How To Dry Fresh Rosemary Herb and Store

Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs, and it’s known for its flavor and aroma.  Rosemary works perfectly in a lot of dishes, whether it be chicken, beef pork, or even salad dressings.  

This herb thrives abundantly in places with moderate climates and can be harvested any time of the year.  Unfortunately, this herb doesn’t grow in cold places.

It’s nice to have a fresh rosemary plant, but if you live in a place where it can’t grow, then you have the option to go for the dried rosemary. 

So, if you want to upgrade your dishes, jump out of your comfort zone and try putting in a rosemary sprig.  I’m telling you, your meals will never be the same again.

How to Harvest Rosemary Plant

If you are fortunate enough to grow a rosemary plant, then it would be nice to likewise learn how to harvest fresh rosemary.  

One of the great features of a rosemary plant is that it’s a sustaining herb, which means that even if you harvest bit by bit, you won’t cause any harm to the plant. Harvesting this way will also be good for the plant because it will allow young shoots to emerge.  

Do you want just a couple of sprigs?  No problem! Simply pick a small quantity from the top portion of the fresh rosemary, and you’re good to go!     

However, if your purpose for harvesting is to make dried herbs from fresh rosemary, then you must apply a different harvesting technique.   

If you know how to properly harvest, you might accumulate a number of cuttings in the entire stretch of the growing season.  If you want your fresh rosemary plant to regrow before the growing season ends, make sure that you leave at least ⅓ of the plant.  

Just like most herbs, rosemary tastes better before it flowers. It’s because the plant is on the verge of forming oils profusely, which will give it more flavor. 

In addition, it is recommended that you harvest rosemary sprig early in the morning, just after the morning dew has evaporated and right before the rays of the sun begin striking the plant.  You might be needing pruners to harvest this fresh herb since it has a woody stem, especially if it has already matured.

Different Ways of Drying Rosemary Leaves

After learning how to harvest a rosemary plant, you might also be interested to learn the different methods of drying herbs, particularly fresh rosemary.  

The process of making dried rosemary leaves involves several techniques.  If you only want to dry a small quantity, then you basically just need to leave it for a couple of days, and it will naturally dry out.  

However, if you want to store a bigger quantity and better quality of dried rosemary leaves, you probably would want to try other methods.  Let’s discuss them now.

How to Dry Rosemary Using a Food Dehydrator

You will need

  • Paper towel
  • Tray
  • Food dehydrator
  • Grinder

Drying Rosemary in a Food Deydrator Step by Step

  1. After harvesting from your rosemary plant, wash them and pat dry using a paper towel.
  2. Once dried out, lay the rosemary sprigs on the dehydrator tray.  
  3. Put the single-layered rosemary sprigs inside the dehydrator.  Make sure to read the user’s manual carefully.   
  4. When finally dehydrated, you may now pull off the dried rosemary leaves out of the dehydrator.
  5. Now, you have the option to make a ground rosemary or to just leave them as is.  
  6. Store in an airtight container.  
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How to Dry Fresh Rosemary Through Natural Drying Method

You will need

  • Clothes hanger or rafter
  • Bowl or bag

If you want to retain the natural oils of the rosemary plant, you go with the traditional method of drying rosemary.  This method may be slow, but at least you’ll still be able to enjoy a stronger flavor of the herb.  

Steps for Drying Rosemary Naturaly

  1. Bind small portions of rosemary sprigs.
  2. Set an area where there’s abundant sunlight.  This is where you’ll be positioning the bundled sprigs.
  3. Get the bundled fresh rosemary sprigs and then  leave them hanging from a clothes hanger or a rafter.  
  4. The drying time usually takes 2 to 3 weeks in normal weather conditions.  
  5. If you see rosemary leaves starting to drop, it means the sprigs are already dry.
  6. Pull off the needles over a bowl or a bag, which will serve as a catch basin.  

How to Dry Rosemary in the Microwave

If you think that 2 to 3 weeks of drying rosemary is too long, then maybe try a faster method, and it is by using a microwave oven.  

Using a microwave oven to dry rosemary leaves may be faster, but the downside to this method is that it evaporates the oils, which enhances the flavor of the herb. 

You will need

  • Paper towels
  • Microwave oven
  • Cooling rack
  • Airtight container

Steps for Drying Rosemary in the Microwave

  1. Step 1: On a paper towel, place 4 to 5 rosemary sprigs, then put another paper towel on top.  
  2. Step 2: Place inside the microwave oven at high temperature for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Step 3: If they come out brittle and dry, it means the sprigs are already dry.  If not, place it again in the microwave for another 30 seconds, and another 30 seconds if still undone, and so on. 
  4. Step 4: Once you’re sure that the rosemary sprigs are completely dry, lay them on a cooling rack.  
  5. Step 5: Store the dried rosemary in an airtight container.   

How to Dry Rosemary In The Oven

If you don’t have a microwave oven, then you may use an oven.  Here’s the process.

You will need

  • Oven
  • Baking sheet or cooking sheet
  • Airtight container

Steps for Drying Rosemary in the Oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 82°C or 180°F.
  2. Lay the rosemary sprigs on a baking sheet or cookie sheet.
  3. Bake the fresh rosemary leaves or sprigs for 2 to 4 hours.
  4. After the baking time, if the herbs can easily be crumbled, then it means they’re dry.  
  5. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  6. Get your airtight container and store your dried rosemary.

When the rosemary herb is dried using an oven, expect the flavor will subside a bit.  This means that you need to put more dried rosemary into your dishes.  

To maintain its powerful flavor, grind or crush it just when you’re about to use it.  For you to enjoy its aroma and flavor, it’s best to use the dried rosemary within 1 year after drying.  

Dried Rosemary Frequently Asked Questions

How long does fresh and dried rosemary last?

If stored in a refrigerator, fresh rosemary can last for only about 10 to 14 days.  But for dried rosemary, can last for about 1 to 3 years.  However, you must remember that as time passes, it loses its flavor and aroma.  

How Do I Maintain the Freshness of Dried Rosemary?

If you want to maintain the freshness of the dried rosemary, you need to store it in an airtight container like plastic containers, mason jars, or ziplock bags.  It is also important that you store it in a dark and cool area.  You may also place the dried rosemary inside your freezer, freeze in ice trays, or soak it in olive oil.  

What is needed to crush dried rosemary?

To reiterate, to maintain the freshness of dried rosemary, you only need to crush it when needed.  You may use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.  When using a rolling pin, the dried rosemary must be placed in a plastic storage bag or ziplock and just run the rolling pin over it.