How to Store Mushrooms – Keep them clean and fresh!

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how to store mushrooms

There’s a lot to love about mushrooms. Keep them fresh so you don’t waste any of this exciting food.

How to store mushrooms? There are three main ways to store mushrooms. You can place them in a paper bag and then put them in the fridge. You can also freeze them. For this method, either freeze the mushrooms whole or steam blanch them. Finally, you can also dry mushrooms by dehydrating them in the oven. How you store your mushrooms will depend on when you plan on using them in the future and how much time you have to prepare them.

How do you keep mushrooms fresh longer?

One of the biggest tricks to keeping mushrooms fresh is to not clean them right away. While you can remove clumps of dirt if you see them, try to resist giving your mushrooms a thorough cleaning until you need to use them.

When you are ready to cook with your mushrooms, take a damp paper towel and then clean them. If your mushrooms are a bit stronger, you can also use a small scrub brush.

Different Ways on How to store mushrooms

different ways on how to store mushrooms

Room temperature

Unfortunately, mushrooms can’t be stored at room temperature. If they are left out on the counter, bacteria can quickly start to grow, making your mushrooms inedible.

If you have to leave your mushrooms at room temperature, they will only last for 2 hours.

Refrigerator

Once you get home from grocery shopping, you will want to store your mushrooms in the refrigerator right away.

The best way to store mushrooms is to first remove them from their original packaging. If they come in plastic wrap, remove that plastic so that the mushrooms can breathe.

You do not need to clean your mushrooms before placing them in the refrigerator. Instead, wait until you cook with them to clean them.

If you have bought loose mushrooms in a paper bag, you can leave them in there. If not, find a clean paper bag and put your mushrooms inside.

Fold the top of the paper bag over. It’s also a good idea to write on the bag the date and contents so you can keep better track of them.

The next step is to find a good place inside your fridge for your mushrooms. Do not put them in the crisper drawer. This is a moist place which can ruin mushrooms.

Instead, put your bag of mushrooms on a middle shelf. Don’t stack anything on top of the mushrooms as this can squish them.

Another tip about storing mushrooms is to avoid putting them next to anything that gives off a strong odor. Mushrooms are porous and will absorb the smell of other foods.

You can keep mushrooms in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.

Freezer

Whether you have a lot of extra mushrooms or you just want to be prepared for the future, freezing mushrooms is a great idea.

While you may be tempted to clean your mushrooms before you freeze them, so that they are nice and ready to be used later, it’s actually better if you leave them alone.

Cleaning your mushrooms can make them soggy and when the thaw and you cook them, the mushrooms can become quite mushy.

Instead, the best way to prepare your mushrooms for freezing is to just gently remove any dirt clumps. You can also trim the stems.

Leave the mushrooms whole and place them in an airtight plastic bag or container. Try to remove as much air from the bag as possible.  

If you really want to be prepared for future use, there is another way to freeze mushrooms. This involves steam blanching.

Start by soaking your mushrooms for 10 minutes in a mixture of 2 cups water and 1 tsp lemon juice. This will prevent your mushrooms from becoming discolored.

Take a large pot and pour about 2 inches of water into the bottom. Once the water is boiling, place your mushrooms into a steamer basket. Then, place the full basket into the pot.

Let the mushrooms steam for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how large they are.

Once finished, remove the mushrooms and place them in a large bowl full of ice water. Let them cool for 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain the mushrooms and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag.

Frozen mushrooms will last for 9 to 12 months.

Drying

Another useful way to store mushrooms, that not many people are aware of, is by drying them first.

To dry mushrooms, first make sure they are clean. You can really scrub them to ensure all the dirt has been removed.

Then, slice the mushrooms so that they are even in size. An ideal size is 1/8 to ¼ of an inch thick. The thicker the mushroom slices, the longer they will take to dry.

Make sure all the moisture has been removed from the mushrooms. You can do this by rolling them up in a towel and gently squeezing.

Once your mushrooms are prepared, lay your sliced mushrooms on one level on a cooking tray. Place them in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook them for an hour, turn them over, and cook for another hour. Check on them every 30 minutes to make sure they dry completely and don’t burn.

You can store your dried mushrooms in a sealed glass jar. They last for up to 1 year.  

Ways to use mushrooms

If you love mushrooms and need a few new ideas, we’ve got some ideas.

Mushrooms are great when paired with meat. You can use them to stuff a chicken or to create a steak sauce.

You can also use mushrooms in soups and stews. Cream of mushroom soup is always a favorite.

Furthermore, don’t forget about breakfast. Add some mushrooms to your omelet for a delicious start to the day.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are a unique food that can be used for all manner of cooking. If you want to store them in the fridge, it’s best to place them in a paper bag. Alternately, you can dry them or freeze them for later usage.

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