Drying oregano is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! Learn how to dry oregano in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven.
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Dried oregano is an incredibly versatile herb for home cooks. From Cheesy Garlic Bread to Encurtido to Air Fryer Mahi Mahi, to Instant Pot Lasagna Soup, oregano packs so much flavor into lots of fantastic dishes. It’s also fantastic in our Seafood Seasoning.
Drying your own oregano leaves is both easy and affordable, and I’ll show you how.
Oregano is incredibly easy to grow in a home garden. Plant it once and it will come back year after year. I highly recommend planting it in a large standalone pot. Oregano is like mint and can become very prolific and take over gardens.
I have owned this dehydrator for at least a dozen years, and it has held up beautifully. I’ve added additional trays over the years and it is a workhorse in summer and fall.
I can dehydrate garlic, dehydrate basil, drying chives, dehydrate rosemary, dehydrate mint, dehydrate marshmallows, drying limes, dehydrate tomatoes, dry pears, dehydrate onions, dehydrate peaches, and dehydrate apples in a flash. That’s what is called a preserving win. (Things cool kids say).
How Do You Dry Fresh Oregano?
There are four methods you can use to dehydrate fresh oregano – the dehydrator, the oven, hanging to dry, and the microwave. I’ll walk you through each of the options in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Between you and me, my preference is always to use my dehydrator. It’s energy-efficient, I can dry a lot at once, and I know it will consistently dry my herbs.
How Long Does it Take For Fresh Oregano to Dry?
Drying conditions and method will determine the total drying time, but on average, it takes 15-18 hours in the dehydrator, a week(ish) hanging to dry in a paper bag, 2-3 minutes in the microwave, or 3-5 hours in an oven.
HOW TO STORE DRIED Oregano
As long as it is stored in a cool and dry place, your dehydrated oregano will be good for a year.
Make sure the dried oregano leaves are fully cooled before putting them into an air-tight container. As it cools it will release heat that could result in condensation and eventually cause the leaves to mold.
FOUR WAYS TO DRY Oregano
DRYING Oregano LEAVES IN A DEHYDRATOR
Rinse the stems in a bowl of water, and then carefully dry in a salad spinner or between layers of a tea towel/flour sack.
Unlike other herbs, you do not need to remove the leaves from the stems prior to dehydrating. Oregano leaves are teeny tiny and would easily fall through the dehydrator trays.
Arrange the oregano on the drying racks so the stems aren’t touching. Set the dehydrator to 95F and dry for 15-18 hours, rotating the racks every few hours if possible.
HANGING Oregano TO DRY
Air drying whole stems of oregano in a paper bag will work great in warm places without a lot of humidity. Suspend small amounts of oregano in a paper bag with holes punched in it and close the top of the bag with string, yarn, or a rubber band.
Hang in a place where it can get air circulation. Peek in the bag every few days. Drying times will vary depending on conditions.
DRYING Oregano IN THE MICROWAVE
This is the only case with dehydrating oregano that I recommend removing leaves from stems. Place flat between two paper towels and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
Move the leaves around and microwave in 20-second increments until the oregano is dried and crunchy (~1.5-2.5 minutes).
Drying oregano leaves in a microwave only works well in small quantities. Do not try to dry too much at once.
DEHYDRATING Oregano IN THE OVEN
Place clean oregano stems on baking drying racks set inside baking sheets. Don’t let the stems overlap or touch.
Place the trays in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (usually 140-170 degrees F) and prop open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon. This allows condensation to escape instead of just settling back onto the oregano.
Bake for 3-5 hours. Check every 45 minutes, rotating trays and making sure stems are not touching.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- Avoid the temptation to increase the heat on the dehydrator or oven to speed up the process. Low and slow wins in the race on this one.
- If your oregano stems are very “fluffy” and stick up over the dehydrator tray, place an empty dehydrator tray over the top tray to create a buffer between the oregano and the dehydrator fan.
- The oregano is ready when pieces of it break or snap instead of bend. It will feel like dried fall leaves when ready.
- Remove dried leaves from the stems and store whole or grind in a food processor, mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder used just for spices. Oregano is also really easy to crunch up into small pieces with just your hands.
- Store in an air-tight container like a mason jar for up to a year.
MORE DELICIOUS PRESERVING RECIPES
- 1 bunch fresh oregano
How to Dehydrate Oregano in a Dehydrator
- Rinse the stems in a bowl of water.1 bunch fresh oregano
- Then carefully dry in a salad spinner or between layers of a tea towel/flour sack.
- Arrange the stems on the drying racks so that they aren’t touching.
- Dry oregano at 95F, rotating the trays every few hours.
- The oregano is ready when it is dry to the touch and has the consistency of dried leaves (~15-18 hours).
- Remove leaves from the stems.
- Allow leaves to fully cool before crushing or storing whole in an air-tight container.
How to Dry Oregano in the Oven
- Place clean oregano stems on baking drying racks set inside baking sheets. Don't let the stems overlap or touch.
- Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (usually 140-170 degrees F) and prop open the door with the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Bake for 3-5 hours. Check every 45 minutes, rotating trays and making sure leaves are not touching.
How to Air Dry Oregano
- Suspend small amounts of oregano stems in a paper bag with holes punched in it and close the top of the bag with string, yarn, or a rubber band.
- Hang in a place where it can get air circulation.
- Peek in the bag every few days. Drying time will vary depending on conditions.
Drying Oregano in the Microwave
- Remove leaves from stems.
- Place flat between two paper towels and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
- Move the leaves around and microwave in 20-second increments until the oregano is dried and crunchy (~1.5-2.5 minutes).
- This method only works well in small quantities. Do not try to dry too much at once.
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When grinding up, do the stems need removed?
Hi Joyce, in the printable recipe card I do recommend removing the leaves before storing/grinding in steps 6 & 7. I’ll copy and paste what’s written below. Please let me know if you have any additional questions!
6) Remove leaves from the stems.
7) Allow leaves to fully cool before crushing or storing whole in an air-tight container.