Drying Oregano

The two basic methods for drying Oregano are the traditional hanging and oven drying. Both are easily done at home and require no specialized equipment.

Traditional Drying Method

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Garden or Kitchen shears

Basket or other container suitable for Oregano sprigs

Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels

Rubber Bands

Clothes Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch

Small Brown Paper Bags (optional)

METHOD:

1. Gather your Oregano harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew of the night.

2. Gather the sprigs into loose bundles and secure the stems with rubber bands to assure that the bundles stay together as they dry.

3. If using brown paper bags, cover each bundle with the bags that have slits cut into the sides to allow for adequate air flow around the herbs. The paper bags keep dust off of the Oregano, as it dries and the sunlight from bleaching out the color. Care must be taken to make sure that enough air flows through the bag to keep the Oregano from molding. Check occasionally to make sure, and, if need be either cut more holes in the bags or remove them. Sometimes the moisture builds up inside the bag, especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form.

4. Hang upside down in a warm, dry place such as an attic or porch until the leaves are brittle to the touch, approximately 2 weeks.

5. Gather the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper.

6. Crumble the dried leaves and separate out all of the tough stems onto the wax paper.

7. Store in an air tight container in the pantry for use in cooking.

STORAGE:

These air tight jars can be stored in a dry, dark place such as your pantry or cupboard, or even your freezer, with proper care.

USES:

Dried Oregano can be used in sauces, gravies, dressings and all other recipes that require fresh Oregano.

Oven Drying Method

Oregano can be dried in the oven at the lowest temperature, or, if you have a gas stove with a pilot light, spread out on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper in a single layer.

Special Note: If using cookie sheets to dry the herbs, place the herbs to be dried on parchment paper to avoid direct contact with the metal trays. Metal contact darkens the color of the herb being dried, causing the Basil to loose its bright green color.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels

Kitchen shears or good chopping knife

Chopping board or block

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Oven

1. Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Oregano sprigs.

2. Pick out the discolored leaves and woody stems.

3. Preheat your oven to lowest temperature setting.

4. Strip the leaves off of the woody stems and chop or clip herbs into 1/4" pieces or so onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

5. Place in oven on top rack for 2 to 4 hours or until the leaves crumble easily between your fingers. Drying times may vary according climate conditions and relative humidity.

6. Gather up the parchment paper into a funnel and place smallest end over the mouth of a clean, completely dry jar and seal tightly.

STORAGE: Place jar in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cabinet, pantry or even your freezer.