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Once you learn how to dry chives, you’ll find it easy to always keep some on hand for cooking!
When you properly dry chives for long-term storage you’ll find that you’ll have lots of dried chives to use in cooking all year long. There are several ways to dry chives, and I’ll share these different methods of drying herbs below.
This will hopefully help you to include chives in recipes and meals for many years to come.
This commonly used herb is easy to grow. Chives are easily grown by seed – so plant some and you’ll be harvesting the leaves in as little as 2 months!
Chives grow pretty fast and in large amounts that you may become overrun with these delicious herbs! But that’s OK, because…
They are also one of the prettiest blooming herbs, in my opinion. Pretty purple balls of flowers sitting atop each stalk of chive – gorgeous! Don’t be afraid to snip a lot of the chive leaves – it won’t be long until more leaves are popping up.
Once your herb chive plants are at least six inches tall you may harvest the chives. Once harvested, you can use any of the following methods to dry your chives.
How to Dry Chives
I’ve got four ways to dry herbs that I want to pass along to you. But first, here’s the information you need on how to harvest fresh chives straight from your herb garden or flower bed.
How to Harvest Chives
You can use a sharp kitchen knife to harvest chives, but really, the easiest way is to cut the leaves with good kitchen herb scissors. Gather a small handful of chives, grasping the leaves near the base of the plant.
Cut with kitchen scissors and place in a basket. If you can, tie each bundle after cutting with a rubber band or piece of string, so each handful stays together.
This will save lots of time later when cutting leaves into small pieces.
How to Air Dry Fresh Chives
We often just air dry fresh chives. To do this, just chop or slice your chives and keep them in a shallow bowl, without a lid. Try to keep your chives in a single layer (for air circulation) as this will help your herbs dry fast.
At least once a day, run your hands through the chives, stirring them and mixing them. Return them to a single layer each time, allowing them to dry further.
Dry the chives until they crumble in your hand. Be sure that all the moisture is out of them! Then, pour them into a small airtight mason jar and add the seal and ring.
This method also works to preserve other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and lovage.
Dry Chives by Hanging
After harvesting your chives, clean them in the sink and remove any dead or withered chives. Pat the bundle of chives until they are completely dry. You can use paper towels or clean hand towel to do this.
Gather your chives in a loose bundle. Secure the ends using twine tied just loose enough that it doesn’t crush the chives. Trim the ends off the chives, if you want the bundles to be even.
Hang the chives in bundles to dry in open air.
How to Air Dry Chives in a Paper Bag
Hang the chives upside down in the paper bag. Pull the top of the bag together and wrap twine to keep the paper bag closed. Store the paper bag with upside-down chives in a cool, dry space. Drying time will be about two weeks.
Tip: Cut small holes throughout the paper bag to let some air flow thru, a big help when you’re drying herbs.
A super easy way to do this is to use a 3 hole punch, if you have one.
You’ll know the chives are dried when they’re brittle to the touch. Be sure to peek on the chives every few days to ensure no mold is growing on them.
Once the chives have fully dried, crumble them on parchment paper then place them inside a mason jar for long-term storage.
How to Dry Chives in a Dehydrator
Once harvested, rinse the chives under cool water removing any withered or dead chives. Pat the chives dry with a paper towel or clean hand towel until all moisture is gone. Cut the chives into ¼ inch pieces using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife.
Spread your ¼ inch pieces of chives in a single layer inside the food dehydrator, covering with a screen if your dehydrator came with one. You can also use parchment paper. This helps keep the chives from blowing around.
Heat the chives for about one hour at a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the chives during the process to make sure they don’t burn. The chives are completely dried when they crumble in your hand.
Take the dehydrated chives and place them in a mason jar and close the jar for long-term storage.
Drying Chives in the Oven
Harvest your chives and clean them under cool water in the sink. Remove any withered or damaged chive pieces. Remove all moisture by patting the chives dry with a paper towel or clean hand towel.
Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature. The preferred temperature is 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the oven door open just a bit, if you need to lower the temperature. Using a knife or herb scissors cut the chives into ¼ inch pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the ¼ inch pieces of chives on the sheet in a single layer. Heat the chives in the oven for one to two hours. Be sure to peek at the chives during the process to ensure they don’t burn.
The chives are done drying when you can pick them up and they crumble in your hand. Put the parchment paper into a funnel shape and slide the dry herbs into a mason jar for long-term storage.
How to Store Dried Chives
Now that you know all the best way to dry chives, think about how to keep dried herbs for long-term storage. You can use plastic bags like Ziplocks, or small plastic containers like these ones.
We always use mason jars to store herbs long term. The jars are reusable and easy to store on the pantry shelf. They’re also pretty on display on the kitchen counter!
Be sure to store your dried chives wherever your other herbs and spices are stored. Preferably not right beside the oven as this may be too warm a spot. Rather, tuck them into a shallow dark cupboard so they are handy but protected from light and heat.
Use dried chives in soups, stews, potato dishes, dips and sauces.
Want to see how to freeze chives? Do it just like I do with my Basil and Parsley! Just store in a freezer bag. Frozen chives seem to keep their flavor better than dried.
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Once you know how to dry herbs, it will be easy to harvest and store your own herbs.