There are several methods used to dry parsley for storing. The most popular options are air drying or sun drying. For fast results, an oven may be used when you want to dry parsley for cooking. If the herb is to be used for its medicinal purposes, the heat of the oven can destroy many of its benefits, however.
No matter what method you choose, start with freshly picked herbs before drying. Flat leaf parsley is typically preferred because curly parsley tends to lose all flavor in the drying process; freezing is usually better for this type. Fresh picked herbs should be gently rinsed and patted dry before the drying process begins.
Air drying is one of the easiest and most foolproof ways to dry parsley as long as you have a hot, dry room available. In most instances, an attic, garage, or garden shed are good options because there is typically less moisture in these rooms. If you run a dehumidifier in your house, you can dry parsley inside. For this method, create bunches of freshly picked, clean parsley and tie them together with a string. Hang them in a warm, dry room and keep them there until the leaves and stems are dry and brittle to the touch. Depending on the temperature and humidity of the room, this can take anywhere from a few days to a week.
It is also possible to dry parsley in the sun. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and spread the parsley out in a single layer over the rack. Put the parsley outside on a dry, sunny morning when you are not expecting any rain for the next several days. Leave the parsley outside to dry, turning it over once a day. To protect the herb from dew accumulation at night, take the parsley inside at sunset and place it back outside the next day. Depending on the weather, this method will typically take two to five days.
If you are in a hurry or expecting very wet weather for the foreseeable future, you can dry parsley in the oven. Simply spread the herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in a 180° Fahrenheit (82° Celsius) oven for two to four hours. You may want to adjust this temperature depending on whether your oven runs hot or cold.
During this process, check on the parsley every half hour to ensure it is not burning. Once the leaves and stems are dry, crumbly, and before they turn black, remove the parsley and allow it to cool. While this method is fine for cooking with parsley, the high heat of the oven can destroy the medicinal properties of this herb. In this case, sun or air drying is preferred.