How to Dehydrate Chives

Drying herbs are a pretty easy thing.  We place them in our dehydrator at 95 degrees for 6-8 hours or until they are fragile (it’s the best way to describe it).

There are two considerations:

  1. Heat.  if it gets too warm you’ll end up with brown herbs that don’t have a lot of flavor.  Low and slow is what you’re looking for here (many dry in open air).
  2. Chopping before or after.  Cutting them beforehand is easier but smaller pieces have more exposure to air and will lose their flavor quicker.  I’ll use these well before the flavor runs low so I chopped them.  I wasn’t too worried about making them ‘perfect’ – that’s half the fun of doing them by hand.

With herbs that may fly away (like small pieces of chives), I lay a second dehydrating mat directly on top of the herbs to stop them from possibly blowing around.  I also don’t chop the final bits of fresh chives that would take some fussing – I keep those fresh for cooking.

The smell and flavor are so superior to what you can buy at the store.

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  1. Last year I attempted to dehydrate chives in a food dehydrator. I ended up with a house that smelled like chives for about 2 weeks, and bright green but absolutely tasteless chives…This same dehydrator (inexpensive at a local camping store) produced perfect dried herbs like tarragon, basil, marjoram, etc..
    Any thoughts?

    • Beth, we had almost no smell and great results…

      My guess (and it’s just that) is that your unit runs a little hot and that the chives which have thiner walls than he others so they over-dried… We dry herbs at 95 but some of our veg is up to 145 – jerky even hotter. If your unit has a single temperature it’s likely it’s heat is somewhere in the middle. For example, we did wild leek leaves at the same time and they took 3 times as long as their cell structure is much more rugged…

      Not sure if that helps…

  2. Did the dehydrating mats come with your dehydrator, or are they a stand-alone item? I’d like to try dehydrating herbs in my oven (turned off) using just the light bulb to achieve the 90-95 degrees. I’d prefer to use a vented surface rather than a baking sheet. Thanks in advance!

    • Anne,

      these did come with our dehydrator but you could buy similar sheets (love your lightbulb idea) or use a silpat sheet. You may also just want to leave them whole as they are less likely to ‘travel’.

      I’d be curious to try a cookie sheet with alunimum foil on top and a few holes popped in it – no promises but that’s probably where I’d start (you can save the foil and use again as well)…

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  5. I am going to attempt to dehydrate chives from my garden. yay. I read your article and found it very helpful. I am curious about the screen that is pictures in this article. Is it for an oven or a dehydrator? I have been looking for something for use in my oven and can not seem to find anything that will allow the air to circulate. Please help.

  6. I recently tried to dehydrate chives….the dehydrator ran for three day and nights at 95 an they look like they sat on the counter a few hours. Only wilted. Nothing even close to dried. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Leah,

      Sorry for your frustation…

      When it comes to drying herbs, and especially chives (which are smooth skinned and don’t release their moisture easily) the keys include:
      * Chopping them (this allows the moisture to escape through the ends)
      * Heat (you had it right at 95 degrees)
      * Air circulation (which your dehydrator should look after

      Assuming you’ve done all of the above it doesn’t sound to me like you’ve done anything wrong. High humidity could slow things down – but 3 days sounds long, even with that…

      I haven’t experienced what you have; I’m guessing my reply won’t reveal anything big – I’m afraid I’m at a bit of a loss… If I think of something I will add it here…