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I saw a YouTube video the other day denouncing the use of a dehydrator or oven to dehydrate herbs. 

The presenter stated that using these appliances to dry herbs was unnecessary when the same job can be done simply by hanging the herbs upside down and letting them air dry naturally. 

Whilst I have no issue with air drying herbs via the hanging method, here are 4 reasons to use a dehydrator instead.

#1 Mouldy

A dehydrator prevents herbs from going mouldy. In hot dry climates or weather, herbs will dry naturally quite easily. However, in humid climates or when the weather is damp herbs left to hang and dry might go mouldy and rot instead of dehydrating. A good dehydrator pre-set on the "live foods/herbs" temperature about 35C° (95F°) creates the perfect and constant conditions needed for herbal dehydration without the worry of mould.   

#2 Dust and other chemicals

Herbs left to dehydrate on a bench or hung up somewhere will no doubt gather dust and possibly chemical residue over time such as fly spray, cleaning sprays, deodorisers, etc. On the other hand, herbs dried in a food dehydrator are enclosed and safe from any unnatural fallout.      

#3 Faster

And speaking of gathering dust as the herbs hang there for several weeks, in a food dehydrator the herbs are done in a matter of hours! Get the herbs dried, packaged away, and ready for use in a day - now that's what I'm talking about. 

#4 Tidy 

I know some people like to romanticise about how beautiful herbs look hanging around the kitchen or in some abstract arrangement in the hallway but in practice, all that happens is a mess below on the floor or bench as pieces of herbs inevitably fall off during the drying process. Drying herbs in a dehydrator is a much neater and less messy process overall - quite frankly, it's common sense.    

What food dehydrator do I use to dry herbs?

I use an Excalibur Food Dehydrator for all our food dehydration needs. We've had our Excalibur now for about 8 years and it has never missed a beat and although it's more expensive than many Chinese designed knock-offs I would certainly buy one of these again knowing it will last and run more economically plus safely! 

You can buy Excalibur Food Dehydrator on eBay here if in Australia 

If over in the USA you can buy an Excalibur Food Dehydrator here on Amazon. 

In the UK, you can buy an Excalibur Food Dehydrator here on Amazon.

Now get suck into it and dehydrate the heck out of everything you can! ;)

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Comments (1)

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  1. Anthony Smith

I agree with all of the reasons you mentioned and have been planning on getting a dehydrator for a while. I do think that air drying has benifits though such as the break down of chlorophyll over time this giving a more intense flavour. Any thoughts?

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