One way to maximize fresh herbs is to dry and store them for future use. A versatile herb, dill is easy to grow and dry. Dried dill leaves can be used in dips, soups and fish dishes, while dried dill seeds can be used for making pickles. Use one of several methods to dry the herb so you have plenty of dill to enjoy all year. If you're drying the leaves, harvest them before the plant begins to flower. If you're harvesting the seeds, gather them two to three weeks after they've started to bloom and visible seeds have formed.
Cut the dill at the stem with pruning shears. Cut as much as you plan to dry.
Gather the stems without flowers into a bunch and tie them with string. For seeds, gather the dill stems with flowers and tie them in bunches with string. Hang the stems or flower bunches upside down in a dry, warm area with good air circulation for about two weeks or until the dill leaves crumble easily.
Remove the dried dill leaves from the stems. Place a paper towel under the hanging dill with seeds to collect the seeds as they dry and fall. Crush the leaves and store the seeds or leaves in an airtight container away from light.
Drying Dill in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the dill on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake the dill leaves for 6 to 8 hours.
Drying Dill in the Microwave
Spread the dill leaves in a single layer on a piece of paper towel. Place another paper towel on top of the dill stems.
Microwave the dill on high for about 3 minutes.
Feel the dill leaves to see if they're crumbly. If they are not, microwave them for another 30 seconds. Repeat until the dill is thoroughly dried.
Always use an airtight container to keep the dried herbs as flavorful as possible. You don't need to rinse the dill unless it's dusty or has visible dirt. Rinsing can reduce the herb's flavor.
Make sure dill leaves and seeds are completely dried before storing. Any remaining moisture may lead to mold.