Learn how to dry rosemary in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. Drying rosemary is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Dried rosemary is an incredibly versatile herb for home cooks. From Turnip Fries to Crispy Butternut Squash to Dry Brined Chicken to Crispy Baked Potatoes, rosemary packs so much flavor into lots of fantastic dishes.
Drying your own rosemary is both easy and affordable, and I’ll show you how.
Rosemary is incredibly easy to grow in a home garden. Plant it once and it will come back year after year. My current rosemary bush was a “living” rosemary Christmas tree from Trader Joe’s purchased in 2012. It’s hardy and prolific!
HOW DO YOU DRY FRESH Rosemary?
There are four methods you can use to dehydrate fresh rosemary – 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.
What is the Best Way to Dry Fresh Rosemary?
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.
But, if you live in a warm place with limited humidity, hanging rosemary to try is also super simple.
Should Rosemary be Washed Before Drying?
Yes, absolutely especially if they’re coming in fresh from the garden! Rinse the sprigs in a bowl of cool clean water and shake to dry. I prefer to allow the sprigs to fully dry before starting the actual dehydrating process.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE to dry FRESH Rosemary in a dehydrator?
Drying conditions and method will determine the total drying time, but on average, it takes 18-24 hours in the dehydrator.
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, dry peaches, dehydrate basil, dry oregano, dehydrate mint, dehydrate marshmallows, dry limes, dry chives, dehydrate tomatoes, dry pears, dehydrate onions, and dehydrate apples in a flash.
That’s what is called a preserving win. (Things cool kids say).
HOW TO STORE DRIED Rosemary
As long as it is stored in a cool and dry place, your dehydrated rosemary will be good for a year.
Make sure the dried rosemary sprigs 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 it to mold.
FOUR WAYS TO DRY Rosemary
DRYING Rosemary IN A DEHYDRATOR
Rinse the sprigs in a bowl of water, and then carefully dry them 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. Rosemary leaves are teeny tiny (like pine needles) and would easily fall through the dehydrator trays.
Arrange the rosemary on the drying racks so the stems aren’t touching. Set the dehydrator to 95F and dry for 18-24 hours, rotating the racks every few hours if possible.
HANGING Rosemary TO Air DRY
Air-drying whole sprigs of rosemary in a paper bag will work great in warm places without a lot of humidity. Suspend small amounts of rosemary 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 the conditions.
DRYING Rosemary IN THE MICROWAVE
This is the only case with dehydrating rosemary that I recommend removing leaves from stems. Place leaves flat between two paper towels and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
Move the leaves around and microwave in 20-second increments until the rosemary is dried and crunchy like dead pine needles (~1.5-2.5 minutes).
Drying rosemary in a microwave only works well in small quantities. Do not try to dry too much at once.
DEHYDRATING Rosemary IN THE OVEN
Place clean rosemary 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 rosemary.
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 rosemary 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 rosemary and the dehydrator fan.
- The rosemary is ready when individual stems break or snap instead of bend. They will feel like dried fall pine needles 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. In most recipes, rosemary is used whole and not ground.
- Store in an air-tight container like a mason jar for up to a year.
MORE DELICIOUS PRESERVING RECIPES
How to Dry Rosemary
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
How to Dehydrate Rosemary in a Dehydrator
- Rinse the stems in a bowl of water.1 bunch fresh rosemary
- 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 rosemary at 95F, rotating the trays every few hours.
- The rosemary is ready when it is dry to the touch and has the consistency of dried pine needles (~18-24 hours).
- Remove leaves from the stems.
- Allow leaves to fully cool before crushing or storing whole in an air-tight container.
How to Dry Rosemary in the Oven
- Place clean rosemary 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 sprigs are not touching.
How to Air Dry Rosemary
- Suspend small amounts of rosemary 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 Rosemary in the Microwave
- Remove leaves from stems.
- Place leaves flat between two paper towels and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
- Move the leaves around and microwave in 20-second increments until the rosemary 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.
- Dried rosemary will last for a year in a cool dry place.
Shop this Post:
(may include affiliate links)
Do you know how many times I’ve gathered the last of the rosemary from the garden in the fall (the winters are cold enough in Indiana to kill it)…put it in the turned off oven to dry, and then forget about it and bake it when I go to preheat the oven next time? TOO Many. So I think the microwave tip might be the one for me, never heard of doing that! (Or even in the oven with it on, with spoon in the door I wouldn’t be able to forget!)
Oh, I feel you on that, Tina! But in my case, it is creating really hot dishes that I put in there to air dry and forgot about. 🙂
The spoon in the door definitely will help with the visual cue that something is in there.