Dry oregano and retailer correctly

One of the best additions to any recipe is fresh herbs. Bringing herbs from the garden to the table is a great way to add flavor to various recipes, and the right drying method is essential. Herbs like oregano can be harvested and dried during their growing season. But what's the best way to dry it? In this article, we're going to cover how to dry oregano.

Oregano goes wonderfully with grilled meat and its leaves go very well in sauces. With a little effort in harvesting and drying oregano from the garden, you can get fresh herbs in the kitchen year round. Using the best storage method for your situation will keep the best oregano flavor in any recipe.

You can easily do this with items that you have at home and there are plenty of tricks that you can try. Making sure your drying process is good will do justice to the fresh oregano that has grown in your garden. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try a different way of drying oregano than you are used to.

Methods for drying oregano

Knowing how to properly dry oregano is an absolute necessity. Source: desert hedgehog

If you don't know how to dry oregano, don't be afraid. You can dry herbs in the oven, a dehydrator, or even just a little thread. Some methods require a paper bag, and some require you to break out your baking sheet. One method of drying oregano will work best for your needs.

Don't forget to wash!

All of these methods start after the harvest and washing steps. After washing, pat off any excess moisture and let the oregano dry on a porous cloth or paper towel for at least 5 minutes. It is assumed that you have already taken stems of an oregano plant from your garden, washed, and dried in preparation for the drying process. Read through to find out the best way to dry oregano. And then enjoy oregano in recipes!


After you've washed your oregano stalks and dried them completely, place them on your drying tray in a single layer. Before placing the tray on the dehydrator, set it on the lowest setting: between 95 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your dehydrator has multiple layers, dehydrate more oregano or other fresh herbs from your garden on the other trays at the same time. Leave the dehydrator on for 6 to 18 hours. Oregano is ready when the leaves are dry and easily crumble between your fingers. Here you can easily remove completely dried oregano leaves from the stem for storage and use in your favorite recipe. This is an excellent way to control the temperature and humidity of an herb with very little technical know-how. Multiple bowls allow you to dry oregano with other herbs and foods that you enjoy at the same time.

Advantages and disadvantages of dehydrators

Oregano in the dehydratorA dehydrator is one way to dry out your oregano crop. Source: Flitzy Phoebie

Some dehydrators are expensive and take up a lot of space. They can also be loud and get quite hot. To get the most out of your dehydrator, harvest your oregano when it hits its prime in spring and early summer. This will make the taste of your dried oregano more aromatic and will also last longer when stored. If you let it cool down before storing it, your dry oregano will also last longer.

Dehydrators have many features that allow them to dry oregano in less than the 6-18 hours mentioned above. It is possible to first dry oregano at a higher temperature (approx. 145 degrees) for the first 30 minutes and then lower the temperature to the recommended 95 to 125 degrees for a shorter time than originally required. Check the oregano leaves on the grid every hour to make sure they are drying and not boiling.


If you don't have a dehydrator, try oven drying herbs. Place oregano stalks on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a slightly open oven at a temperature below 180 degrees and in two to four hours you will have dried herbs. As you can see, the oven only takes a short time to dry the oregano leaves.

You can have oven-dried oregano at the same temperature in just an hour. If so, check your branches every 15 minutes after the first hour to make sure they are not too dry. Those that have dried crumbly leaves can be refrigerated for container storage. Immediately take them out of the oven to use in a recipe or save for later.

The advantages and disadvantages of oven drying

Store-bought vs local oreganoHome-grown oregano has better color and taste than store-bought oregano. Source: vigilant20

While oven drying oregano is one of the fastest ways to get from fresh oregano to dried oregano, it is the most energy consuming of all of the methods discussed here. Convection ovens consume less than electric ovens and can be set much lower, which will keep the taste of your oregano fresher.

Every furnace has different settings and requirements. Some run hotter than others, and you may need more prep time to determine the best temperature for drying oregano. Parchment isn't strictly necessary, but it will help prevent the heat from burning your leaves. Make sure there is good air circulation around the baking sheet. If it's too hot, the oils that carry the oregano's flavor can deteriorate and you lose some of the dry herb's flavor.


The microwave oven is the fastest way to cook food and dry herbs. Simply place your sprigs of oregano between two paper towels, then on a plate and in the microwave. Turn the temperature on high and put the microwave on for two to three minutes. You're still looking for oregano in a state where the leaves are dry and crumbly. Microwave another 30 seconds at a time until it does. Easy enough right?

Advantages and disadvantages of microwaves

Yes, a microwave is fast. But it can be dangerous. Because stems and leaves cook quickly in the microwave, they can scorch and start a fire if not properly controlled. Stay vigilant with this method. One way to best preserve the taste of your dried oregano while drying it in the microwave is to avoid over-washing the stems of your oregano plant. By gently washing each stem, you will prevent the oils that are present from leaking out due to bruising.

Since microwaves stimulate water molecules in the food you cook, you should also make sure that your fresh oregano is adequately dried after washing in a salad spinner or between paper towels. If you don't dry well, they can be microwaved. Also avoid prolonged drying in the microwave. Even 5 minutes is too long.

Hang drying

Hang dry is a traditional method that is done with little string and a little space. Bundles of herbs hang upside down on a string in an area with good air circulation and low humidity for several days to several weeks. Some herbs do well outdoors, and some may benefit from a paper bag wrapped with string.

This is the cheapest method of drying herbs, but it requires patience. Hanging herbs in your kitchen makes for some herb pizazz that can make you feel good just looking at the stems. Think about how all of the fresh oregano will soon be stored for year-round use.

Advantages and disadvantages of hanging drying

Fresh oreganoOnce harvested, your fresh oregano can be washed before it dries out. Source: cold_pinguin1952

This takes up the most space and time of all methods – much longer than the oven or dehydration methods listed above. You also need enough space to hang herbs. An air-conditioned environment is important as too much moisture can shape your stems. A herb with tender leaves like oregano may not be the best candidate for drying, while an herb like rosemary may be better because of its woodier stem and needle-like leaves. Since oregano is a herb with many internal oils, it can cause fungal growth, so it is best to check the herbs hung up to dry a few times a day.

Use a paper bag

When drying, wrap a perforated paper bag around the stems and let the leaves fall instead of removing them after the drying process is complete. Once the leaves are dry and crumble between your fingers, they can be stored and used in food. Unlike drying oregano in the oven, microwave, or dehydrator, they don't need to be cooled before storage.

Flat air drying

If you are careful about drying herbs in the oven or microwave and you don't have a dehydrator, you can easily air dry your herbs. Wash your oregano stalks and place them on a baking sheet or tray on a paper towel in a single layer and wait. Rotate the branches every day and check them to make sure that there is no mold growing.

This is another very slow way of drying oregano and can take several days. However, the only energy you will need is flipping oregano on baking sheets or baking sheets. Similar to how you would hang oregano to dry, make sure that the ambient humidity in the room does not cause undesirable effects such as mold. Once the stem of your oregano plant is completely dry and the leaves are crumbling, you can store the herb.

You can perform this method on many different types of trays: a metal baking sheet, glass trays, or even a sieve tray. A sifted bowl can be the most effective way of drying this herb as it allows for complete circulation. Just examine the herb to make sure it is still healthy.

Sun drying

To dry oregano in the sun, wash and pull fresh leaves from the stem. Then place them in a container like a terracotta pot or colander. It is important to provide the leaves with a perforated container that will give the herb enough circulation to avoid excessive moisture. Put the jar by a sunny window and toss the fresh leaves once or twice a day.

In a place with sufficient heat and low humidity, you can dry oregano in a few days. If it is damp there, it can take a few weeks. As with other air drying methods, you need to keep an eye on the herb to make sure that fungus and mold don't develop. When they're done, remove the leaves for long-term storage.

Curing oregano before storage

Processing of oreganoOnce dry, you can crumble your oregano or powder it for storage. Source: vigilant20

After you've dried it, you'll need to remove any residual moisture to prevent mold or fungus growth when storing oregano. This practice is known as curing, and it is imperative to do it before storing your dried oregano.

Why cure herbs?

Curing not only prevents mold and bacteria, but also locks in the taste. Curing also preserves a large part of the molecular structure of oregano. You don't risk losing the hard work you did in your garden to bacterial build-up because the oregano was not properly dried.

How to cure oregano

Use a clear jar (like a mason jar) in a dry and cool room. You can also use vessels made of wood or ceramic. Clear jars make it easy to see if you need to pull oregano out of the container due to excessive moisture causing mold.

Rooms with excess heat and humidity do not have to be used here. We want good circulation and airtight containers. Put them in a dark area of ​​this room. Leave the lid of your container on for about an hour each day for extra circulation. After about a week, you can store your oregano with the lid closed.

Store oregano

Store your oregano in the jar you used to harden or another airtight container. It's nice to have some clarity so you know how much of this herb you have left. Put the container in a cool, dry, and dark closet and use it as needed. Oregano can be kept for up to six months in this way. After that, its taste will decrease, but it can still be used in your favorite recipes.

frequently asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to dry fresh oregano?

A: If you oven-dry oregano on a baking sheet, it will only take an hour or two. If you're using a slower method, such as hanging or air drying, it will take at least a couple of weeks.

Q: How do I dehydrate oregano without a dehydrator?

A: Simply let the moisture evaporate by hanging or air-drying, or place the oregano on a baking sheet over low heat (preferably below 120 degrees) and let it dry on parchment or in a glass container.

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