Drying Oregano: How to Preserve the Flavor

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - ariesa66

Drying oregano is the way to go if you want to enjoy the herb after harvest season has ended. We’ll show you how to dry oregano while preserving its delicious flavor.

Oregano ist harvested in July, when the aroma of the seasoning herb is most intense. You can use oregano for pizza and pasta sauces – even out of season. Simply dry your planted oregano: it will keep in a dark, dry place for up to a year.

Tip: Crush dried oregano a little in your hand before using it – that will release the oils and flavor.

Air Drying Oregano

air drying herbs
Air drying oregano is a great way of preserving the herb – and very energy-efficient. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - SBaynham )

Our preferred method of drying oregano (and herbs of any sort) involves very little energy and resources. Here is how to air dry oregano:

  • Harvest the oregano by cutting stems off the plant with a garden knife.
  • Avoid washing the stems – simply shake them off to remove loose dust and dirt. If washed, the herb will take longer to dry and may lose its aroma.
  • Tie approximately ten stems of oregano together with string or thread to form bundles.
  • Hang the oregano bundles upside down in a warm place that has no wind or direct sunlight exposure. Make sure that the room is dry and try to avoid temperatures above 35 degrees.
  • Leave enough space between the bundles to allow air flow. This will prevent mold growth.
  • After drying the oregano for about a week, carefully remove the leaves.
  • Store the oregano in an airtight container and keep it in a dark place.
drying oregano - how to dry oregano
Oregano flowers are also edible, but the leaves become bitter when the plant blooms. (Photo: © Utopia - Karen Stankiewicz)

How to Dry Oregano in the Oven

If you don’t have the time (or patience) to air dry your herbs, you can also use the oven. This method is definitely quicker, but it uses more energy as it requires using your oven with the door open. Air drying oregano is by far more environmentally friendly, so try to use that method whenever possible!

  • Spread the oregano out on a baking tray. The stems should not be touching.
  • Set the temperature to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
  • Don’t fully close the oven door – leave a gap to let the moisture escape. You can prop it open by jamming a wooden spoon between the door and the oven.
  • Check regularly to see if the oregano is completely dry. If you can crumble it with two fingers, it’s time to remove it from the oven!
  • Allow the oregano stems to cool down, then crumble the leaves.
  • Store in an airtight container and keep in a dark place.

After drying oregano, you will be able to enjoy your homegrown herbs throughout the year. Before you know it, it will be time to plant and harvest again!

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can view the original here: Oregano trocknen: So bleibt er länger aromatisch

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