Dry Sage – That’s How it Works

Drying sage – that’s what matters

  • To ensure that the dried sage retains its full aroma, wait until just before flowering in June/July before harvesting. This is when the essential oil content is at its highest.
  • Rinse the sage plant gently the day before harvest. Before you start harvesting in the morning hours, the sage should be completely dry. Cut off whole branches or shoot tips.
  • Carefully sort out damaged, withered plant parts and leaves with white spots. Simply shake off any dust or crumbs of earth that may still be sticking.
  • The sage dries better if you don’t wash it again.

Air dry sage

It takes between 8 and 14 days for the sage to air dry.

  • To air dry, tie whole shoots together in small bundles at the bottom. Hang these bundles upside down in an airy, dark place protected from rain.
  • Tie individual sage leaves together on the stems to form small bouquets and hang them up to dry. Alternatively, spread the leaves out on newspaper to dry.

Dry the sage in the oven

In the oven, sage dries within 6 – 8 hours.

  • Spread the sage on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. It is important that the individual sage parts do not touch.
  • Place the tray in the oven preheated to 40 degrees with circulating air. Do not close the oven door to allow moisture to escape. Clamp a wooden spoon or cork between them to leave the oven door ajar.
  • Turn the leaves every 30 minutes.

Dry sage in the microwave

Not many herbs can be dried in the microwave. This method works for sage.

  • To do this, fill the leaves or shoots in a microwave-safe container. Sheets will dry faster if not stacked.
  • Set the microwave power to a maximum of 200 watts and place the container with the sage in the microwave.
  • Check the degree of drying every 10 seconds. Turn the sheets over and start a 10-second drying process again. Repeat this for as long as necessary.

Dry the sage in the dehydrator

If you have a dehydrator, you can also use it to dry sage.

  • Distribute leaves or shoots on the sieve trays, whereby the individual tiers should be no more than 90 percent occupied.
  • Remove any sieves that are not required. The recommended number of degrees for drying the herbs can be found in the operating instructions for the device.
  • Typically, sage dries within 8 to 10 hours.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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