To dry basil, trim and rinse the leaves, and place them on the racks of a dehydrator. Drying times vary from one to four hours, and the leaves are dry when they crumble.
- Cut the basil
The oil in basil is at its peak just before flowering, which is the best time to cut the leaves for drying. Cut off large stems in the early or mid-morning before the sun has a chance to dry out the leaves. Shake each stem to remove dirt and insects. Remove and discard any dead or damaged leaves.
- Rinse and dry the leaves
Rinse the stems in cold water, and shake to remove the excess water. Pick off the leaves, and lay them out in a single layer on a paper towel. Place another sheet of paper towel on top, and gently press to dry.
- Dry the basil
Because basil has a high moisture content, the leaves are best dried in a dehydrator. If air dried, basil is likely to develop mold. Pre-heat the dehydrator from 95 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If the humidity is particularly high, increase the temperature to 125 degrees. On the drying racks, arrange the basil leaves in a single layer. Allow the basil to dry for one to four hours. The leaves are dry once they crumble. Store in an airtight container.