I recall reading that herbs and shallots should be dried in warm, dry, dark places. The problem is, any place that's dark is moist (my husband brews kombucha there or it's above the washing machine), or it's crowded with no air circulation (like my closet). Above my woodstove would seem to be a good place, as it's nice and dry with good air circulation, but it's one of our few sunny places. What damage will the sun do to drying herbs? Where do you dry your herbs?
I lay my herbs in a single layer (still on the stems/branches) on a rack in an out-of-the-way corner of my kitchen. I don't bother about cool/dark, but I try to avoid direct sunlight. Some people recommend against this, but I'm happy with my results. It takes a couple days to a week before they're dry, and then I generally strip them off the stems and put them into glass jars in a cupboard.
I haven't dried shallots before; I'm assuming you mean curing them for winter storage? I do my garlic bulbs on the same sort of rack, but in my garage, as it generally takes up a lot more space, and is dirtier. I dig up the bulbs, brush off any excess dirt with my hands--a little bit of dirt is still ok, definitely don't get them wet--and just lay them out on the rack with the stalks/growing tips still on. These take a week or more, but they're cured when the stalks can be snapped off by hand, and can be stored in a dark cupboard. I'm assuming shallots can be treated the same way.
Thank you. Yes, I did mean curing for the shallots, I just couldn't remember the term!
I've always liked the look of hanging herbs, and with my small house, it seems like it might be a better use of space? Do you know if it's better, worse, or the same to dry them hanging versus on racks?