Herbs are easy to grow and add flavor and nutrition to your food. But did you know that herbs are also easy to dry and store? So you can have delicious, long-lasting herbs to add to your food with a simple dehydrator.
So what is the best home dehydrator for drying herbs? It is the one that offers the highest quality for the money and that can handle the quantity of herbs that you want to dry. It needs to be high quality and last and it needs to handle the volume of herbs you plan on drying in it, with out being larger than you need.
In this article, we’ll talk about the seven best home dehydrators for drying herbs and give you our pick for the best one. We’ll also give you our criteria for choosing the seven best home dehydrators. But first, let’s just take a quick look at how to dry herbs so you understand the process.
How to Dry Herbs
There are several methods for drying herbs. First, you should harvest herbs early in the morning before the dew has dried. Next, harvest them right before they bloom for the best flavor. Then, rinse them off in cool water and gently shake to dry. Finally, discard any bruised or broken leaves before putting them in the dehydrator.
Dehydrators are the quickest and easiest method to dry herbs. Set the dehydrator temperature between 95 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a very humid area, you may need to increase that by about 10 degrees.
Place the herbs in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. Replace the trays. The herbs will take anywhere from one to four hours to dry. You’ll know they are ready when the stems break and the leaves are crumbly.
Dried herbs are more potent than fresh. Store them in a cool, dry area.
You can freeze dry herbs and a lot of preppers and homesteaders choose to freeze dry them over dehydrating. However dehydrating is much cheaper than freeze drying when it comes to cost of machines and running them.
How to Choose a Food Dehydrator
When you are looking for a dehydrator, you’ll want to consider a few things so you can choose the best one for your circumstances.
The first consideration you may want to think about is how much counter space your dehydrator will take. Larger dehydrators will dry more herbs at a time, but they will also take up more of your precious counter space. If you plan to use your dehydrator often, you will probably want to keep it easily accessible rather than store it away in a closet or cabinet. Typically, the more trays, the larger the dehydrator will be.
Number of Trays
The number of trays determines how much you can dry at a single time. Since you can only dehydrate one layer of herbs at a time, you’ll want to choose a dehydrator with multiple trays that can do as much as you want at any given time.
You may need to adjust the temperature for humidity or based on the food you are drying. For example, herbs are typically dried between 95 and 115 degrees. However, in very humid areas, you may need to increase that. To do this, you’ll need a dehydrator with an adjustable temperature setting.
With the fan constantly running in a dehydrator, you may want to choose a quiet model. Look for one under 50dBs if possible to keep the noise level to a minimum. If your dehydrator is too loud, you may need to put it in a more remote location.
Timer and Automatic Shutoff
Some dehydrators will come with timers and automatic shutoffs so that you can set them and not worry about them. They will automatically turn off when the drying cycle is complete. The shutoff system is a safety mechanism as well. For example, you may want a dehydrator that shuts off if it overheats.
Even if drying herbs is your main reason for purchasing a dehydrator, you may want to consider what additional foods it can dry. For example, jerky needs a minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may want to take this into consideration when choosing a dehydrator. Also, you may prefer a model that can make yogurt or not.
The 7 Best Home Dehydrators for Drying Your Herbs – Our Top Picks!
1. Excalibur Food Dehydrator – Best All Around Food Dehydrator
The Excalibur Food Dehydrator is well-known throughout the prepper community. This is the ‘gold standard’ of dehydrators for its quality and features. It includes:
- Nine trays
- 26-hour timer
- Automatic Shutoff
- Temperature settings
- 15 square feet of drying space
The Excalibur Dehydrator gives you a large capacity of 15 square feet of drying space with nine trays. The adjustable thermostat ranges from 105 degrees F to 165 degrees F, so you can do both herbs and make jerky in your dehydrator. It is easy to use and will gently dry your herbs.
2. OSORI Food Dehydrator – Best Countertop Dehydrator
The Osori Food Dehydrator will dry all kinds of foods, in addition to herbs. It also makes yogurt and fits nicely on your countertop. This dehydrator has an elegant appearance with its glass door and LED controls. It also boasts:
- 6 Stainless Steel Trays
- Rear mounted fan
- 95 to 165-degree temperature control
- 48-hour timer
- Quiet, with noise level under 48dB
- Includes automatic shutoff and overheat protection
The Osori is not the largest dehydrator, but it does give you ample room to dry your herbs. With adjustable temperature, you’ll be able to dial in your temperature to suit your climate. You can also make beef jerky and yogurt with this machine.
3. Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – Most Compact Dehydrator
If you need to stash your dehydrator away under the counter or in a cupboard, you might like the compact Nesco Snackmaster Pro. This dehydrator folds down into a small size for storage but expands to give you extra drying room when you need it.
- Adjustable temperature control from 95 degrees F to 160 degrees F
- Expands up to 12 trays for large quantities without having to rotate trays
Although this compact dehydrator can dry a large quantity of food, it does not have a built-in timer. So you’ll need to make sure you time the food yourself and keep a close watch for overheating.
4. Samson “Silent” 9 Tray Dehydrator – Quietest Dehydrator
- The Samson Silent Dehydrator is probably one of the quietest dehydrators you can find, making it a nice choice if you use it often. It includes
- 9 Trays
- LCD panel
- Quiet fan
- Removable trays to accommodate larger items
- Eight temperature settings between 95 degrees F and 158 degrees F.
- The timer works in 30-minute increments up to 19:30 hours.
The Samson’s best feature is its quiet operation. However, it does have a timer, removable trays, and multiple temperature settings. This dehydrator may not reach high enough temperatures to create jerky safely.
5. Colzer Food Dehydrator – Best Large Capacity Dehydrator
If you need a large-capacity dehydrator to dry large amounts of herbs, you may be interested in the Colzer model. It features a large amount of drying space with 12 trays. It also features:
- 12 trays
- Automatic Shutdown and overheat protection
- Even drying
- 100% BPA-free food-grade stainless steel with a glass front door
- Includes digital temperature presets from 68 degrees F to 194 degrees F to help you dry a large variety of foods
- Quiet operation is less than 50 dB
For large capacity drying, you might just love the Colzer Food Dehydrator. However, it will take up more counter space due to its extra large size.
6. Elite Gourmet EFD319 Food Dehydrator – Best Budget Dehydrator
If budget is an issue, you might want to consider an Elite Gourmet Dehydrator.
- It has a temperature range of 95 degrees F to 158 degrees F
- Includes 5 BPA Free stackable drying trays that collapse to save space
This is a basic model without a lot of bells and whistles, so it’s great for first-time dehydrators! You can run the fan of this dehydrator without heat, as well. Although it is small and basic, it is very inexpensive and a great way to start dehydrating.
7. Food Dehydrator 3 Tray Hanging Drying Net – Best Low Tech Herb Dehydrator
If you are looking for a low-tech or off-grid dehydrator, of course, you’ll want to consider the three-tray hanging net. This is as simple as it gets:
- Three hanging trays
- Folds up for storage
- Works with just room air
This is the easiest, safest herb dehydrator. There is no electric or heating element involved. Simply hang the net in a warm, dry area. Place a single layer of herbs on each tray and allow it to dry. This method will take longer than an electric model, but it will easily dry your herbs off-grid.
Our Pick for the Best Dehydrator for Drying Herbs
To be honest, you could dry herbs in just about any dehydrator. You can also dry them without one! You can use the oven, the microwave, or just a warm, dry room. But for quicker, safer dehydrating, we love the Excalibur Dehydrator.
We chose this one for its large capacity, quiet operation, adjustable temperature, and safety features. We also love that this is a trusted and well-known brand.
The cost of the Excalibur is reasonable, and you can use it for drying a variety of foods as well as your herbs.