How To Dry Bay Leaves Easily Using 4 Methods
Looking for ways on how to dry bay leaves? This piece of information is specifically for you. We know already that bay leaves are fragrant leaves that arise from the laurel tree. These are used as herbs in our house. They are available both in fresh form and dried form, you can even find them grounded into a powder.
We usually add these leaves to food that is cooked slowly in our beautiful kitchen. You will find them in stews, soups, and sauces very frequently due to their amazing aroma, but once they add their aroma to the food, they are removed to avoid any issue with food. The scent they possess is herbal and floral reminiscent of thyme and oregano.
They come from the bay laurel plant, which is an evergreen shrub that is seen growing very slowly usually in warm climatic conditions. These plants are often grown by cultivators to be used for ornamental purposes or cooking purposes when they are dried.
The leaves are thin and very elongated having pointy ends. Most often dried leaves are preferred while making delicious recipes. These dried leaves have a stronger smell than the fresh ones, so they are usually preferred.
The technique of drying bay leaves has been used for centuries. Other than cooking, you can also use dried bay leaves for muscle aches, inflammations, etc. You can use it to keep away weevils and pests. Now that you know they are multipurpose, you will be wondering how to dry bay leaves, let’s see how.
How To Dry Bay Leaves
To know how to dry bay leaves, first, you need to determine how to prepare bay leaves for purpose of drying.
Herbs that are meant for drying purposes should be collected during sunny and warm days of the year because during these days they produce more oils. Getting them during rainy seasons is not at all ideal. You need to make sure you pick them up before they get too tough. For bay leaves, picking them at least 2 years after their growth. The best time when you should pick them up is in the morning once the dew evaporates.
Pick them up very gently, avoid tearing or bruising the leaves for better results. Remove any dead or withered leaves if present. After you have completed the selecting process for bay leaves, drop all the selected leaves into boiled water for nearly 5 seconds. This is done before drying the leaves because it helps in drying out more quickly. You can also just run them down under tap water and then pat them dry.
Do you know drying is a method that is centuries old for preserving food? Not only the oldest, but it is also one of the easiest and safest ways to preserve food items. If you wish to know how to dry bay leaves, follow these steps.
1. How To Dry Bay Leaves Naturally?
This is the simplest method to dry bay leaves. All you have to for this method is leave the collected bay leaves in a hot room having low humidity. The room should be dry in nature and should be ventilated properly so that it does not lock moisture. You might be thinking we can dry them directly by spreading them in the sun, but it is highly advised not to do that because this will make them wilt. The leaves will end up losing their aroma and flavor.
If you wish to hang them for drying, just use a thin strand and tie them in small bunches. However, it is better if you dry them separately. Let me show you a step-by-step guide on how to dry bay leaves.
- Bring a baking sheet and using paper towels, cover it forming a layer.
- Spread all the bay leaves you have. Make sure you are giving the leaves enough space and the leaves do not overlap each other to avoid any hindrance.
- Leave these leaves in a dry room. Just ensure that the leaves are not in direct contact with sunlight.
Just wait for a week and then flip all the leaves to ensure both the sides of your bay leaves have dried fully. Leave them for one more week.
2. How To Dry bay Leaves Using Food Dehydrator
Using a food dehydrator for drying out leaves is simply the easiest, fastest, and ideal way to dry out the bay leaves. Once you finish rinsing them, you can keep them on a dehydrator tray. Just wait for 1 to 4 hours for them to dry completely. Ensure that you are keeping a check on them regularly.
You can hold any 1 leaf and bend it to check if the leaves have dried completely or not. You can follow this guide step-by-step to know more.
- You have to preheat the food dehydrator from 36 degrees celsius to 46 degrees celsius. If your area has very high humidity, just set the temperature higher than given.
- Put the dehydrator trays in the food dehydrator. Leave it as it is inside for 1 to 4 hours. keep checking after every hour passes.
- Hold one leaf and check the conditions of your bay leaves. If the stems have fallen apart and they curl, it means they have dried and you can take them out.
3. How To Dry Bay Leaves Using Oven
Another amazing method to dry the bay leaves for their flavor and aroma. It will allow your leaves to dry out individually. To know how to dry bay leaves using over, read these instructions or guide.
- Remove the stem of bay leaves and wash them thoroughly underwater.
- Use a paper towel to keep these leaves. make sure the leaves are not in contact with one another. Wait till the towel has absorbed all the moisture content of leaves.
- Use an oven tray preferably the one which has few holes. Take a baking sheet to place on this tray.
- Spread all the leaves on this baking sheet make sure they do not touch.
- Add another baking sheet over them and place the remaining bay leaves and so on. Maximum 5 layers should be placed over one another.
- Set the oven to the lowest possible temperature, put your tray in the lower rack. Leave a gap to enhance the circulation of air.
- Your bay leaves have dried completely once they are brittle and dry. this will take 1 to 2 hours. You have to keep checking after every 15 minutes so that your leaves do not burn.
4. How To Dry Bay Leaves Using Microwave
If you have very few pieces to dry at once, this method is highly recommended. It is highly effective and can dry your leaves within 2 or 3 minutes after placed inside. here are few steps you can follow to know everything.
- Rinse your bay leaves completely using cold water to removed excess dirt and dust.
- Pat all the leaves dry using a clean towel.
- remove stems of all leaves
- Use a microwave oven plate and place all the leaves one by one in a row without overlapping.
- Place inside the microwave and give them 30 seconds to dry. Now flip them over and wait for another side to dry out as well. Again wait for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this to let your leaves dry out completely.
How To Dry Bay Leaves And Store Them
If you store your dried bay leaves properly, you may keep using them for more than one or two years. You can either store them as a whole or make powder to store them for a long.
These were certain ways to dry out bay leaves and using them for years for amazing flavors and aromas they possess.
If you wish to know how to dry and grow tea leaves, read this guide for information.