How to dry herbs in the microwave, your smudge sticks will thank me.

Plucking away at my delectable, way overgrown, herbs is one of my favorite pass times. Which I have been a bit neglectful of late (but my huge basil leaves are a wonderful result of that neglect.) As I am working through my garden I keep thinking about how I want to create a smug stick with pineapple sage and lemon balm. I was tired of burning or cooking with herbs that didn’t have that fragrant power they have when fresh. I came across a blog post by mashup mom talking about drying herbs in the microwave. Which not only dry them quickly but keep them more fresh and fragrant than the other ways I’ve tried. While this was an ideal trick back in my high school days with a little bit of different type of “herbs” I was unsure how it would affect more frail herbs such as lemon balm or basil. So first let us walk through the steps in order to consider this herb drying technique.

Step one: Paper towel me 

First, take a microwave safe plate and put a couple layers of paper towel on top. Take your cleaned herbs and separate them on the paper towel. I put another paper towel on top of the herbs then pop them in the microwave.

Step two: Know your herbs

When drying in the microwave it is important to not over dry them. If you put them in the microwave for too long your just cooking them and they will start to lack in flavor and fragrance. With the more fragile herbs I would suggest starting the time off at 40 seconds, and with the more woodsy herbs start them off at 50 seconds. After the first initial time check them and then follow up 20 seconds at a time until they are dried and will crumble in your hand.


On the left are the herbs I dried in my dehydrator, and on the right are the ones I did in the microwave.

Step three: Enjoy! 

Put them in an airtight container or bundle them to create a smudge stick. Make sure to comment on your wonderful results, and share your success with others!

“The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

                                              -Mark Twain