How To Dry Cilantro In The Oven: Quick And Easy

If you want to keep your cilantro for a long time, then the best way to do so is to dry out the leaves. One simple method of drying out fresh cilantro leaves is to use the oven. This article will explain why you should dry out the cilantro. Then, they’ll discuss a few different methods to do so before we dive into how to dry cilantro in the oven.

After a step-by-step guide to drying out cilantro in the oven, we’ll explain how long it takes, washing the leaves first, and if there are any drawbacks to drying cilantro in the oven. Finally, we’ll explain how and when to harvest fresh cilantro before drying and how and where to store the dried cilantro in your home.


Why Dry Cilantro?

Cilantro is a flavorful herb that can be used in various dishes. Unfortunately, the average shelf life of harvested fresh cilantro is about two to three days.

So, to make the most out of this herb, if you have an abundance of it, dry it out.

So, why should you dry cilantro? Well, drying cilantro will improve its shelf life for up to a year or two.

For instance, dried cilantro is good for at least a year. Then it’ll begin to lose its flavor, but you’ll still be able to use it in recipes for up to two years.

Believe it or not, there are many ways to dry cilantro. Drying cilantro in oven is just one.

drying cilantro with fresh cilantro

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How To Dry Fresh Cilantro

There’s no wrong way of drying out the cilantro. However, there are pros and cons to all of these methods. So, you can decide which one is best for you and your kitchen.

For example, some ways to dry fresh cilantro are the following:

If you plan on drying lots of herbs, fruits and vegetables then a specific dehydrator is a really good investment. They’re more efficient and effective than ovens and microwaves, designed specifically for the job. They’re energy efficient too! Here are my picks of the top dehydrators to use.

Learn more about how to dry fresh cilantro here, including how to dry cilantro in the microwave.

Today, let’s talk about how to dry fresh cilantro leaves in the oven. This method is quick and low-maintenance.

How To Dry Cilantro In the Oven

Drying cilantro in the oven is one of the easiest methods you can do. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on your cilantro in the oven to ensure that it doesn’t over-dry and get burned.

Step 1: Wash And Dry The Cilantro Well

First, after buying your fresh cilantro from the grocery store or gathering it from your garden, you’ll want to wash it.

To get the dirt and anything else off the leaves, simply hold the cilantro under cool, running water. For example, you can hold the stems together in a bundle under the water. Or, you can put the cilantro stems in a colander and sift them under the running water.

Once it’s washed well enough, you can lay them out flat on a paper towel. Then, pat the cilantro dry.

Make sure the cilantro is dried well. If there’s moisture left on it, then it’ll cook in the oven rather than dry out.

Step 2: Preheat The Oven And Prepare The Cilantro Leaves

When your cilantro is washed thoroughly, you can preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.

While it’s preheating, take out a baking sheet and spray it with non-sticking baking spray. This will ensure that the cilantro leaves don’t stick to the pan after drying out.

Then, you can take the cilantro leaves off of the stem and lay them flat on the baking sheet. Make sure the leaves are in a single layer without overlapping. Otherwise, they won’t all dry out completely. 

Step 3: Dry Cilantro For 30 Minutes

Once the cilantro is prepped on the baking sheet and the oven is done preheating, it’s time to dry out those herbs.

Place the baking sheets in the middle of your oven, close the door, and set the timer for 30 minutes.

Wait for 30 minutes, occasionally checking on the cilantro to ensure it’s not cooking or burning.

However, avoid opening the oven door, so no heat escapes.

After 30 minutes, if the cilantro looks as though it’s completely dried out, then you can take it out of the oven.

Step 4: Cool Dried Cilantro And Store

Place the baking sheet on the stovetop, allowing the cilantro to cool for about ten minutes. During this time, you can prepare where and how you’re storing the dried herbs.

For example, you can get an air-tight container in the cabinet or the fridge. Alternatively, you can use a sealed glass jar or a plastic bag.

When the cilantro is cooled, you can store the dried leaves however you see fit in your kitchen.

Make sure they’re stored in a cool, dry place. This will avoid mold growing on your dried herbs, and it’ll also extend the shelf life of your dried leaves.

How Long Does It Take To Dry Cilantro In The Oven?

Even though drying your cilantro in the oven isn’t the quickest method, it’s still relatively quick.

Overall, drying your cilantro in the oven should take no more than 30 minutes.

So, if you need to use dried cilantro for dinner that night, you can easily begin prep a couple of hours earlier to get the cilantro you need.

Prepping the cilantro to dry should take about five to ten minutes (after washing it well). Once it’s dried, you’ll need to let it cool for about ten minutes before storing it away.

Overall, drying cilantro in the oven from start to finish should take about 50 to 60 minutes total. 

Are There Any Drawbacks To Drying Cilantro In The Oven?

Using the oven to dry your fresh cilantro is a great idea because it’s quick and easy. However, using rapid heat to dry out your herbs does come with a drawback.

For instance, by using the heat to dry out your herbs, the cilantro will lose some of its water content, along with some of its essential oils. The essential oils are what give it its flavor. So, using the oven will still allow your cilantro to be flavorful, but it won’t be as potent as if it were fresh or air-dried naturally. 

Do You Wash Cilantro Before Drying?

Yes, you should wash your cilantro before drying.

If you harvest your cilantro from the garden, you can be sure that there are no pesticides at all. However, there may be dirt on the leaves. So, you’ll want to wash it well enough to get all of that off before drying.

Alternatively, you can buy fresh cilantro at your local grocery store. If you buy organic, there shouldn’t be pesticides or herbicides on the leaves. However, you should still wash it to be on the safe side.

If you don’t buy organic, you’ll want to wash away any dirt or pesticides used to help it grow. In addition, you don’t know how many other people might have touched the cilantro in the store before you bought it. 

How And When To Harvest Cilantro

When your cilantro plant is about six to eight inches tall, then you can begin harvesting it.

In addition, you can harvest it when the leaves are at their biggest, so you know they’ve grown well and are healthy.

This plant takes about 60 to 75 days to fully mature, so you won’t need to wait too long to get the first harvest out of it. After that, you can harvest the leaves whenever you need to.

However, if you harvest many of the leaves at once, be sure to give it about a week before gathering it again.

When harvesting your cilantro leaves, all you need to do is snip the stems right above the base of the plant.

Also, start harvesting the outside stems and work your way inward. The branches on the outside are the oldest, so they’ll be ready for harvest first.

How To Store Your Dried Cilantro

Once your cilantro leaves are dried out, there are a few different ways to store them. For example, you can put them in the following:

  • An air-tight container
  • A sealed glass jar
  • In the fridge (in a plastic bag or container)
  • In the freezer (in a container, plastic bag, or ice cube trays)

As long as your dried cilantro is stored in a cool, dry place, then it’ll last you one to two years. 

Final Words on Drying Cilantro in the Oven

Overall, you can choose however you want to dry out your fresh cilantro leaves. However, doing so in the oven is a quick method that’s easy and low-maintenance.  You’ll be able to increase the shelf life of your cilantro herbs and enjoy this tasty herb in many dishes for a year or two.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how to dry cilantro using other methods, here to find out if cilantro needs full sun to grow or here to find all my cilantro guides.

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