How To Dry Cilantro And Store It

What Is CilantroHarvesting CilantroPreserving CilantroStoring CilantroDrying CilantroConclusion

Being able to store the harvest from your plants is very important to know. Thankfully it’s very simple to dry and store cilantro. The plant does not take that long to dry and will keep very well if you find a dry spot to keep it in. The secret being to keep moisture away from it to not have it start to mold.

Storing fresh cilantro plants is best done in the fridge. After harvesting the stems they will begin a process of wilting. But to slow down this you should try and keep them cold as much as possible and in a dry environment too. In a container with some kitchen paper is our go-to.

Cilantro Leaves
Cilantro Leaves

What Is Cilantro

Cilantro is a very common herb that a lot of people like to have in or with their food. Most commonly perhaps used in Mexican food. It’s a great addition to spicy food as the flavors play really well off each other.

The cilantro plant is very easy to grow at home since it won’t require that much effort to care for. The plant will be able to grow in a number of different places. But the plant prefers a soil which is well draining but never left to completely dry out. 

Try to fertilize the soil every now and again to boost the potential harvest of the plant. We often see that the plant will feel even better if it gets a lot of sunlight each day. About 6 – 8 hours or so is a good amount to aim for.

Harvesting And Drying Cilantro

Harvesting cilantro is really easy to do. The plant will be able to relatively quickly grow back the stems that it had before you harvested. We recommend you only cut back about 1 fourth of the plant at most.

Try to cut close to the main stem to treat the plant the best way. These stems should be put on a flat tray and then slowly dried in the oven at a low temperature.

This is the best technique to use if you don’t have a dehydrator at home already. It will keep all the flavor of the cilantro as we are drying the plant at a very low temperature. To store the cilantro a little bit more efficiently you could crush it after it has been dried completely. Keep it in an airtight container and at room temperature. This will keep for at least 6 months. But if you are any like us, then it will probably be finished well before that.

Preserving Cilantro For Long-Term Storage

The best way to preserve the cilantro for the long term is by drying it. If you follow our techniques and methods here then you will have it able to keep for at least 6 months or so.

Some other ways of preserving the cilantro would be to either make oil from it or a pesto. Blending the cilantro with just oil and then freezing it will keep for a long time. But making pesto might be the best route. It keeps very well in the freezer and wont change that much in flavor once you defrost it.

How Do You Store Dried Cilantro

Storing cilantro that has been dried might be one of the most important things we need to get right. If there is moisture getting in contact with the dried herbs then it will create an ideal place for mold to grow.

To avoid this we recommend you using an airtight container and storing this in room temperature away from stoves or fridges.

Cilantro Stems
Cilantro Stems

Techniques For Drying Cilantro

There are many different ways for drying cilantro to keep the flavor of the herb for the long term. Below are some of the possible methods that you could use, we provide you with several so you can find the one that fits the best for you.

Air Drying

Air drying is probably the most simple way to dry the herbs. We do this by tying a bundle of cilantro with some string. Tie the bundle to something so it can hang freely and dry from all angles.

Depending on the size of the bundle it should dry between 1 – 2 weeks or so. Keep it away from stoves or fridges as any form of moisture that reaches the herbs will just slow down the drying process.

Oven Drying

Drying in the oven is a really fast and easy method to use at home. Simply put the oven at the lowest temperature possible. Lay the cilantro flat over a tray with some paper underneath.

Place the cilantro in there and let it dry. It should take around 6 – 8 hours depending on the size of the cilantro.

Microwaving Cilantro

Microwaving cilantro is perhaps the hardest one to do. Much because if you do it for too long it might instead just turn burnt and smell off. 

We recommend just microwaving the cilantro in small bursts at a time. Do this until the cilantro is crispy and completely dried.

Dehydrating Cilantro

This is probably the most expensive option to take. It works much the same way as drying it in the oven. But instead we are using a dehydrator. These can be rather expensive if you want to buy one that will last for many many years.

Dry it at a low temperature until it’s completely dried. Store it afterwards in a very airtight container in room temperature.

Conclusion And Takeaways

Drying cilantro is best done in the oven or outside tied like a bundle. These are the least impactful methods to the flavor of the herb. Any herb that is drying and losing moisture will shift slightly in taste. It will especially do this if the temperature is too high.

Low and slow wins here. Done right you can keep the dried cilantro for at least 6 months in total before it starts losing flavor and aroma.

Additional Information

Read more articles about Preserving Your Garden

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