How to Dry Oregano to Use in Cooking

The Oregano It is one of the essential aromatic herbs of the mediterranean cuisine. The intense aroma of the countryside that it gives off makes it an ideal condiment to season any type of salad, stew, pasta and of course sauces.

And it goes without saying that it never fails to italian kitchensis a classic and essential ingredient in their tomato sauces, pasta dishes and pizzas.

Oregano is a shrub from the Middle-East which has spread throughout southern Europe and throughout the Mediterranean basin. In its wild form it grows in the mountains, in arid and dry soils in the form of a bush. Although, being an aromatic herb so widely used both in cooking and for its medicinal properties, oregano crops have been around for hundreds of years.

oregano can be used both cool and dry, although there is a some difference in aroma and taste. When fresh it is more subtle, when dry the aromas and flavor are much more concentrated and you can get more out of it. If you want to enjoy all the aroma and properties of oregano, you can choose to dry it at home.

If you dare to continue reading, we tell you everything you need to know to do it successfully.

When is the best time to dry oregano?

You can get fresh sprigs of oregano at any supermarket, but ideally buy or cut a potted plant, They are very easy to maintain and you will be able to get the most out of them. If you already have an oregano plant on your patio or garden, the the best time to pick it up is in the summerwhen the plant is in full bloom.

This is when its aroma and flavor are much more intense.

How to cut oregano?

Before cutting the oregano, it is advisable to stop watering the plant for five or six daysThis helps the flavors to be much more concentrated. Choose the best branches, which do not have dry or damaged leaves, and with pruning shears cut them about four centimeters from the ground. This way the plant can regrow and you will always have oregano on hand.

How to dry oregano

Once you have cut the best branches from the plant, you can start with the drying process.

1. Wash the oregano sprigs

The first thing you need to do is wash the oregano twigs under cold tap water to remove any dirt it may have. Once clean, remove excess moisture. If you have a lettuce spinner, you can drain them there, otherwise dry it thoroughly with paper towel.

2. Drying process

Once you have removed all the moisture from the oregano twigs, you can begin the drying process. There are different ways to do this at home without having a dehydrator, take note:

suspended with thread

This is the most traditional way of drying aromatic herbs. To do this, prepare a bouquet with the oregano twigs, tie them well by the stem, leaving a long piece of wire. Then the bodice inside out in a dry and preferably dark place.

If you don’t have a dark place, you can cover the bouquet with a sheet of newspaper to protect it from light.

After about 10 days the oregano will be dry, just check that the leaves retain their color, have an aroma and are crisp to the touch.

on a grid

Another way to dry it is to cover a rack with paper towel and place the organ strands away from each other. Then, place the rack in a ventilated place and turn it over daily so that it dries evenly.

In the oven

A very quick way to dry oregano is do it in the oven. The method is very simple, but you have to be careful not to burn it. Put parchment paper on the baking sheet and spread the sprigs of oregano on it. Put in the oven at about 80°C for a bit 15 minutesthen turn them over and keep them for another 15 minutes.

After this time, it will be dry. Then let cool to room temperature.

In the microwave

For microwave dried oregano you must first separate the leaves from the stem, if the stem is tender enough it is not necessary. Then place paper towel on a plate and spread the oregano. Put it in the microwave on the option of defrost 30 secondsthen let it cool and repeat the process until it is completely dry.

read more: What is the best way to store dried flowers?

How to Store Dried Oregano

Once you have the oregano well dehydrated, separate the leaves from the stems and check that no moisture remains. Then you just need to place it in a glass jar with airtight closure and store it in the pantry away from moisture and light. All you have to do is enjoy your oregano in your cooking recipes.

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