Chives can be dried just like any other herb. Drying extends its shelf life so that it can be used for a long time after harvest but only works if you do it correctly. Here are some of the best ways to dry your chives.
In the oven
Like most herbs, chives can be dried in the oven. You can chop them first and dry the pieces or you can dry the whole leaves. In either case, you should start with chives that you have rinsed and patted dry. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in your oven on the lowest temperature setting. Most ovens don’t go much below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but a lower temperature setting will be even better.
Leave the oven door open a few inches. Not only does the open door keep the oven from getting too hot. It allows air to circulate so that moist air is drawn out of the oven allowing the chives to dry more efficiently. Turn the oven off after about 20 minutes and let the chives sit in it until they cool.
Using a food dehydrator
Food dehydrators are designed to dry herbs and other food items, which means that it is very difficult to ruin your herbs by drying them in one of these appliances. Leave the chive leaves whole and place them on the device’s trays then follow the instructions for drying herbs.
In most cases, a food dehydrator will keep the temperature in the 125-degree range and will take 1 to 4 hours to do the job. Of course, how long it takes will depend on how much of the herb you are drying.
With the sun
Sun drying is one of the most reliable ways to dry chives and you don’t need any special appliances to do it. You can dry your chive leaves whole or you can chop them first to make them easier to sprinkle. Simply spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and place the baking sheet in a sunny location. If the spot is sunny enough for a long period, you can have dried chives in as little as two days.
Like sun-drying, air-drying is a great way to remove moisture from chives to preserve them. The processes are very similar except with air-drying, you are maximizing the amount of leaf surface that gets exposed to air.
Instead of laying the chives on a baking sheet, the most efficient way to air-dry them will be to hang them up. This method allows the chives to get air from all sides. Tie the chives into bundles of about four or five leaves each and hang in an area with moving air. Your chives will take between two and four weeks to air dry.
In the microwave
If you need to dry your herbs quickly, the best tool is the microwave. Because of how quickly microwaves can dry your chives, you will need to be extra careful. Place whole or chopped chives in a single layer between two paper towels to absorb the moisture microwave on high for about two minutes.
If the chives are not completely dry at the end of that time, microwave again in 15-second bursts until the chives dry out enough that they become brittle.