How To Dry Cilantro At Home: 5 Easy Methods

Dried cilantro in a spoon

Cilantro is a flavorful, green, leafy plant. You can use this herb as a garnish or seasoning in tasty cooking. The cilantro plant can wither and get limp in two or three days after harvesting, losing its freshness. Drying cilantro can help you keep this herb and use it for a long time without wasting anything. Here we will tackle how to dry cilantro.

Based on the time and the tools available, there are a couple of ways of drying cilantro. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to dry cilantro in the best way possible, including air-drying, sun-drying, in the oven, microwave, or food dehydrator. Let’s get started!

How To Dry Cilantro Via Air-Drying

Air-drying allows the leaves to desiccate gradually. It’s a more natural procedure compared to utilizing a dehydrator or a microwave. Heat-drying plants get rid of essential oils, as well as water. It may also make the herbs lose their taste. For this reason, it’s advisable to air-dry cilantro to maintain its quality. Here are the steps for air drying cilantro.

What You Need

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Paper sack
  • String or slender gauge wire

Steps

  1. Collect your cilantro and inspect to get rid of dusty, withered, or decaying leaves.
  2. If your cilantro leaves are unclean, wash them using cool, running water.
  3. Gently pat the cilantro leaves dry using paper towels or utilize a colander to get rid of excess water.
  4. Collect the leaves into bunches and fasten the ends of the stems using a string or a slender gauge wire.
  5. Suspend the cilantro bunches in a dry spot, not close to the kitchen, to air-dry and keep the taste.
  6. After a couple of days, put the dried cilantro in a paper sack prodded with holes. This way, your cilantro won’t collect dust.
  7. On the opening end of the paper sack, fasten a string and suspend it in your dedicated spot.
  8. After that, ground the dried cilantro leaves and keep them in an airtight container.

How To Dry Cilantro In The Oven

The main challenge with drying cilantro in an oven is that the moisture evaporates quickly which may compromise the nutrient level and flavor of the herb. However, if done at a low temperature you can still preserve the flavor of the cilantro.

What You Need

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Kitchen towel or paper towel
  • Baking sheet
  • Anti-stick spray or parchment paper
  • Oven

Steps

  1. Set your oven to preheat at the minimum heat setting.
  2. Using chilly water, rinse the cilantro leaves. Don’t keep the leaves in water for a long time.
  3. Put the leaves on a clean kitchen cloth or a paper towel and dry them by patting gently. Get rid of as much wetness as possible.
  4. Detach the leaves from their stems.
  5. Spray the baking sheet with anti-stick spray or lay down a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Disperse the leaves on the baking sheet in one layer, without overlapping or crumbing them together.
  7. Put the tray inside the oven and bake for half an hour. If the leaves haven’t dried after half an hour, allow them to continue baking at minimal temperature.
  8. To make sure that they don’t burn, inspect every five minutes. The time needed for the leaves to dry completely varies based on the moisture in the cilantro and the humidity in its surroundings.
  9. As soon as the leaves are dried and crunchy, take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for five to ten minutes. You can keep the desiccated cilantro leaves whole or grounded. Ground the leaves using your fingers or a mortar and pestle. Keep the dried cilantro in re-sealable containers and put a label indicating the contents and the date.

How To Dry Cilantro In The Food Dehydrator

A dehydrator is an effective method of drying cilantro as it operates at lower temperatures than an oven. This helps to preserve flavor and nutrients. Drying cilantro in a dehydrator is a great option, particularly if you have a lot of cilantro to dry in a short time.

What You Need

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Dehydrator
  • Dehydrator trays

Steps

  1. Wash the cilantro using cool running water in the kitchen basin.
  2. To get rid of any dampness or excess water, pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Cut the cilantro leaves and disperse them on a tray.
  4. To gradually dry the cilantro leaves, adjust your dehydrator to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Keep the tray containing cilantro leaves in the dehydrator for between four and five hours.
  6. Take out the desiccated leaves from the dehydrator.
  7. Ground the cilantro leaves and store them in an airtight vessel.

How To Dry Cilantro In The Microwave

Although a quick method, you can easily burn cilantro when drying it in the microwave. Therefore, you need to keep a close eye on it while in the microwave and dry it at low heat settings.

What You Need

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Paper towel
  • Kitchen towel
  • Microwavable dish
  • Microwave

Steps

  1. If the cilantro leaves are dirty, clean them using a dry or damp wet cloth. Ensure the leaves are as dry as possible before you begin the dehydration procedure.
  2. Separate the cilantro leaves from the stems.
  3. Put a piece of paper towel on a microwavable dish.
  4. Scatter the leaves on the paper towel in one layer. Put another paper towel on top of the cilantro leaves.
  5. Microwave the cilantro leaves at low or medium power. After two minutes, inspect the cilantro leaves. If not yet desiccated, continue microwaving them at intervals of 15 seconds until they’re dry.
  6. Take the dish out of the microwave and let your leaves cool for a couple of minutes. Use your fingers or a mortar and pestle to ground the cilantro leaves.
  7. Put the dried and ground cilantro leaves in containers, spice bottles, or re-sealable sacks. Lastly, put a label on the container with the contents and the date.
Cilantro with Pan
Source: Pixabay

How To Dry Cilantro In The Sun?

You can dry your cilantro leaves in the sun if there’s plenty of sunlight and low humidity

What You Need

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Drying screens or rack

Steps

  1. Put the cilantro on drying screens or rack and put them in the sun.
  2. To make sure that the cilantro leaves desiccate uniformly, turn the leaves every few hours. The process is gradual and may take several days. Therefore, ensure you bring in the screens during the night to stop mildew growth.

What Are The Benefits Of Dried Cilantro?

Like fresh cilantro, dried cilantro has numerous health benefits, including

  • Contains anti-inflammatory characteristics, which enhance the health of your brain.
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels, great for improving heart health.
  • Rich in antioxidants, which are great for the body’s defense system and preventing oxidative stress.
  • Antimicrobial effects. They can get rid of the body’s hefty metals and combat infections.
  • Combats digestive problems and enhances gut health.

How to Store Dried Cilantro

Now that you’ve learned how to dry cilantro, how do you store it? Storing desiccated cilantro is easy, but most people do it incorrectly. You can store dried cilantro for up to two years if you keep it in a sealed container in a cool and dry place. Any humidity penetrating the dried cilantro can lead to mold growth and contamination of the spice.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Dried Cilantro

  • Purchase small quantities of dried herbs from a storekeeper with quality products. Although dried herbs aren’t considered fresh, you wouldn’t want to buy those that have stayed in the store for a long time.
  • Throw away any dried cilantro that may be more than a year old.
  • Keep your dried herbs away from moisture, light, and heat.
  • Rub dried cilantro between your palms first before adding it to your food. This way, essential oils are discharged from the dried herbs.
  • Don’t add dried cilantro herbs on top of a meal when serving. Use it to flavor dishes in the background.
  • Fry dried cilantro in a small amount of oil when cooking to bring out its flavor.
  • Dried cilantro takes longer to cook compared to fresh so include it in your recipe earlier than you would fresh cilantro.
  • Use half the portion of dried cilantro than you would fresh cilantro.

Is Dried Cilantro As Good As Fresh?

Dried cilantro among other herbs and spices
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Although many recipes require fresh cilantro, getting it during cold weather months, such as winter, can be challenging. Dried cilantro leaves work well as a substitute. However, the flavor of dried cilantro is mild compared to that of fresh cilantro.

How Much Cilantro Should You Dry for Use?

It depends on how frequently you utilize cilantro in your meals. Generally, begin by drying any surplus cilantro you may have to stop it from going to waste.

Conclusion

Cilantro contains a powerful, distinctive taste. When fresh, you can use it as a garnish, in dressing, chutney, salad, guacamole, and salsa. On the other hand, you can use dried cilantro to prepare dishes such as stews, sauces, curries, and soups. Always ensure that the cilantro is completely dry before packing it for storage. Mold can develop in storage if humidity is still present. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and it will be good to use for up to two years.

Blogger, Gardener | + posts

I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.

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