How to Preserve Oregano in 3 ways (Fresh or not)

Oregano is a product that gives a lot of flavor to our recipes, being the primary reason why today I will show you how to preserve oregano.

You can store oregano refrigerated for two weeks. Also, you can freeze it for six months if you want to extend its shelf life. Additionally, and probably the most common form of usage, you can keep the oregano dried for one year. 

Preserve Oregano

If you want to know in detail how to preserve oregano, keep reading.

Keep fresh oregano in the fridge

Fresh oregano has a pungent smell that gives flavor to your meals, so if you have bought a lot of this product, you can refrigerate it. 

The steps are straightforward to follow, so there you go:

  • Step 1. Wash the oregano.

Wash fresh oregano very well as it can have dirty between its branches and leaves. 

  • Step 2. Drain the oregano.

Once washed, you must shake it carefully to remove the water. 

  • Step 3. Place the oregano on paper towels.

Spread two paper towels over your countertop and place each of the oregano branches on them. 

Then you need to roll them up so that they wrap all the branches. 

  • Step 4. Store in a plastic container.

Once wrapped, place it in a plastic container and close tightly. 

  • Step 5. Store in the fridge.

Put the container with the oregano in the bottom of your fridge or the drawer of fruits and vegetables. 

You can keep the oregano in the fridge for at least two weeks. [1]

How to freeze fresh oregano

Can oregano be frozen? Yes, fresh frozen oregano is one of the ways to preserve it and keep it in good condition for a long time. But how to do it correctly? Let’s look at the steps below. 

  • Step 1. Wash the oregano.

Pass through plenty of water the fresh oregano branches to remove any dirt. 

  • Step 2. Remove excess water.

Drain the oregano branches over a strainer to remove excess water for a few hours.

  • Step 3. Wrap the oregano on absorbent paper.

After it has drained, wrap the oregano in two layers of paper towels.

  • Step 4. Store in a plastic bag.

Transfer the wraps to a plastic bag, remove the air using a straw, and close it tightly.

  • Step 5. Label the bag.

Place the name of the herb and the date of storage before freezing.

  • Step 6. Store in the freezer.

Take the bag with the oregano to the freezer. Do not place anything heavy on top of the bag so as not to damage the oregano leaves. 

When you freeze oregano, you will keep it for approximately six months. 

How to dry oregano

I already mentioned it, but the dried oregano is probably its most consumed version. There are five different methods to dry the oregano, and I will teach you how to apply each of them, so you decide which one you will use.

It is essential to clean the oregano before drying it, so please follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Clean the oregano.

Remove damaged leaves from branches with scissors to not harm others. It is essential to do this first step because if you leave any leaf damaged, it will have an unpleasant taste and smell when drying it. 

  • Step2. Wash the oregano.

After making the selection, place the oregano branches in a colander so that the washing process is optimal and does not cause damage to the plant. Wash very well with cold water.

  • Step 3. Place the branches on paper towels.

You must shake them carefully to remove the water, then place them on paper towels to eliminate the excess water. 

Regardless of the method, the dried oregano will last one year

Hanging oregano bouquet

Probably the most traditional method, since it’s been used for centuries.

  • Step 1. Tie the oregano with a cord 

Look for a cord and start tying the oregano branches in 10 bunches as if they were a bouquet to make the drying process faster. 

  • Step 2. Dry the oregano.

Hang it on a hook where it receives fresh air and is away from moisture. This drying process should last about 6 hours.

  • Step 3. Cover the branches with a paper bag.

Take a paper bag and make ten holes to help the airflow and dry faster. 

Then, put the bunch of oregano inside the bag and leave a small part of the stem uncovered so you can hang it. 

In the end, close the bag and tie a long cord. 

  • Step 4. Hang the oregano.

Hang it upside down on a coat rack or hook and leave it in a cool place. 

This drying process can last six weeks. 

  • Step 5. Remove from the bag.

You will notice it is dry when the oregano has a pale green color and breaks easily when you touch it. 

  • Step 6. Store in a glass container.

Place the dried oregano in a glass container and close tightly. 

  • Step 7. Place in the pantry.

The best place to place your dried oregano is next to the other herbs. Make sure the container is permanently closed, so it does not absorb the smell of the other foods. 

Dry oregano in the sun

Drying in the sun is a method I wouldn’t say I like since it is exposed to other agents you can’t control. 

  • Step 1. Remove oregano leaves from branches.

With scissors, cut the leaves of the branches you have of oregano and reserve them in a bowl. 

  • Step 2. Place the oregano on a tray.

Look for an aluminum or iron tray and place the oregano sheets on top. You must spread each sheet well to make drying easier. 

  • Step 3. Place a rack on top of the tray.

The drying grid will protect the oregano from insects. So place it on top of the tray with the oregano. 

  • Step 4. Dry in the sun.

Find a place in your window or balcony to dry the oregano. 

Every day at sunset, you must store the tray and return to the sun the next morning. You must repeat this procedure for one week until the oregano is dry. 

  • Step 5. Store dried oregano.

When the oregano is dry, it is time to store it in airtight glass containers. 

  • Step 6. Place in the pantry.

Place the container with the dried oregano in your pantry. 

Dry oregano in the dehydrator

A dehydrator is a helpful tool, and you can use it with the oregano to obtain excellent results.

  • Step 1. Heat the dehydrator.

Please turn on the dehydrator and preheat it for 5 minutes at a temperature of 40°C (104°F). 

  • Step 2. Place waxed paper on the dehydrator tray.

Waxed or parchment paper will allow oregano leaves not to fall off the tray.

  • Step 3. Spread the oregano leaves over the dehydrator tray.

Place the oregano sheets on the waxed paper, allowing each to dry better. 

  • Step 4. Insert the trays into the dehydrator.

Let the oregano dry for 1 to 3 hours. 

  • Step 5. Remove and place in glass containers.

When the dried oregano is ready, remove it from the dehydrator and add it to glass containers. Let it cool down, and then you can close it tightly. 

  • Step 6. Store in the pantry

Place the container with the dehydrated oregano in the pantry. 

Steps to dry oregano in the microwave

The quickest method with excellent results is by drying in the microwave. I would say it is the best method, but it’s just my opinion.

  • Step 1. Place the oregano leaves on a plate.

Spread the leaves over a dish ideal for the microwave. 

  • Step 2. Put the dish with the oregano in the microwave.

Set the microwave at minimum power and heat for 30-60 seconds. 

After the time, check if the leaves are already dry otherwise, you must place it 20 seconds more until they are dehydrated. 

  • Step 3. Let cool.

Remove from the microwave and let them cool in the same dish as the leaves. 

  • Step 4. Put dried oregano in glass containers.

When the oregano is cold, you must add it to a glass container and close it tightly. 

  • Step 5. Store in the pantry.

Steps to dry oregano in the oven

  • Step 1. Heat the oven.

Please turn on the oven and preheat it for 5 minutes at a temperature of 220°F (170°C). 

  • Step 2. Place the oregano on a tray.

Leave the oregano in its branches and place them well scattered, so they do not remain together.

  • Step 3. Put the tray in the oven.

Let the oregano dry in the oven for 1 hour. 

  • Step 4. Remove from oven.

When the oregano is dry, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few hours. 

  • Step 5. Package the oregano.

Remove the dried leaves from the branches and place them in a glass container that is dry and clean. Then close tightly. 

  • Step 6. Store in the pantry.

Place your packaged dried oregano in the pantry. 

How do you know if oregano is bad?

When handled properly, oregano does not damage quickly, but this can change if it is subjected to moisture and does not preserve well, causing it to rot. When oregano is bad, check for these signs of decomposition: 

  • The leaves of oregano have a black color. 
  • You can see that oregano has mold due to the moisture
  • The smell of oregano is rotten. 
  • Dried oregano becomes like a powder.

How long does the oregano last?

Refrigerated fresh oregano2 weeks.
Fresh frozen oregano6 months.
Dried oregano1 year.

What is the best way to preserve oregano?

The best way to keep oregano fresh in the short term is to refrigerate it wrapped in absorbent paper and inside a plastic container with an airtight lid.

But, if you have large amounts of oregano and want to keep it for a long time, it is appropriate to dry it as it will remain in perfect condition for approximately one year. 

Always remember to put our recommendations into practice and so it is 100% likely that you will preserve the oregano in the best way without damaging or spoiling it. 

I bet you want to see more content, right? So here you have some related food storage guides. 


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