How To Store Fresh Oregano: All The Answers

Oregano is a great herb that can spice things up for various recipes. You can get oregano in many ways, whether you buy organic from the store or grow the herb yourself.

So, what is the best way to store fresh oregano?

In this article, we’ll discuss everything about oregano. First, we’ll talk about whether it goes bad or not. Then, we’ll discuss how to choose fresh oregano for your cooking.

After, we’ll dive into the best way to preserve oregano. But, first, we talk about a few ways to decide which is the best way to store oregano for you. 

Finally, we’ll show how long oregano can last, depending on how it’s stored. 

Does Oregano Go Bad?

The answer to this question isn’t as simple as a yes or no. Oregano doesn’t spoil, but it will lose its flavor over time, especially if it’s not stored correctly.

For example, no matter how you dry it, dried oregano can last up to two to three years.

You can learn more about how to dry oregano in the oven here.

In addition, frozen oregano leaves can last for up to one year.

Alternatively, if stored in the fridge, fresh oregano can last between 12 and 14 days. On the other hand, if you store fresh oregano at room temperature, it’ll only last about three to four days. 

Click here to read my full guide about how to tell if oregano has gone bad.

fresh oregano
Fresh oregano

How Can You Tell If Oregano Is Bad?

When you dry oregano, you want the leaves to be crumbly to the touch. However, you’ll know if it’s gone bad because the leaves will be harder, change to a dark color, and there will be no smell or taste to them.

On the other hand, It’s easier to tell if fresh Oregano is bad because the leaves will begin to wilt. They’ll also turn a darker shade of color. 

Once this happens, you’ll want to buy more oregano from the store or harvest more from your garden.

If you find that fresh oregano leaves are going bad quickly, you might not be storing them properly. 

How To Choose Fresh Oregano

Before we discuss how to store oregano, let’s talk about where you can get oregano first. 

You can buy fresh oregano from the grocery store, but you’ll want to make sure it’s in good condition rather than sitting on the shelf for a while.

Do this by peering at the oregano to ensure the leaves are sturdy and not limp. Also, they’ll be green in color.

If you go to the store to buy oregano, you can buy it already dried or get fresh leaves. It’s best to get fresh leaves, depending on your use of the herb. However, if you’re pinched for time, buying them already dried is a good option.

Also, if you buy fresh leaves, make sure they’re organic. This means they were grown without the use of pesticides.

Alternatively, you can grow and harvest oregano yourself. Growing it yourself is the best way to do it because you know where it came from.

Before harvesting, let the morning dew evaporate. This will elongate the plant’s life, so you’ll be able to harvest more in the future. 

Exactly How To Store Fresh Oregano

There’s a lot you can do with oregano once you have it. You can use the fresh leaves, you can dry them out, or you can freeze them.

No matter what you do, each one needs to be stored properly to maximize your use of the oregano leaves.

Option 1: Store In The Fridge

First, here’s how to store fresh oregano leaves in the fridge. 

You’ll want to dampen a paper towel. Don’t soak it. Just make sure it’s slightly damp. Put the paper towel inside a plastic baggie and then put the fresh oregano leaves inside with it.

That’s all there is to it. The cold and moisture from the fridge and paper towel will keep the oregano leaves soft and hydrated, thus keeping them fresh. 

Option 2: Dry The Oregano

Drying oregano is the best way to store it if you want to lock in the flavor of your oregano for a long period to come. The process is not difficult and the resulting oregano can last for years.

There are multiple ways you can dry oregano. You can simply hang your oregano out to air dry, although this can take days or speed it up by using a dehydrator. It’s also easy to dry oregano using a microwave or oven. This way, you can have dry oregano in minutes.

To find out exactly how to do this, you can click here to read how to dry oregano in the microwave or click here to learn how to dry oregano in the oven.

Once you have dried it, you also need to store it correctly. Here’s how to store the dried oregano.

First, you’ll want to cure the dried oregano leaves to ensure they won’t go bad. For instance, they can grow mold or other bacteria on their leaves.

To do this place the dried leaves in a clear jar with a lid. Then, put it in a dark corner of a room and take off the lid for about one hour each day. This will allow the leaves to get some ventilation.

If you see any leaves that look bad, you can take them out of the jar and dispose of them. Otherwise, after a week of curing, you can close the jar tightly with the lid and put it inside a dark cabinet in your kitchen. This process will help the oregano last as long as possible.

Option 3: Freeze The Oregano

How to store fresh oregano in freezers is probably one of the easiest to do (and it lasts for a while).

For instance, how to store oregano in the freezer is similar to storing fresh leaves in the fridge. However, for the freezer, you want to keep the leaves intact.

Place the fresh oregano leaves in a plastic bag, letting all of the air out. However, try your best not to crush the leaves. Then simply put them in a spot in the freezer where they won’t get crushed by other things.

In addition, you can freeze these leaves in other ways, too. For instance, you can also puree the leaves with a little bit of water and freeze that. Also, you can place the leaves in ice cube trays, freezing them. Once frozen, you can pop them out and keep them in the freezer.

The best part of freezing oregano is that not only does it last for us to one year, but you also don’t need to thaw out the leaves before use. You can simply add the cubes to your cooking.

Read our full guide to freezing oregano here.

How Long Does Oregano Last?

How to keep oregano fresh is easier than it seems. As long as it’s stored properly, your oregano can last for a long time.

However, the amount of time it lasts will depend on how you store it and how well you store it.

For example, take a look at the table below for a quick and easy look at how to preserve fresh oregano in the different ways to make it last. 

If The Oregano Is…Then The Oregano Will Last…
Fresh in the fridge12 to 14 days
Fresh at room temperature2 to 3 days
Dried2 to 3 years
FrozenUp to 1 year

There are many ways on how to keep fresh oregano. But which one is the best for you and your cooking needs?

For instance, if you don’t use oregano too much or only need a little for one recipe, you can certainly store the fresh leaves at room temperature.

On the other hand, if you use oregano often in various recipes, then freezing it or storing it well in the fridge might be the way to go for you. 

Drying it is the best option if you want it to last for years.

Final Words

How do you store your fresh oregano? Do you simply put it aside in a jar at room temperature for quick use? Or do you put it in the fridge or freezer, aiming to use it for months to come?

Overall, there are many ways to store this herb. However, you want to store the oregano carefully so that it’ll last you a long time. 

Want to know more? Read more about oregano here. You can also read our full guide to freezing oregano here.