How to Dry Oregano

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Do you have a nursery loaded with oregano? You can enjoy the great flavor of oregano in dishes and meals throughout the year if you learn how to dry it!

I started a few oregano plants from seed about seven years ago. I ended up with about three quarts of dried oregano that summer.

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My oregano patch has grown exponentially, almost out of control, over the past seven years.

I use lots of it for my broiled pureed tomatoes each mid year, yet I likewise dry a great deal to use in soups, sauces, and different dishes the entire winter while the plant is generally lethargic in the nursery.

So, how is oregano dried? Let’s get started because it’s so simple!

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A couple of tips before we start:

You want to dry oregano as quickly as possible after harvesting it. New spices make the best dried spices.

After the dew has dried, harvest your herbs during the sunny part of the day.

Oregano is best harvested just before it flowers to dry it. The taste will be better and you will make some more straightforward memories getting the leaves off the plants without blossom heads or seeds disrupting the general flow. In zone 7, my oregano is green and ready to be harvested for drying in late April and early May. I harvest it any time during this time, but the leaves are most flavorful just before it flowers.

How to Dry Oregano Are you ready to Take Charge of Your Food and Make More Preserves? You can plan and preserve more food this year by using my Food Preservation Planner! includes cheat sheets for canning, freezing, and dehydrating!

Fresh oregano stems on a dehydrator tray in a solar dehydrator, hanging (air dry), electric dehydrator, or oven (not recommended) All of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but I prefer to dry oregano in an electric dehydrator because it produces dried oregano that is uniformly dry in a shorter amount of time.

The amount of sunlight, humidity, and other outside factors will affect how well oregano will hang or dehydrate in the sun. In the event that the right circumstances aren’t there, you might wind up with rotten oregano before the spice is totally dry. A stove typically doesn’t remain at a sufficiently low temperature to dry the oregano-and NOT cook it equitably.

It is necessary to dry herbs at a relatively low temperature. At least 105 degrees Fahrenheit, or the flavor will suffer—an additional reason not to use your oven.

My favorite food dehydrator is the Excalibur 9 Tray Food Dehydrator, which I use all summer long. You can also find other options in my Dehydrator Buying Guide. This dehydrator is ideally suited for drying spices like calendula, thyme, rosemary, basil, dill and obviously oregano!

You must begin with clean, fresh herbs. We do not pre-wash anything because we grow everything organically; however, if your oregano is not organic or has been sprayed, you will need to wash it first.

Before drying your oregano, be sure to remove any obvious weeds, grass, bugs, or eggs.

If you want, you can dry the leaves one at a time, but this is unnecessary because the leaves are so simple to remove once they have dried. Just lay your stems of oregano on the dehydrator plate in as near a solitary layer as you can.

Because the oregano dried quickly even when they were still touching, I don’t bother to separate each stem. However, in order to accommodate the additional height, you may need to skip all other dehydrator trays.

handful of dried oregano, with the jar and stems in the background. Close your dehydrator and heat it up to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on how much oregano you are drying, whether you left the stems on, and the humidity in your home, it should take 4 to 10 hours.

When done, dried oregano will be completely dry and crisp. The stems will be completely dry and rigid—no flipping over!—while the leaves will be shriveled.

Turn off your dehydrator when it reaches this point, and then let the dried oregano cool completely.

Now is the time to remove the stems from your oregano and store it!

jar of dried oregano with stems in the background This step can get a little messy when drying oregano! I normally work right at my dehydrator, putting the stems on the open cover and the leaves in the container.

Take a few dried oregano stems and lightly crush the leaves with your hand. Not hard enough to crush the stem but hard enough to crush the leaves and knock them off their stems.

You can likewise tenderly run your give over the stem to eliminate the leaves.

I either do this over an open paper pack or a bricklayer container with my wide mouth canning pipe on top-permitting the passes on to fall, and disposing of the stems into another heap.

Continue working until the stems of all of your dried oregano leaves have been removed. The leaves should be kept instead of the stems.

How to Store Dried Oregano I use glass mason jars with standard canning lids to store all of my herbs. Metal lids and rings are what I use because I’ve found that plastic lids for mason jars don’t keep the herbs as tightly as I’d like, which could lead to spoilage.

Glass with an airtight lid is the best container for storing dried herbs if you don’t have any spare mason jars.

Make an effort to use your jar within a year and store it in a dry, dark pantry, spice cabinet, or other location.

How to Use Dry Oregano in Place of Fresh Oregano Do you have a recipe that calls for fresh oregano but only uses dried oregano? Consider the following substitutions as a guide:

1 tablespoon fresh oregano 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon powdered oregano If you’re like me, you can never have too much flavor, so I just add a handful!