It’s easy to dry oregano from your garden. Once you’ve dehydrated oregano, you can add its delicious flavor to your spaghetti sauce, meatballs, soups, and more.
We have a huge oregano patch in our front yard garden. Every spring before it goes to flower, my Little Helper and I harvest bunches of this fragrant herb. Then I dry it in my dehydrator for use in recipes all year long.
When to Pick Oregano for Dehydrating
Oregano has the best flavor just before the flower buds form. Here in Zone 9, I harvest it for drying in June.
Pick it early in the morning before the heat saps the flavor from the leaves. Cut the stems with pruners or sharp kitchen scissors about halfway down each stem. I like to grab a small handful and snip.
Wash your oregano thoroughly, then spin in your salad spinner to remove as much excess water as you can. This will reduce drying time, so it’s worth the extra effort.
How to Dry Oregano
Use as many trays as you need–the more air circulation you have the better. I ended up with five trays’ worth before putting the lid on.
Dry your oregano at 95F for 8-12 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the leaves are curled and the stems snap instead of bend.
Here’s the oregano after 6 hours. See how the leaves are wilted, but definitely not dried? They need a bit more time in the dehydrator.
More food storage tips you’ll like:
When the oregano is completely dried, it will look like this. Now you can see that the leaves are shriveled and the stems are thin and dry. Test it by crumbling the leaves between your fingers and ensuring the stems snap (not bend).
How to Store Dried Oregano
Although your oregano is dry, it’s not ready for you to cook with it yet. Can you imagine finding a giant oregano stem in your spaghetti sauce? Ick.
Before storing your dried oregano, strip the leaves off the stems by pulling from the bottom up with your fingers. Discard the stems in your compost pile. Now you have a fantastic bowl full of fragrant, dried oregano.
You can keep the leaves whole, partially crush them with a mortar and pestle, or powder them using a coffee grinder. I use this coffee grinder for all of my spices. I don’t want oregano in my coffee (or vice-versa)!
Store your dehydrated oregano in an airtight container. Because I’m drying such a large amount, I store mine in a canning jar like this and include a food-grade dessicant packet. If you’re only dehydrating a small amount, then a spice jar would work just fine.
How to Use Dried Oregano
There are so many ways (besides spaghetti sauce) to use your dried oregano. Here are some of my favorites:
What are your favorite recipes with oregano?