How to dry oregano: how to cut, dry and store it

Oregano is one of the most used aromatic plants in the kitchen.

Among the most used aromatic herbs in the kitchen is the famous oregano. This seasoning, in addition to giving a delicious flavor to dishes, is very easy to grow at home. It is therefore not surprising that many people choose to acquire one or more of these aromatic plants. However, it is not the most common to use fresh oregano leaves. It is much more common to season foods with dried oregano. But do you know how to dry oregano?

In this article, we will first explain how to cut oregano to dry it later and how to do this task step by step. So read on if you have oregano at home but don’t know how to dry it for cooking. I am sure that this information will be useful to you!


How to cut oregano to dry it?

It is advisable to choose flowering branches for drying oregano

As we have already mentioned before, growing this aromatic herb at home is not complicated at all. However, if we want to use it to season our dishes, First you need to know how to dry oregano. Before explaining how to do it step by step, we will first comment on how to prune this plant.

To get the most out of the aroma and properties of oregano, there is a little trick that we can apply. When cutting branches, you have to pick those that are in bloom. Therefore, the best thing to do to obtain an oregano with the maximum aroma is to harvest the branches of this plant and dry them right after it blooms, before the seeds begin to ripen.

Related article:

What you need to know about growing oregano

And when is it? Well, the best time of year to pick oregano sprigs is at the end of spring. In addition, we will have time to take advantage of the sun to dry the oregano. Of course, the more cautious the plant, the better it will be as a condiment.

As for how much we should cut, it will depend on how we want to dry the plant. There are those who prefer to pick only the leaves, while others collect entire branches to dry them by hanging them upside down. If this is your first time drying your own oregano, you can try both options and see which result you prefer. For branches, it is important to cut them in the middle of the stem or at ground level.

How do you dry oregano so it doesn’t turn black?

Oregano leaves can be dried in the sun, in the oven, or by hanging the branches upside down

Now that we know how and when to cut this vegetable, let’s see how to dry oregano. There are two options for performing this task: Hang the branches upside down or only dry the leaves, in the oven or in the sun. We will start by explaining the first option step by step:

  1. Collect the oregano sprigs: Cut the ones you want and clean them well, removing all the dirt.
  2. Tie the branches together: They should be no more than five or six so they don’t take longer than necessary to dry.
  3. Hang the branches upside down: It is important that we find a dark and cool place for this. If we don’t have a place without light, we can choose to wrap the branches in newspaper.
  4. Wait for them to dry: When the leaves are completely dry, i.e. without any soft to the touch areas, one can take the branches and cut the dried oregano leaves into small pieces.

It must be said that the time it can take for the branches to dry depends mainly on the area in which you are. While in some places the oregano will be ready in a few days, in others it can even take weeks. If we want to shorten the waiting time a bit, a good trick is Choose a well-ventilated site with low humidity.

oven dry

You can also simply choose oven drying. We can do it both with oregano leaves and with other aromatic plants, such as parsley, mint, thyme, basil or sage. To do this, we must follow the following steps:

  1. Turn on the oven: Before inserting the sheets, the oven must be at a temperature of 82 degrees.
  2. Place the leaves: Spread the oregano leaves on a wire rack or on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  3. Bake: Place the sheets in the oven for 15 minutes. Then we turn it over and leave it for another 15 minutes. On some occasions, they can take up to an hour to completely dry.
  4. Wait for the leaves to cool: It is of the utmost importance to wait for the leaves to cool before putting them in a container and storing them. It is best to leave them at room temperature for at least forty minutes before cutting and storing them.

How to dry oregano leaves without an oven?

In case you want to dry only the oregano leaves without using the oven, we can enjoy the sun. Let’s see the steps we have to follow to do it:

  1. Get yourself a mosquito net or a tight mesh: Once we have it, we have to stretch it, pointing it towards the sun.
  2. Spread the leaves or twigs: When it is placed, we will spread the branches or oregano leaves on it. The more space we can leave between them, the better.
  3. Return them: It is essential to rotate the sheets from time to time so that they dry evenly on both sides.

It should be noted that this method It is not recommended if we live in humid areas, so it might not work.

How is oregano stored?

Dried oregano will keep for up to a year in an airtight container.

We already have oregano dried and cut into small pieces. And now what? Normally, few grams of this seasoning are added to foods, just a little for flavor. Obviously, we’re not going to throw away all the oregano we have left, but we’re going to keep it. For this it is essential that we have a glass jar or other container, but with hermetic seal. It is essential if you want to keep it for a long time. Typically, oregano is stored this way for about a year.

Now that you know how to dry oregano, you can try it at home and enjoy delicious dishes. This aromatic plant is delicious in salads, pastas and pizzas.

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