Oregano is a fairly punchy herb. Each little leaf can impart an unmistakeable Mediterranean flavour to various dishes. But therein lies the problem! A little goes a long way. So, what can you do with leftover oregano before it wilts?
Can You Freeze Oregano?
Yes, you can freeze oregano for up to 12 months. Pack oregano leaves into the slots of an ice cube tray, top with water or olive oil and then freeze until the cubes are solid. You can then bag these oregano cubes up for the longer term.
Does Oregano Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Oregano? No
How to Freeze Oregano
The method for freezing oregano is much like the method we use for freezing most fresh herbs. You give them a clean, pack them into an ice cube tray and then freeze them submerged in liquid to create cubes.
Here is that method in full:
- Wash Them: Firstly, it is a good idea to wash your oregano sprigs to remove any loose dirt and bugs, mainly if you have grown your own organic oregano. Once rinses, pat dry with kitchen towels to remove excess liquid.
- Remove the Stems: Next, strip the leaves from the stems. You don’t want to freeze the inedible sprigs, so pull the leaves off the sprigs in a downward motion and discard the sprigs.
- Place Oregano Into an Ice Cube Tray: Place your oregano into an ice cube tray and top each slot up with water. This will create ice cubes containing your oregano which preserves its flavour. You could also use melted butter or olive oil.
- Freeze: Pop the filled ice cube tray carefully into the freezer, keeping it as level as possible, then allow the cubes to freeze solid for several hours or overnight.
- Transfer Ice Cubes to Freezer Bag: Once frozen, pop the ice cubes out of the tray and into a freezer bag. A securely fastened and clean freezer bag makes sure that nothing else can escape or come into contact with your oregano-filled ice cubes.
- Squeeze Any Excess Air Out and Freeze: Press any excess air out so nothing can contaminate the oregano. Once done, place the freezer bag in the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Oregano
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing oregano to have the best results:
Remove Leaves from the Stems Beforehand
The stems will take up valuable freezer space, and the oregano might not freeze as well if still attached. Therefore, stripping the leaves from the stem ensures you are only freezing what is necessary.
Crushing or bruising oregano before freezing it is likely to reduce its flavour, so taking steps to avoid this will positively affect its shelf-life.
Use an Ice Cube Tray
Using an ice cube tray allows you to freeze suitable portions of herbs. It also means you can grab a cube as and when you need it to pop into your cooking.
How Long Can You Freeze Oregano?
Generally, fresh oregano can be frozen for up to 12 months. Freezing dried oregano serves no benefit. Dried oregano can be stored in a cupboard at room temperature for months and months.
Your fresh oregano will still taste delicious after being frozen. However, bear in mind that, like most frozen products, the quality can deteriorate the longer it is frozen.
You can take steps to prevent quality issues by storing it correctly and keeping the leaves as airtight as possible. Thankfully, freezing your fresh oregano is simple, and it will remain good for a long time.
Unfortunately, oregano does not have a long life in the fridge. It will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge before the leaves become limp and the flavour begins to dull.
How Do You Defrost Oregano?
The simple answer is, you don’t!
If you have followed the method above, you can grab a frozen cube of oregano directly from the freezer and immediately pop it into your cooking. If you’re making a stew, sauce, soup or casserole, then the cube will melt and slowly impart that iconic oregano flavour into your dish.
Can You Refreeze Oregano?
While it is possible to refreeze oregano, it should never go down to room temperature once frozen, so it might not be easy to refreeze it.
If it is out of the freezer, just make sure it is only out for a concise amount of time if you are not cooking it straight away. You do not want the herb to soften.
If you have left some oregano out at room temperature for an extended amount of time after freezing, it is better to discard this rather than try to refreeze it.
Does Oregano Freeze Well?
Yes, oregano does freeze well.
Assuming you have followed all of the instructions for freezing and the conditions are suitable for the oregano, it will preserve for a long time. Remember to store it as suggested and not let it defrost at room temperature.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing oregano or herbs in general, then these may help:
This depends on how you want to use the herbs. If you want to use the herbs for a dressing, sauce or garnish, then fresh is best. Dried herbs work great in slow-cooked dishes and sprinkled over pizzas, halloumi or hummus.
Yes, you can freeze oregano (and any herbs) in olive oil by using an ice cube tray. Chop the oregano up and pack it into an ice cube tray, top it up with olive oil and then place the tray into the freezer.
There is no point. Dried oregano will keep in the cupboard for the same time it would keep in the freezer. The only exception here is if you have used dried oregano in a dish you want to freeze, this is fine to do.
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