If you grow herbs to harness their culinary, medicinal and household uses, drying them is a great way to preserve a bountiful harvest for later use. Although there are several ways to dry herbs, using a drying rack helps the process along.
Types of Drying Racks
There are many drying racks for herbs to choose from. Each has pros and cons but all are effective. They may be made of metal, wood, PVC or netting and come in a range of sizes and prices.
Hanging Drying Racks
Hanging drying racks are hung from ceilings or rafters or attached to walls. They are good for drying herb bundles or, if they have individual shelves, for drying herbs flat. They may or may not be enclosed by mesh or netting. Here are some to consider:
- Gardener's Supply Hanging Drying Rack: This rack features six hooks for air drying herbs and earned an average four-and-a-half stars from customers. A pro is its small size, so it doesn't need a large area. It comes with only six hooks so you are limited to the number of herbs you can dry; however, additional hooks are available to purchase. The rack is great for backyard herb growers who dry a few herbs at a time. Cost: $19.95
- Home Depot Organic Dry-It Rack: This rack is good for people with larger herb harvests. The hanging rack has eight levels approximately 23" in circumference. What makes it stand out is that it's collapsible and comes with a carrying case for easy storage. Because the rack is 63" tall, you'll need a large area to hang it. Says one happy customer, "It has eight layers so plenty of space and is easy to hang." Cost: $29.97
- Drying Rack with Magic Wooden Cubes: This unique rack is made of wood and packs a small footprint but major usability. It is featured on Gardenista and earned an average of five stars from satisfied customers. It attaches to the wall with "magic wooden cubes" that are magnetic so no drilling holes is needed. The cubes also make it simple to move the rack from one place to another. Although the rack's design limits the number of herbs you can dry, you can eliminate that problem by purchasing additional racks. Cost: $32.88
Standing Drying Racks
Standing drying racks include accordion racks for hanging herb bundles or standing cabinet or box-style racks with multiple or single shelves for drying herbs flat. Some racks are stackable and fit on a countertop. Here are options to consider:
- Customer comments include, "Very well made, very good quality," and "strong and stable." Cost: $46.79
- Cooling racks aren't just for cookies. They are also great for drying herbs. This set of three racks from Sunflair are stackable and can be placed anywhere in your home. You won't be able to bundle herbs to dry with this rack but it's great for any herb that lies flat. These racks are also oven safe so if you prefer to dry herbs in the oven, you can use these. The rack collapses when not in use for easy storage. Customers gave it an average four-and-a-half star rating for being a space saver, easy clean-up and versatility. Cost $27.48
- Home Depot Stackable Herb Drying Rack: At $7.48 each, these racks are an inexpensive way to dry herbs. Each stackable rack is made with a PVC base. Depending on your herb harvest, you can use just one or stack as many as you like. Customers gave the rack high marks for its versatility and large size.
- The Skinni-Mini herb drying rack cabinet features open wooden slats and three tiers for drying herbs. It's handmade to order and has two drawers and a removable top. Cost is $49.95. A larger version with three drawers and a stationary top is available for $99.95. Both cabinets can serve double duty as a decorative piece of furniture or for use under kitchen cabinets. Says one customer, "It's unique and crafted beautifully!"
DIY Drying Racks
If you're great at do-it-yourself projects, you can create a drying rack from common household items or using wood and window screens.
- Fresh Eggs Daily offers instructions on its website for creating a hanging drying rack out of picture frames, chain and window screening.
- Whole Home News has building plans to make a drying rack that allows herbs to lie flat or hang. While this option is more complicated than others, the rack should last for years to come.
- Scrap wood and netting are all you need to make this drying rack by White Weathered Hutch.
- Do you have an old, short ladder hanging around? Homesteading in Maine suggests using it as a drying rack by leaning it against a wall or hanging it from the ceiling using heavy chain.
- HGTV has instructions on its website to make a drying rack out of a recycled lampshade frame.
- Any accordion or straight shelf with pegs can be used as a rack to dry herbs. You can also hang herb bundles to dry from decorative door pulls attached to pieces of wood.
- Pot racks perform double duty as drying racks.
A Range of Options
Herb drying racks are versatile and sometimes decorative. Whether you prefer to bundle herbs and hang them to dry or dry them flat, there are many options to choose from. No matter what your budget or harvest, there is an herb drying rack to meet your needs or, with a little creativity, you can make your own. Whatever route you choose, drying herbs will be a breeze.