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Storing herbs what's the best way? Vote in the Poll

Poll Results: What's the best way to store herbs for later use???

Poll expired: Jul 17, 2008  
  • 8% (2)
    Freeze the herbs into cubes then remove and store in a freezer bag
  • 88% (22)
    Use a vacum sealer and just stuff them in the freezer afterward
  • 0% (0)
    Layer them in rock salt and store in an air tight container
  • 4% (1)
    Store them in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and use later
25 Total Votes  
post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is my first year growing herbs. I have about 8 different plants i'm growing, but a few have gone out of control! Mainly the mint, oregano, cilantro, and basil. I was reading that you can chop and freeze your basil in the other post, but the person who did the testing didn't test on using vacum sealed freezer bags?

I also have a dehidrator that I can use to make dry herbs.

So what's the best way to store them?
post #2 of 9
Vacuum sealer all the way. There are so many uses for it. I aleays smoke more than we can eat and vacuum pack meats, whatever, then freeze. You can keep stuff up to a year in some cases without loosing freshness and flavor.
post #3 of 9
You should also consider drying them and storing in airtight containers a la AB. If you want to skip straight to the point start at 2:45 into part two.

Good Eats S7E13P1: Herbal Preservation

Good Eats S7E13P2: Herbal Preservation
post #4 of 9
I kind of skipped over the dehydrating part. I do peppers every year. I prefer them dehydrayted and powdered. So, I grind them in a coffee grinder each fall and store in airtight containers. I guess you can go either way, if you prefer powder, do that. If you want something close to fresh, go vacuum sealer.

Honestly, why not do both?

post #5 of 9
Another way is to freeze them in water. Ice cube trays work great for portion control.
post #6 of 9
Anyone try vac sealing and freezing cilantro ? My wife has heard that it's hard to keep the flavor over time. It's pretty seasonal here and it would be great if we could save some for the winter.
post #7 of 9
We have tons of basil this year, so I just tried vac sealing quite a bit and stuck it in a freezer. Is that all most of you guys do for this? How does it hold up?

I'm sure it'll be limp, but I'm thinking for a pesto, it should work great. I typically make up a huge batch of pesto, spoon it into ice trays and freeze it. Pop em out and stick in a ziplock bag for use one at a time later.

I didn't have time to make the pesto this time, but it was flowering and needed pulling off, so it's in the freezer.

post #8 of 9

more herbs than Herb

I'm a beer brewer, and I am a huge fan of preserving things into a different food stuff. beer is just preserved grain?!?

How about basil oil.
I am not talking a few sprigs drowned in a bottle of oil with a dainty ribbon tied around it. Be careful with raw or fresh foods preserved in oil, you can get very sick and possibly hurt someone. Food Born Illnessicon_evil.gif .

I am talking a bright almost ink-like green oil that is scented and flavored like basil, or pretty much any herb you use.

to make 1 -2 quart of oil:
2 - 4 lbs. of fresh basil
1-3 lbs of fresh parsley (more or less depending on basil amount)it just adds more green with little flavor interuption
1 - 2qt. of good oil, (not the exspensive strong olive oil), canola, peanut, grapeseed work great.

A nice striner that you can set over a container fo a day or two.
several layers of cheese cloth

A large pot of boiling water
Ice bath

A good blender

1. dip herbs for 5 - 10 seconds in boiling water then quickly move to ice bath. this breaks the cloroform cells so they are easier to extract.
2. make sure the herbs are dried thoroughly and chopped to shorten any fibers in the plant. It makes it easier for the blender.
3. in the blender, start pureeing the herbs with about a cup of oil until they are a paste. add about 2 more cups of oil and puree for 5 - 10 minutes. the more you smashh the cells the more green you will get
4. strain the mixture several time through cheesecloth. i/e. 1st time no cloth, 2nd two layers of cloth, 3rd 4 layers of cloth. the clearer the oil, the longer it will last. If you are patient you can get it crystal clear, but green like a st patrick's day beer
5. make sure to remove any water left in the mixture, it falls to the bottom usually.
6. store in an air tight container away from light and excess heat.
great for garnish, awesome on icecream, beautiful salad dressings.
I made green mashed potatoes with chive oil.
I have used it to make green sausages, but the green cooks out.

green is the new purple!
Smoke on and garden on
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well it looks like the best way is to vacum seal them. I'm about the prune and preseve cilantro, basil, dill, and oragano. Since they are ALL very large I would like to dig them out and plant smaller ones and just use the frozen bags for storage. I'm planning on dehydrating 1 bunch of each herb then vacum sealing and freezing. Then I'll take the whole leaves from of each herb and try vacum sealing and freezing for fresh herbs. Hopefully around Nov - Dec they will be just as good.
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