Simplest way to preserve Bay leaves - update
How to Dry Bay Leaves
Bay leaves grow on a bay laurel tree, which can be found outdoors in the natural ground or planted in large containers (do not confuse with other laurels,whose leaves are poisonous). People cook with bay leaves in order to season their meats, sauces, soups and other hearty dishes. Bay leaves are also used in herbal remedies, to soothe inflammation and it has also been effective in keeping out weevils and other pests. When bay leaves are dried, they can be stored and used for up to a year. Dry bay leaves by picking and separating them, then leaving them in a well ventilated area that is warm and dry until all the moisture has evaporated.
Harvesting Bay Leaves for Drying
Harvest bay leaves from plants that are at least 2 years old.
Pick leaves during the middle of summer.The midsummer season allows bay leaves to produce their oils more abundantly, making harvesting easier.
Take the bay leaves off the trees in the morning, after the dew has evaporated.This will ensure your leaves do not wilt.
- Detach the bay leaves gently from the trees. You do not want to bruise them.
Choose leaves that are healthy and undamaged.You should pick the largest leaves that are available, as these will have the strongest flavor and fragrance.
Drying Bay Leaves Naturally
Place paper towels on a baking sheet.Make sure you have enough paper towels to cover the sheet, but you do not need more than a single layer.
Spread the bay leaves onto the paper towels.Do not put leaves on top of one another; they should be separate and have their own space.
Leave the bay leaves in a warm, dry room that has plenty of ventilation.They should not be in direct light of any kind.
Allow the leaves to dry for 2 weeks.You can flip them once during the 2 week period to ensure each side dries evenly.
Notice whether there is any remaining moisture left in the leaves.If they are still dark green in spots or soft, they may need 1 more week to dry.
Drying Bay Leaves with a Dehydrator
Pre-heat your dehydrator to 95 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 46 degrees Celsius).
- Set the heat level higher depending on the area you live in. Places with high humidity, such as Florida, will need a higher dehydrator setting.
Rinse the bay leaves under a cool, gentle stream of water.Shake off the water and pat them with a paper towel to dry.
Arrange the herbs on dehydrator trays, in a single layer.Place the trays in the dehydrator and allow them to dry for 1 to 4 hours.
Check the instruction booklet that came with your dehydrator for any other instructions.
Check the bay leaves periodically.You will know they have completed drying when they begin to curl or crumble and the stems start to split.
QuestionCan I dry them in the oven?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can, but you need to dry them on a low temperature, or use the drying mode on your oven if your model has one.Thanks!
QuestionCan I dry bay leaves in a microwave?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat's not a good method for drying them.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to wash the bay leaves first?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, in a way. You should blanch them in boiling water to remove the slippery film off the leaf before drying.Thanks!
Can I dry bay leaves in an air fryer?
I see something about poisonous leaves. How can you tell the difference?
Do you have to wash store bought bay leaves before using them on cooking?
Should I still wash and blanch the leaves before drying if I'm drying them naturally?
How can you tell the good leaves from the poisonous ones?
To dry bay leaves, place paper towels in a single layer on a baking sheet and spread the bay leaves onto the paper towels. Leave the bay leaves for 2 weeks in a warm, dry room with plenty of ventilation, flipping them once during that period. If you prefer, you can place them in a dehydrator instead. Rinse the bay leaves in cool water and pat them dry with a paper towel, then place them in a single layer into the dehydrator. Let them dry for 1-4 hours, with the dehydrator heated to between 95° and 115°F.
- Try drying bay leaves in a microwave oven when you only need a few leaves and you do not want to wait to dry a whole batch.
- Remember that dried herbs are much stronger than fresh herbs. When you are using bay leaves in accordance with a recipe, remember to adjust the amount you use if your recipe calls for fresh bay leaves and you decide to use your dried bay leaves.
- Store your dried bay leaves in an airtight container such as a plastic bag with a seal or a jar. As long as you keep them out of sunlight in a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius), they will be good for up to 1 year.
- Do not dry your bay leaves outside in the sun. This will cause discoloration of the leaves and the herbs will lose their flavor.
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Video: How to Dry Bay Leaves : Perfect Dinners & Kitchen Tips
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