Here are the best methods for drying marjoram at home.
Growing your own herbs to cook with is a joy, especially if you’re serious about cooking homemade dishes with only the freshest ingredients. If you grow your own herbs and wish to dry them yourself, the good news is that it is easier to do than you think. Drying marjoram is not that complicated and can be done in numerous ways, so whether you’re a new cook or have been whipping up tasty dishes for years, you can be drying and using fresh marjoram sooner than you think.
The Best Methods for Drying Marjoram
If you decide to grow your own marjoram and you intend to dry it afterward, it’s best if you grow a minimum of six marjoram plants at a time. This is because drying the marjoram always results in fairly small amounts in the end, and you’ll want to have enough plants to make the drying-out process worth your time. When you harvest the plant, do so just before it starts to flower. At this time, cut the stalks of the plant up to six inches below where you notice the flower buds appearing.
If you buy fresh marjoram to dry, you won’t have to worry about when to cut the plant because it’ll be cut for you. Regardless of where you get the fresh marjoram from, make sure you wash it thoroughly with water and remove all of the stems before you dry it. Remove any brown or fading leaves as well, and when you’re done washing the herbs, let them dry completely before using them. For this step, you can use a salad spinner or place them in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator for a few days. But they have to be completely dry before you go any further.
SEE ALSO: 4 Methods of Drying Oregano at Home
Here are three of the most effective and most common methods of drying your marjoram and other herbs.
1. Hang drying marjoram
This is a super-easy method that doesn’t require any special tools or equipment.
- All you have to do is take the marjoram plants and tie them together at the stems, using either a thin piece of string or even a rubber band.
- Place the entire bundle of herbs on a piece of string and hang them upside down inside of your home near a place that gets direct sunlight and is very warm.
Keep an eye on the herbs, but as a general rule, it is going to take two to six weeks for them to be completely dry and usable for various recipes.
2. Oven drying marjoram
This method essentially involves slow-cooking your herbs until they dry out.
- You have to line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread a single layer of washed marjoram on the pan.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook the herbs at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four hours. You’ll have to check them constantly as they cook, and when you can crumble up the herbs in your hands, you’ll know they are done.
Although you do have to wash the marjoram first, it doesn’t have to be completely dry before you put it in the oven because the oven will remove the moisture from the herbs.
3. Dehydrating marjoram with a food dehydrator
If you have a food dehydrator, it can also be used to dry fresh herbs.
- You simply wash the marjoram sprigs first and place them in the dehydrator tray.
- Make sure the temperature is between 95 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit, never any higher or lower.
This is a very slow method of drying marjoram, so plan on it taking anywhere from six to 18 hours for the herbs to dry completely. Once again, you’ll have to check them regularly and when you can crush the marjoram in your hand, it means they’re done.
Can you use the microwave to dry marjoram?
Many people use a microwave to dry their herbs. Some people like this method, others don’t, but it’s worth it to give it a shot. I personally don’t use a microwave oven for drying marjoram or any other herbs.
In case you decide to use the microwave to dry marjoram … here is how you should do it.
- As usual, you start by rinsing the marjoram in cool water then patting it dry. Before putting it in the microwave, make sure the herbs are completely dry. You may even want to place them in a single layer on a baking tray and set them on the counter overnight to make sure they’re dry enough.
- When you’re ready, place two paper towels down on a microwave-safe plate, then put a single layer of marjoram leaves on top of that.
- Next, put one more paper towel on top of the herbs and microwave on high for one minute.
- Check the herbs afterward, then microwave them again in 20-second increments until they are dry enough for you.
Do not use recycled paper towels for drying herbs, and when you’re ready to store them, make sure they are placed in a dark-colored glass container and covered tightly. Always keep them in a cool, dry place that is away from warmth and sunlight, which means away from windows and never anywhere near the stove or oven.
See also this amazing video about marjoram benefits and uses.