from foods. However, if you would be drying for longer than five (5) minutes in the oven, do not use a paper towel. You do not want to set your herbs on fire since the towel can burn when exposed to the oven heat for long.
- Check the herbs frequently within the three (or more) minutes that will be required to dry herbs in the vacuum oven dryer. Most times, you would realize that your herbs won’t take long to dry completely. This is exactly why you need to watch it as often as possible.
- Once you are satisfied with how dry the herbs have become, turn off the oven and bring them out.
- Allow it to cool down before storing them where you want.
It is by drying herbs that they can be better preserved for various uses like been used as spices, flavours, aroma enhancers and even medicinal purposes. Drying of herbs can also be done on a commercial scale by big pharmaceuticals. What is important is to use the right oven and follow the accompanied manual to ensure that the herbs are not damaged in the course of drying.
Trust me, with the ideal oven, you do not need an extra food dehydrator. You can successfully use the oven to accomplish the same feat efficiently with ease.
If you are looking to get a good dehydrator for this instead, you may need to see this post about A Buyer’s Guide On How To Choose The Best Food Dehydrator In 2021