Drying Dill

Drying dill at home is easy and allows
you to enjoy the herb throughout the year!

Traditional Method

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

  • Garden or Kitchen shears
  • Basket or other container suitable for Dill sprigs
  • Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
  • Rubber Bands
  • Clothes Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch
  • Small Brown Paper Bags (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Gather your Dill harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew of the night.
  2. Gather the sprigs into loose bundles and secure the stems with rubber bands to assure that the bundles stay together as they dry.
  3. If using brown paper bags, cover each bundle with the bags that have slits cut into the sides to allow for adequate air flow around the herbs.  The paper bags keep dust off of the Dill as it dries and the sunlight from bleaching out the color.  Care must be taken to make sure that enough air flows through the bag to keep the Dill from molding.  Check occasionally to make sure, and, if need be either cut more holes in the bags or remove them.  Sometimes the moisture builds up inside the bag, especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form.
  4. Hang upside down in a warm, dry place such as an attic or porch until the leaves are brittle to the touch, approximately 2 weeks.
  5. Gather the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper. 
  6. Crumble the dried leaves and separate out all of the tough stems onto the wax paper. If you wish, you can finish your dill utilizing several different methods.
  7. Gather up the corners of the paper to form a funnel and pour the Dill into a clean, dry jar or a vacuum sealer pouch and seal tightly.

USES:

Dried Dill can be used in sauces, gravies, dressings and all other recipes that require fresh Dill.  Due to the loss of flavor when dried, I usually use 1 1/2 times as much dried as fresh.


Harvesting Dried Dill Seeds

  1. Clip the seed heads from the mature dill plant as soon as you notice that the flower heads starting to set seeds. Seeds usually mature rather quickly, so act soon. 
  2. Gather the clipped seed heads into loose bundles and secure with a rubber band. 
  3. Cover the seed pod bundles with paper bags and hang upside down to dry.  The seeds should separate from the seed heads within a few weeks.
  4. Shake the dried pod bags to loosen any other seeds and pour into a small spice container for future use.
  5. These seeds can be used in cooking or planted in the ground for your next crop, as long as they are heirloom seeds.


Oven Drying Method

Dill can be dried in the oven at the lowest temperature, or, if you have a gas stove with a pilot light, spread out on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper in a single layer.

Special Note: If using cookie sheets to dry the herbs, place the herbs to be dried on parchment paper to avoid direct contact with the metal trays.  Metal contact darkens the color of the herb being dried, causing the Basil to loose its bright green color.


EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: 

  • Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
  • Kitchen shears or good chopping knife
  • Chopping board or block
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Oven

Method:

  1. Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Dill sprigs.
  2. Pick out the discolored leaves and woody stems.
  3. Preheat your oven to lowest temperature setting.
  4. Chop or clip herbs into 1/4" pieces or so onto parchment lined cookie sheet or leave the fronds whole an spread evenly over parchment paper.
  5. Place in oven on evenly spaced racks for 2 or so hours or until Dill crumbles easily between your fingers.  Drying times may vary according climate conditions and relative humidity, so start checking after 30 minutes or so and then every 15 minutes to test the dryness. Once the delicate leaves feel dry and flake easily, remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Gather up the parchment paper into a funnel and place smallest end over the mouth of a clean, completely dry jar or vacuum sealer pouch and seal tightly.

Storage

Place jar or pouch in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cabinet, pantry or even your freezer.