Mushrooms are an incredible food, versatile and delicious.
You can often find them on sale, and you may want to stock up while the prices are low.
But what if you can’t use all the mushrooms before they go bad? Can you freeze mushrooms?
Let’s explore the best way to preserve mushrooms and make the most of your grocery budget.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
You can freeze fresh, raw mushrooms, but they will get mushy when thawed and may turn dark in color.
If you want to freeze mushrooms for use in soups, sauces, and slow-cooked foods, these color and texture changes may be acceptable.
You can also cook mushrooms before freezing to better preserve their texture and color.
Cooked frozen mushrooms will last for 6-8 months, and can be used like any other cooked mushrooms.
How to Freeze Mushrooms
Before you freeze mushrooms, it’s best to choose the right mushrooms.
Mushroom should be firm and fresh, without discoloration or mold.
Your mushrooms will freeze best if they are all the same size, so you may want to sort them by size into different batches.
Clean them with a mushroom brush and minimal water.
To freeze fresh, raw mushrooms
- Slice mushrooms into thin, even slices.
- Spread mushroom slices on a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the mushrooms are frozen solid.
Working quickly and without touching the mushrooms with your hands (the warmth of the room and the warmth of your hands will quickly thaw the mushrooms, and you want them to stay frozen), place the frozen mushroom slices into an airtight container.
These mushrooms will last for 2-6 months, but they will have a mushy texture and maybe brown when they are thawed.
To freeze sliced cooked mushrooms
Cook sliced mushrooms by sautéing them in a little bit of butter or oil, for about five minutes or until they are fully cooked
Soak mushroom slices in water with a splash of lemon juice for five minutes to reduce browning, then steam them for 3-5 minutes.
Remove them from the steam and put them in an ice bath for 3-5 minutes to stop the cooking process, then drain.
With either cooking method
- Allow the cooked mushroom slices to reach room temperature.
- Pat mushroom slices with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Place the cooked mushroom slices in an airtight container and then freeze them.
They will last for 6-8 months and will thaw with much the same texture and flavor they had when they were first frozen.
**Wondering if you can freeze vegetables? Find out the effects of freezing zucchini here!!**
A Better Way to Preserve Mushrooms
While freezing is a good way to preserve mushrooms, there are other ways.
Fresh mushrooms are high in water content, so it’s hard to preserve their color and texture during the freezing process.
That’s why it’s best to cook them first and remove excess moisture.
But you can solve moisture problems and store mushrooms for a much longer time by dehydrating them.
Dehydrating mushrooms is a great way to preserve them because you remove the moisture and get a much longer shelf life.
Dried mushrooms can last for up to one year, much longer than frozen mushrooms. If you have a food dehydrator, it’s easy to dry them.
If you want to dehydrate mushrooms in an oven, here’s how:
Clean and slice the mushrooms into consistent slices. Thinner slices will dry more quickly, with less risk of steaming.
- Place the mushroom slices in a single layer on a clean dish towel. Gently roll up the towel around the mushrooms and squeeze to press out any moisture.
- Remove them from the towel and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, with no mushrooms overlapping or touching
- Place the baking sheet of mushrooms into an oven that has been preheated to 150°. Let them dry for an hour. Then turn over every mushroom slice over so the other side is facing up, and let them dry in the 150° oven for another hour.
- After these two hours, remove them from the oven and take one mushroom slice off the baking sheet and place it on a paper towel to cool to room temperature. After it is completely cool, test this mushroom slice to see if it is completely dry. It should feel dry and crispy to the touch. If the mushrooms are not completely crisp and dry, turn them over and return them to the oven for another 30 minutes and then check again. Repeat if necessary.
- After the mushrooms are completely dry, they can be cooled and then stored in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a year.
To rehydrate dried mushrooms for cooking, simply soak them in a bowl of water for about a half-hour and use them like fresh mushrooms.
Recommended Post: Can you freeze asparagus? A versatile and delicious vegetable for freezing?
Are mushrooms good after being frozen?
Raw mushrooms are not as good after being frozen, but can still be used in some sauces and recipes where the mushy texture can be overlooked.
How do you use frozen mushrooms?
You can simply add frozen mushrooms to your foods like fresh mushrooms, but give your dish a little extra cooking time to bring them up to temperature.
How long can you freeze fresh mushrooms?
Fresh mushrooms will last for 2-6 months in the freezer but will have a mushy texture when thawed.
How long can you freeze cooked mushrooms?
Cooked mushrooms will last for 6-8 months in the freezer.