Which herb drying rack is best?
Growing herbs is an easy way to save money and improve your cooking at the same time. They typically require less space than vegetables and can flourish in even shady conditions. But what do you do at the end of the growing season when you have an abundance of herbs? Some herbs can be pureed with olive oil and frozen into cubes, but the universal way to preserve herbs is by drying.
An herb drying rack lets you put up large quantities of herbs in a contained space. The Seropy Herb Drying Rack is a large mesh rack that also comes with harvesting tools.
What to know before you buy an herb drying rack
Style of herb drying rack
You have choices when it comes to the style of a drying rack.
- Hanging with clips: The simplest herb drying rack is a hanging structure with clips. This might be as simple as a piece of wood that hangs on the wall or a circle mounted from the ceiling.
- Hanging with mesh: Hanging mesh drying racks protect herbs from pests and allow air to circulate freely all around.
- Stackable: Stackable racks require counter space, which can be challenging depending on the number of racks you need.
Materials for an herb drying rack include:
Keep in mind that metal and wood are heavier and best reserved for stackable racks. If you are drying more substantial herbs such as rosemary, you might want a sturdier material. However, lightweight plastic and mesh drying racks work well for things like oregano, basil and thyme.
Size of the harvest
If you only dry a few handfuls of herbs per season, you won’t need a large rack and can go with something simple. However, if you routinely put up a year’s worth of herbs grown from herb seeds, you’ll need a larger rack.
What to look for in a quality herb drying rack
If you opt for a hanging rack, make sure it includes mounting hardware. This will be specific to the rack you select and rated for the weight it is designed to hold.
If you choose a mesh drying rack, you’ll want to make sure that it is fully enclosed. Some of these have a zipper, while others use overlapping fabric to do the job.
When your harvest is bountiful but your storage options are limited in the offseason, look for a collapsible herb drying rack. These require a minimum of space when not in use.
Some drying racks come with accessories that make it easy to cut and process herbs. These can include:
- Gardening shears
- Storage case
How much you can expect to spend on an herb drying rack
The main variables in the price are the style of the rack and the number of herbs it holds. Expect to spend $10-$50
Herb drying rack FAQ
What’s the best way to dry herbs in a drying rack?
A. There are a few best practices when it comes to drying herbs without molding.
- Space herbs far enough apart so that they do not touch or that the overlap is minimal.
- Make sure the rack is in a cool, dry spot, out of sunlight.
- Consider adding a fan if there is not much air circulation.
- Check your herbs every few days.
- Herbs are dry when the stems no longer bend.
How long do dried herbs last?
A. Dried herbs will last forever, but they won’t keep their flavor that long. When stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool place, dried herbs stay fresh for one to three years.
Can you use an herb drying rack for anything else?
A. Yes! Depending on the size of your rack you can also use it for:
- Drying seeds and flowers
- Drying socks and underwear
- Drying small pieces of art
- Drying wool
Essentially, any small item that needs to be dried but cannot be left out on a counter can be dried in an herb drying rack.
What’s the best herb drying rack to buy?
Top herb drying rack
What you need to know: Choose this rack when you need to dry large quantities of herbs.
What you’ll love: This is a six-layer collapsible mesh drying rack. Each layer closes tightly with a zipper to prevent contamination from pests or dust. It is sturdy enough to dry clothes in, too. It comes with pruning shears, a hanging hook, a carrying case and gardening gloves.
What you should consider: Check your package carefully to make sure everything listed in the package arrives. Some people did not receive shears or gardening gloves.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top herb drying rack for the money
What you need to know: This is a smaller drying rack that can be collapsed and stored in a compact case.
What you’ll love: Four levels of enclosed mesh hang from a steel hook. The total height is just over 2.5 feet. Each level accommodates nearly 8 inches of herbs. It comes with pruning shears and a storage bag. It is also available in two-, six- and eight-layer racks.
What you should consider: Be careful when you open this rack. It is coiled steel and springs out when it is released from its package.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you need a more stylish drying rack, this boho-chic macrame option is for you.
What you’ll love: It is 24 inches from the hanger to the 12-inch ring. Eight metal hooks are evenly spaced and accented with handcrafted macrame and sustainable mango wood beads. This is best for quick-drying herbs or flowers. It comes with a tote bag in a gift box.
What you should consider: This is more decorative, so if you routinely process large amounts of herbs, keep looking.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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