dry chives

How To Dry Fresh Chives Successfully

The long green stems and flowers characteristic of chives makes them both a flavorful and colorful addition to meals. 

Table Of Contents

Fresh chives will last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator before they start to wilt and turn slightly slimy. To avoid wasting these delicious herbs you can dry them. 

Drying chives will retain their flavor for up to 2 years. 

Here is your full guide to successfully drying chives. 

Types of Chives

Chives are closely related to common onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks. Their flavor is, however, milder which makes them great in culinary uses as a fresh ingredient, cooked, or dried. The green stalks, also known as scapes, as well as the flowers, are both edible. 

The light purple flowers have a mild onion flavor whilst Chinese chives (also called garlic chives) have white flowers with a very strong garlic flavor. The flowers can be tossed into salads or used as a garnish.

The most commonly used part of the chive is its long green leaves. These are diced and used as a garnish, flavor enhancer in soups, stews, dressings, and dips, as well as a popular addition to potato, egg, and fish dishes.

Can You Dry Chives?

Yes, chives can be dried and kept for up to 2 years to spice up your cooking. A warm, dry climate provides the ideal drying conditions for the herb. 

If you live in a very humid area, it is best to use heat-drying methods such as the oven or a food dehydrator.

Humidity and moisture in the air can lead to mold forming before the herb has a chance to dry out completely. 

Air-drying chives by hanging is the most time-consuming dehydration method and can take up to 2 weeks. This method is, however, the best way to preserve the flavor. 

Once dehydrated and packed into airtight containers, chives should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

How To Dry Chives

Preparation

Before you start the dehydration process, rinse the leaves under cold water. Dab them dry with a clean paper towel and leave them for a few minutes to air dry further. All the excess moisture from washing should be dried before you start the dehydration process.

Discard any yellowed, brown, or moldy bits.

Option 1: Air-Dry by Hanging

Step 1: Form Bundles

Gather the long chive leaves into bundles and tie them together at the base with an elastic or piece of string. Don’t make the bundles too big to allow even airflow and drying.

Step 2: Hang

Place a brown paper bag over the chive bundle. Cut holes in the bag to allow sufficient air circulation while protecting the herbs from dust and discoloration. Do not use a plastic bag as this will not allow sufficient airflow.

Choose a place with good light and air circulation to hang the bundles. Avoid areas that are moist such as spaces near a stove. Avoid drying the chives in direct sunlight as this will dull the color.

The drying process can take up to 2 weeks depending on the climate. Check them every couple of days to ensure no mold is developing. 

When the chive leaves are dry, brittle, and break when bent they are ready. If the chives are still pliable and do not break they need more drying time.

Step 3: Pack

Take the dried herb bundles down and place the leaves on a piece of parchment paper or cutting board. Crumble the leaves with your fingers or cut them into small pieces with a knife.

Step 4: Store

Store the dried chives in a mason jar or container with a lid and label it with the date and contents.

Option 2: Oven-Drying

Step 1: Preheat Oven

Preheat the oven to its lowest heat setting around 185 °F (80 °C) or lower.

Step 2: Prepare Leaves

Cut the cleaned leaves with a knife or pair of scissors into ¼ inch pieces (0.6 cm). Spread the pieces out in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.

Step 3: Bake

Place the tray inside the preheated oven and bake for 1 to 2 hours. Check the chives periodically to ensure they are not burning. The chives should be brittle and crumble between your fingers when they are completely dehydrated.

Step 4: Store

Store the dried chives in a mason jar or container with a lid and label it with the date and contents.

Option 3: Food Dehydrator

To dry chives in a food dehydrator clean, chop, and spread them out on a tray as you would with the oven-drying method. Place a rack over the top of the chives to prevent them from flying around during the drying process. 

The chives should take approximately one hour to dry at 90 °F (32 °C) in your dehydrator.


FAQs

Conclusion

Chives add a lovely garlic-onion flavor to dishes without being overpowering. They are versatile as a garnish, used in omelets, salads, dips, dressings, and potato salads, as well as in cooked dishes such as stews, sauces, soups, and casseroles.

Before storing dried chives or chive blossoms, always make sure they are completely dehydrated. If there is any moisture present in the herb, mold will develop even if stored in an airtight container.

Keep your herbs in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, and you’ll have great flavor handy in your pantry for a whopping 2 years! You can also freeze chives to preserve it.

Check more guides how to dry rosemary, dill, mint, sage and thyme.

drying fresh chives

*image by PantherMediaSeller/depositphotos

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