In a temperate environment, rosemary is an evergreen so that you can collect it all year. Those who live in colder climates must learn to preserve their produce.
The vivid flavor of rosemary may be used in everything from grilled vegetables and meat to savory marinades and herbal drinks.
Rosemary’s tough, resinous nature makes it ideal for freezing. Of course, you can freeze rosemary leaves in olive oil or filtered water.
So, after growing this excellent culinary plant, you may question how to dry rosemary to store it for the winter or give it.
In our guide, you can learn several methods of how to dry rosemary for many uses you can find. By the end, you’ll be well-armed with information on how to preserve rosemary using any method here to pass on to friends or use in new recipes around the year. (Learn How To Harvest Rosemary)
How Do You Dry And Store Fresh Rosemary?
If you cultivate your own rosemary, you must first harvest it before learning to dry it.
Being a hardy herb, a little at a time, won’t harm the plant. You can cut the top few inches of the plant if you only need a few sprigs. If you have many plants, keep harvesting this way, and the plants will keep growing throughout the season.
This method of harvesting keeps the plant healthy and full of sensitive young shoots.
To dry rosemary, you will need to harvest it differently.
With careful harvesting, you can gain many cuttings throughout the growing season. If you take 2/3 of your plant early in the season, it should regrow before the season ends.
Rosemary, like most herbs, tastes the best right before flowering. This is when the oils are at their optimum, making the herb delicious.
Harvest rosemary early in the morning, when the dew has dried but before the sun rises. (Learn How To Grow Rosemary From Cuttings)
Dry Your Rosemary
Unlike more delicate herbs like parsley or basil, drying rosemary keeps its flavor, color, and texture.
It’s simple to make dried rosemary using three popular ways: air drying, oven drying, and dehydrating.
- After washing and drying the rosemary sprigs, tie them together at their bases and hang them to dry in a well-ventilated place.
- Rosemary dries evenly in the oven as well. Place the sprigs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at the lowest temperature possible.
- If you have a gas oven, use the “warm” setting. Even the pilot light can suffice.
- Place rosemary sprigs in a food dehydrator and dehydrate for a few days on the lowest setting.
- Because rosemary has a thicker texture, drying rosemary sprigs may take longer to dehydrate than other herbs.
Dehydrate Fresh Rosemary
How to Dry Fresh Rosemary? Set a sprig or two on your counter for a few days to dry.
But if you want high-quality dried rosemary or a greater quantity, you’ll need to discover another way to dry rosemary. You can dehydrate rosemary when you have significant amounts harvested at the same time.
- A food dehydrator can dry rosemary.
- Wash and dry your rosemary stems.
- Place the stems in a single layer on the dehydrator trays.
- Follow the dehydrator’s instructions.
- You can crush the leaves and preserve them whole or hang them in a group once the stems are dry.
Hanging Rosemary To Dry Naturally
The natural oils are preserved as much as possible throughout the lengthy drying process, which adds to the finished flavor as it matures.
- Tie the sprigs in small bundles using rubber bands
- Find a warm, dry area out of direct light
- Hang the rosemary bundles upside down in a well-ventilated area from rafters or a clothes hanger. You can cover your rosemary bundles with a perforated paper bag for protection against dust and pests.
- Drying can take between 14-21 days. It will vary based on where you live, yet if it takes longer, your room is too cool and you could end up with mold build-up.
- Once the leaves drop, the sprigs are dry.
- Remove needles by rubbing the stems over a bowl to catch any falling material.
Drying Herbs In Microwave
- Rinse your herbs and gently pat dry to remove excess moisture.
- In the microwave, place 4 to 5 sprigs between two paper towels.
- Microwave for two or three minutes on high.
- You can microwave the herbs for 30 seconds at a time if they are not dry and brittle. Check them frequently to ensure they don’t burn.
- When the rosemary sprigs are completely dry, carefully set them on a cooling rack.
- Dry rosemary should be kept in an airtight container in your kitchen cupboard.
Dry Herbs Using Oven Method
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius) in advance.
- Arrange sprigs of rosemary in a single layer on a cookie sheet on top of parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F or the lowest temperature and bake the herbs for two to four hours.
- When the herbs are easy to crumble, they are dry.
- Allow the cookie sheet to cool after removing it from the oven.
- Dry rosemary should be kept in a glass jar or airtight container.
Because oven-dried herbs lose some of their flavors compared to air-drying, you may need to use more of them than you would if you dried them any other way. Don’t crush or grind leaves until you’re ready to use them.
Use your dried herbs within one year of drying for the greatest benefits.
Rosemary stems are rigid and woody, but the plant’s ‘needles,’ or leaves, are softer and more malleable when young. The leaves become hard when oven-dried, so you might wish to mince or grind them into a powder to make them easier to use in your recipes.
How To Store Rosemary
Dried rosemary should be kept in an air-tight container like a mason jar, a plastic container, or even mylar bags.
Keep it cool and dry, free from moisture and humidity. It is preferable to retain the leaves whole until ready to use.
If storage space is a concern, though, you can grind or crush your dried rosemary into a powder to save space. It might not be as effective as when it’s kept whole.
You can even freeze rosemary directly on the stem. To make dressings and sauces, combine your dried rosemary with a bit of oil and freeze it in ice cube trays.
When stored in the refrigerator, fresh-cut rosemary will last for ten to fourteen days. Dried rosemary can last anywhere from one to three years if stored properly in a dark place. It will, however, lose its effectiveness. (Read Do Cucumbers Need To Be Refrigerated)
How To Crush Rosemary
Using a mortar and pestle, smash or grind small amounts of dried rosemary. You can smash dried rosemary using a rolling pin if you don’t have a mortar and pestle.
Place the dried rosemary leaves in a durable food storage bag and crush the leaves with a rolling pin. You can spot a few woody stems that need removing before you cook with them.
Fresh Rosemary Vs. Dried Rosemary
With its needle-like leaves, rosemary seems like a pine tree, but it’s a member of the mint family. It goes well with various poultry, pasta, potatoes, and pork meals because of its robust fragrant flavor.
Wash the sprigs and pat them dry with a paper towel to eliminate any extra water before using. Remove the needles from the brown stem and cut them finely before adding them to your recipe.
Fresh rosemary flowers can flavor food or crystallize with sugar and eggs on pastries and baked products. Rosemary is a powerful herb that should be used with caution, especially when dried. Fresh or dried rosemary can be used in the same way.
Rosemary works best when the leaves (or needles) have been crushed, minced, or diced, regardless of how you dry it.
Leaving the leaves throughout the cooking process can make them have a hard texture that can feel woody, and not everyone enjoys biting them. If a recipe calls for fresh rosemary, you can use dried rosemary instead with no discernible difference in the end product.
When substituting dried rosemary for fresh rosemary in a recipe, use one teaspoon of dried herb for every tablespoon of fresh rosemary.
Because dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh herbs, you’ll only need half as much dried rosemary as fresh rosemary.
The robust, resinous nature of rosemary makes it an ideal candidate for freezing. Of course, you can freeze rosemary leaves suspended in olive oil or filtered water in ice cube trays.
Fill freezer bags with rosemary leaves, squeeze out any excess air, then roll the bags from the bottom to the top.
One extra step is required for the most preferred method of freezing rosemary, and it is worth the effort. Place individual rosemary clippings on a baking sheet with the leaves still attached to the stem.
Freeze the rosemary sprigs for a couple of hours or until they are completely solid. Place the sprigs in a freezer bag to save for later. Rather than an enormous mass of leaves, you may now quickly select one or two sprigs of the aromatic herb as you need for garnishes, soups, and rubs.
Here is a favorite method to use drying rosemary to infuse vinegar or olive oil. Consider all the marinades, rubs, and salad dressings you’ll be able to throw together in no time.
Making rosemary bitters is a favorite way to use fresh rosemary. All you do is immerse several rosemary sprigs, with a few grapefruit peels, for two to three weeks.
After this time, all you have to do is filter out the solids, pour the liquid into a container and add a few drops to hot tea or a gin-based drink.
Rosemary Citrus Salt
In the grilling season, rosemary citrus salt is one of the greatest other methods you can find and a great way to use dried rosemary.
- Start with a cup of coarse sea salt and a handful of fresh rosemary leaves, as well as one lemon zest.
- In a food processor, pulse until you have a fine texture.
- Keep the container sealed.
- This loose recipe pairs well with other resinous herbs like savory, sage, or thyme on grilled chicken, vegetables, lamb, or steak.
if you’re not sure what to do with fresh rosemary? You can make yourself a healthy cup of rosemary tea by adding hot water.
- Boil water in a pot
- Add 2 fresh rosemary sprigs from mature plants to a mug
- Fill your mug with hot water.
- Let the mix stand for 5 minutes.
- To improve the tastes, add honey and lemon juice from 1 wedge of lemon.