By Lea Ann Fessenden-Joseph

Do you find yourself over-buying fresh herbs only to have them spoil in the refrigerator? Now you can find out how to oven dry those herbs so that you can have them on hand for months to enhance your dishes. Some herbs, such as basil, tarragon and mint, have high moisture content and so no matter how hard you try, they will mold quickly if not dried. You can dry herbs successfully in either a gas or electric oven.

Fresh basil can be dried quickly in the oven

Step 1

Pull the best leaves from their stems. Wash them, then dry.

Step 2

Lay one layer of paper towels on a shallow baking sheet. Place the herb leaves on the paper towel in a single layer and avoid overlapping. Cover them with another paper towel and add another layer. Continue to layer your leaves up to 5 layers.

Step 3

Dry them in a very low oven, (180 to 200 degrees F) for 3 to 4 hours. Leave the door open so the oven does not get too hot.

Step 4

Watch the herbs very carefully and turn them with tongs occasionally. Remove the herbs from the oven as soon as they turn crisp.

Step 5

Allow the herbs to cool. Then, store your herbs in airtight containers, preferably glass, in a cool dark location. Herbs retain flavor and medicinal value for years. When ready to use, crumble and add to all of your favorite recipes.