Storing Fresh Mushrooms

A short essential guide

Fresh in the fridge

Place whole, unwashed mushrooms, in a brown paper bag, but do not stack them, and fold the top of the bag over. Then stick the bag in the main compartment of your fridge. This works because the bag absorbs excess moisture from the mushrooms so that they don’t get soggy or moldy. Keeping them cool and at a dry humidity is important. They will keep up to five days when stored properly. Space mushrooms out in the bag or use multiple bags so they do not sweat on each other. Do not store mushrooms in the crisper drawer – it’s too moist an environment.

Avoid placing mushrooms near foods with strong odors or flavors because they’ll absorb them like a sponge. Take care not to stack other foods on top of them. Mushrooms are delicate, squished, bruised mushrooms don’t look very appetizing, and they won’t keep for very long. Some mushrooms hold up better in the fridge than others. To avoid waste, try to buy your mushrooms close to when you plan to use them. If you need to store mushrooms for more than a week, consider freezing or drying them. Continue reading to learn more.

How to Freeze Mushrooms

Mushrooms freeze well, but it’s best to get them in the freezer as soon as you can. Don’t wait for your mushrooms to start deteriorating in the fridge before you decide to freeze some. All mushrooms need to be cooked before they’re frozen. Doing so will stop the enzyme action, thereby preserving their quality, so it’s important not to skip this step. A quick sauté in a little bit of butter will suffice for this step.

Once cooked, store the mushrooms in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag or container. They will last or several months, even up to a year if properly prepared.

How to Dehydrate Mushrooms

Drying mushrooms is an excellent way to extend the shelf life and usability of the fruiting bodies. 

They can be rehydrated as needed, and they take up very little space. Stored in a cool and dry pantry in an airtight container, (we like to use Mason Jars) they can last as long as 6-12 months – even longer in most cases. Use a low-temp oven or a food dehydrator to dehydrate your mushrooms if you are going to consume them at a later date. Once you learn how to reconstitute them, you might find that they’re every bit as good as fresh mushrooms. If nothing else, it’s great to have dried mushrooms on hand to toss into soups and broths.

How to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms

To reconstitute dehydrated mushrooms before use, place them into a bowl. Carefully cover mushrooms with warm water, wine, or stock and soak them for 15-20 minutes. Occasionally, shake the bowl to loosen any remaining debris. Drain and rinse. 

If saving the soaking liquid, line a strainer with a filter (either coffee, cheesecloth, or paper towels) and run the liquid through it to remove debris. Once they are rehydrated, the reconstituted mushrooms can be chopped or used as they are. Alternatively, you can rinse the mushrooms thoroughly and add them directly to recipes that will cook for 20 minutes or longer.

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