You might already know that you can dry herbs in the microwave. But did you know it’s actually a better method than other techniques? Here’s why.
Compared to other techniques, like hanging or oven-drying, the microwave produces the most potent dried herbs with the freshest flavour and most vivid colour. Over at Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt explains why:
Microwaves specifically target water as they’re heating. Microwaves work by emitting waves of long electromagnetic radiation that cause polar molecules within your food to rapidly flip back and forth. By far the most abundant polar molecule in anything we eat is water. So really, a microwave doesn’t heat up all your food, it just heats up the water…What this means is that a microwave can very efficiently cause water to evaporate from your herbs — especially because they are so thin — while leaving flavourful compounds and colourful pigments mostly intact.
Once you’ve finished drying them, Kenji recommends taking things one step further by grinding them; then they’re ready to be infused into oils, added to spice mixes, used as rubs, sprinkled onto popcorn, you name it. Head to the link below for further explanation, plus a step-by-step tutorial.