Today, we’re going to take a journey into the fascinating world of fungi, specifically, how to store mushrooms.
It’s crucial to know how to store your mushrooms correctly to keep them fresh and tasty for your next culinary masterpiece. So, let’s jump right in.
How to store mushrooms
Not all foods are created equal when it comes to storage. Mushrooms, being a special kind of food, require some unique care. Whether you have shitake mushrooms or button mushrooms you will want to follow the same guidelines for storing them. Here are two effective methods:
In the refrigerator
A refrigerator can be a great place to store your mushrooms. Here are the steps:
- Don’t wash them. You read that right. Mushrooms absorb water, so it’s best to wash them right before you’re ready to use them. Washing before storing can make them spoil quicker.
- Use a paper bag. Place your mushrooms in a brown paper bag. This allows them to breathe and absorbs excess moisture. Plastic bags can cause them to sweat and rot.
- Store them in the main part of your fridge. The ideal temperature for storing mushrooms is around 34-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the freezer
A lot of people think that you can’t freeze mushrooms but in fact, freezing is a great method for storing mushrooms, especially if you want to keep them for a longer period of time. Here’s how:
- Wash and slice them. Unlike refrigeration, you’ll want to clean and slice your mushrooms before freezing them.
- Blanch them. This means you should briefly boil your mushrooms, then cool them rapidly in ice water. This helps maintain their texture and flavor during freezing.
- Drain and dry. After blanching, make sure to thoroughly drain and dry your mushrooms. Extra moisture can cause freezer burn.
- Pack and freeze. Pack your mushrooms in airtight containers or freezer bags, then pop them into the freezer.
How to store cooked mushrooms
Cooked mushrooms, like most leftovers, should be handled carefully to ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat. Here’s a simple guide on how to store cooked mushrooms:
- Allow them to cool. Before you put the cooked mushrooms in the fridge or freezer, allow them to cool down to near room temperature. This will prevent excess moisture from condensation which could lead to spoilage.
- Store in an airtight container. Once they’re cooled, place your cooked mushrooms in an airtight container. This will help keep them fresh and protect them from absorbing odors from other foods in your fridge or freezer.
- Refrigerate or freeze. If you plan on eating your cooked mushrooms in the next few days, refrigerate them; they’ll typically last for 3 to 5 days. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them. Frozen cooked mushrooms can last for up to a month.
Try out my sauteed mushrooms and onions recipe that goes so well on a burger or chicken, in eggs, or added to a stirfry. The flavor combo adds so much to a dish.
Remember, always heat up your cooked mushrooms to at least 165°F (74°C) before eating to ensure they’re safe to consume.
When thawing frozen mushrooms, it’s best to do so in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave.
How to dehydrate mushrooms for long-term storage
Dehydration is a great way to store mushrooms for the long term. All you need is a dehydrator or an oven. The steps are easy:
- Clean and slice your mushrooms.
- Arrange them on the dehydrator trays or oven rack.
- Dehydrate until they are completely dry.
Remember, it’s important to store your dehydrated mushrooms in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
How long do mushrooms last?
Depending on how you store them will dictate how long your mushrooms will last. In the fridge, fresh mushrooms can last up to 7 to 10 days.
When refrigerated properly, they maintain their freshness and flavor, making them ideal for cooking within a short time span. If you freeze them, they can last for several months, typically up to a year.
This is an excellent option if you have a large batch of mushrooms and want to have them on hand for future dishes.
And when it comes to dehydrated mushrooms, they can last for up to a year or longer. They become incredibly shelf-stable and retain much of their original flavor, making them perfect for use in soups, stews, or sauces months down the line.
It’s important to remember, though, that while these storage methods extend the mushrooms’ shelf-life, their flavor is at its peak when they’re used soon after they’re harvested or bought.
Signs mushrooms have gone bad
It’s equally important to recognize how to tell if your mushrooms have gone bad. Here’s what to look out for:
- They’re slimy or mushy. Healthy mushrooms should be firm, not slimy or mushy.
- They have dark spots. While some discoloration can be normal, dark spots often indicate spoilage.
- They smell bad. A foul or off smell is a clear sign your mushrooms have gone bad.
Ways to Use Up Mushrooms
Got a bunch of mushrooms to use up? Here are some ideas:
- In soups and stews. Mushrooms add a great flavor to a variety of soups and stews.
- In stir-fry. Mushrooms go great with all sorts of veggies in a delicious stir-fry.
- In omelets or frittatas. Mushrooms are a classic breakfast addition, providing a great flavor and texture to egg dishes.
Frequently asked questions about how to store mushrooms
There you have it – a guide on how to store mushrooms properly. Remember, mushrooms are delicate and require special care to keep them fresh and tasty.
Now you’re equipped with all the knowledge you need to keep your fungi fresh for your next cooking adventure. Happy mushroom storing!