Can I Use Dried Mint Instead Of Fresh Mint? (ANSWERED)

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Can I use parsley instead of basil?

Mint is a versatile herb commonly used in candies, desserts, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Though over twenty types of mint are used in cooking, the two most common are spearmint and peppermint. The only issue is they are not always available fresh.

If you have ever wondered, can I use dried mint instead of fresh? You have come to the right place. 

In this piece, we look at using dried instead of fresh mint along with:

  • Does dried mint taste the same as fresh mint?

  • Is dried mint stronger than fresh mint?

  • What is a good substitute for fresh mint?

  • What kind of mint is dried mint?

  • How to dry mint at home?

  • What is the best mint for cooking?

So, can I use dried mint instead of fresh mint? 

dried mint flavor

You can use dried mint instead of fresh mint in most dishes but be aware there will be a difference in taste and texture. 

Fresh mint is refreshing and peppery with a menthol coolness that makes it ideal for sweets, a natural for chocolate dishes, and ideal for summer salads and salsa.  Texturally fresh mint leaves are tender and silky. They are easily torn and chewed. 

Dried mint has a sweet earthy flavor with touches of eucalyptus that you don’t get with fresh mint. It is also more aromatic and stands up better in heavier sauces. Of course, being dried, the texture of dried mint leaves is very different from fresh. They are crumbly and can be gritty if they are from older leaves.

Despite these differences, you can use dried mint in place of fresh in almost all instances.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fresh and Dried Mint

Does dried mint taste the same as fresh mint?

fresh mint flavor

Dried mint doesn’t taste the same as fresh mint. In fact, the flavor profiles of fresh and dried mint are so far apart that many chefs consider them two completely different ingredients. 

As odd as it may sound, fresh mint tastes cool. The menthol contained in fresh mint leaves creates more of a temperature sensation than taste. Aside from the cooling effect, most fresh mint is sweet with a slightly bitter edge. Some varieties like peppermint and water mint can be pretty savory and spicy.

Dried mint is more aromatic and pungent than fresh mint. It is sweet and earthy with eucalyptus undertones that can border on medicinal. 

These distinct flavor profiles make dried mint better suited for heavier dishes, while fresh is more at home in lighter, more refreshing fare.

Is dried mint stronger than fresh mint?

dried mint amount

Dried mint has a stronger, more robust flavor than fresh mint. If using dried mint to replace fresh mint in a recipe, it is advisable only to use about one-quarter the amount of dried mint you would fresh. 

What is a good substitute for fresh mint?

Perhaps the best substitute for fresh mint would be mint extract. This tincture of spearmint and peppermint oils provides a well-balanced flavor at home in a wide variety of dishes. Fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves are also good choices.

Depending on the dish and your personal flavor preferences, other possibilities would include:

  • Marjoram

  • Anise

  • Basil

  • Tarragon

  • Rosemary

What kind of mint is dried mint?

spearmint and peppermint

There are over 20 different types of mint that are considered culinary herbs. Any of them might be included in dried mint blends. 

In most cases, when buying dried mint in a bottle, you are getting either dried spearmint or a blending of spearmint and peppermint.

If you cook with dried mint, it is best to find one brand that matches your taste and use it exclusively. Using a single quality brand helps to prevent unexpected results in your dishes. 

How do you dry mint at home?

drying mint

If you are not in a hurry, you can dry mint at home by simply tying the stalks together, hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated room, and allowing them to dry. This method can take two weeks or longer, depending on humidity levels.

A faster method of drying mint leaves is to use either a food dehydrator or oven on low heat (40°C/105°F). Remove the leaves from the stems. Spread them evenly on a rack and place them in the oven or dehydrator. 

When the leaves are crumbly (3-5 hours), turn off the heat. 

It is vital to allow the leaves to cool before storing them in airtight containers. Residual heat can cause condensation that will spoil the mint. 

What is the best mint for cooking?

mint varieties

There is no single best mint for cooking. 

There are many varieties of culinary mint with flavor profiles ranging from fruity to chocolatey to spicy. Which is best in any particular dish is essentially a matter of personal preference. 

Spearmint and peppermint are the most commonly used, but others that are popular include:

  • Apple Mint- Smells like Granny Smith apples.

  • Pineapple Mint- Very fruity and sweet.

  • Orange Mint- Mild minty flavor with a strong citrus note.

  • Chocolate Mint- Strong peppermint flavor with a heavy chocolate overtone.