An evergreen and woody shrub, rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that can be used in almost everything from herbaceous cocktails to grilled vegetables and chicken or roasted lamb.
It’s all you need to add piquant and aromatic flavor to your meals.
If you have extra rosemary leaves growing in your garden or windowsill patch or have some leftovers and don’t know what to do with them, we can help!
Rosemary is hardy and grows easily in direct sunlight.
Since rosemary is quite a sturdy herb, it does not lose a lot of flavor when exposed to heat or air. So the best thing you can do is dry it out so you can keep it in your pantry for months.
But how to dry rosemary? Let’s learn.
1. Using the hanging method
A popular way of drying rosemary is using the hanging method. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Use a pair of scissors to snip off sprigs from a rosemary plant carefully.
The best time to harvest it is in the morning after the dew has dried and dissipated. Try to snip straight sprigs of equal length, so it is easier to bundle them up.
Step 2: Next, tie up the sprigs in bundles using a wrapping twine or yarn. Leave a loop, so it is easier for you to hang the bundle in the next step.
You can also use rubber bands to fasten the sprigs together. Combine seven to eight to make a bundle.
Step 3: Then, hang the rosemary bundles in a cool and dry place. Make sure the area gets enough ventilation.
You might want to hang the bundles outdoors, but because of the moisture, we recommend you hang them indoors, away from restrooms or laundry room.
Turn them after every two days to ensure even drying.
Step 4: Once the rosemary has dried (it has dried when the stems are brittle), separate the woody stems and store the dried rosemary leaves in an airtight container in your kitchen cupboard.
2. Dry rosemary using an oven
A quick and fast way of drying out rosemary is to use an oven:
Step 1: Wash rosemary leaves with cold water to remove debris or dirt. Next, pat dry with a paper towel and remove woody stems and withered leaves.
Step 2: Cut ¼ inch sprigs and spread them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spaced apart well.
Step 3: Place the baking tray onto the top shelf of an oven preheated to the lowest temperature.
Leave to bake for 2 to 4 hours or until the stems are brittle.
Step 4: Take the dried rosemary out of the oven and allow them to cool completely.
Then transfer the dried rosemary leaves to an airtight jar (preferably made of glass). Store the jar in a dark and dry place.
3. Dry rosemary using a food dehydrator
Step 1: Wash rosemary sprigs with cold water, then blot them to remove the excess moisture. You can also shake them to draw the water away.
Step 2: Spread the rosemary sprigs onto your food dehydrator’s trays.
Operate the dehydrator at a low heat setting, preferably between 90 and 100°F until the rosemary leaves become brittle.
The exact amount of time it takes to dry rosemary using this method will vary, but on average, it takes between six to eight hours at 95°F.
Step 3: Once dry and cooled, transfer the dried rosemary into an airtight container and store it in your kitchen in a cool and dark place.
What is the best way of drying rosemary?
The hanging method is the best way of drying rosemary since it involves air drying.
No heat is used to dry up the leaves. It is a natural process and rosemary sprigs dried using this method are richer in flavor, retain more nutrients, and last longer.
How to store dried rosemary
The best way to store dried rosemary is in an airtight container, preferably made of glass, in a dark and dry place, such as the spice cupboard in your kitchen.
I prefer using glass containers since plastic or metal containers sometimes transfer their smell onto the herbs and vice versa after some time has passed.
How long do dried rosemary leaves last?
Dried rosemary leaves can last around one to three years, depending on how you have stored them.
If you seal them in an airtight container made of glass and keep them in a dry and dark place, they will last for up to three years.
The bottom line
Dried ground herbs are an excellent addition to your pantry, and rosemary will add a pungent punch to so many dishes. Try these marinated tomatoes—the rosemary makes this dish sing!
Now that you know how to dry rosemary, make way to your kitchen right away and make your own batch of dried rosemary leaves that will last you for years!
Here are 17 delicious Italian side dishes that will get your ideas going for how to use dried rosemary!