Plant questions and answers! This week: I have a ton of basil that needs to be picked and I want to preserve some of it by drying it. I would like to use my food dehydrator, but I don’t know what temperature is best. At what temperature do you usually dry basil? (Ask your plant or gardening question.)
While I don’t typically dry basil in the dehydrator, it is certainly possible. My mom does it that way. She usually uses the lowest possible setting (room temperature, if possible, just for airflow.) Basil will tend to over crisp, turn dark and be flavorless if you dry it using a heated setting.
As an alternative, you could set the leaves out on a dishtowel and let them dry for a few days. That seems to work just fine for me.
Another note to help preserve basil’s flavor and fragrance, do not crush the leaves when storing. Leave them whole until you’re ready to use them.