How To Store Mushrooms: Your Complete How To Guide

by Susan Grey on January 22, 2019

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Mushy and bad smelling mushrooms are in our fridge far too often. There is nothing more annoying than going to cook your dinner and realising your mushrooms have gone bad.
That’s why we created a quick guide to show you how to store mushrooms and keep them fresher for longer.

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Picking Your Mushrooms

The first step to having mushrooms that keep for a longer time is to pick the right ones! Whether you buy from your local supermarket or farmers market here are a few things to look for.
  • Smell a sweet earthy aroma, like a fresh morning walk in the forest
  • Appearance the mushrooms should look dull or white in color, they should not be glossy or shiny to look at. The caps should be whole and no dark patches or any points that look to be soggy.
  • Feel the texture should be firm to touch. If your fingers feel damp and wet when touching, that’s a bad sign. Your mushrooms should be dry.
If you purchase from a supermarket and can’t feel them in your hands, try to smell the package and do all of the visual checks. Although not always the best indicator you can check the date on the packaging and also the storage instructions. Sometimes they may say “consume within X number of days after opening”

Cleaning

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If you purchased mushrooms which have already come prepackaged, don’t worry about the cleaning step. You can store them straight in your fridge.
If your mushrooms are from a farm or market it’s advised to wash before storage as they have likely not been washed yet.
Although the risk of disease or infection is extremely low by eating unwashed mushrooms we always make it a habit to remove any dirt or debris. People often debate which is best still!
Cleaning
1. Rinse your mushrooms under a tap
2. Using a brush or damp cloth wipe your mushrooms thoroughly
3. Continue until clean
4. Place in a colander or strainer to let dry
5. Pat lightly using a dry towel or kitchen paper
6. If your mushrooms are excessively damp before storing you can leave to dry on your window ledge for a couple of hours
Cleaning Morel Mushrooms
The sponge like shape and nature of the morels, means that you will need to clean these a little differently.
Dust, dirt and insects tend to get stuck in the structure of the morel mushrooms - to remove this they will require soaking.
When soaking you can leave your morel mushrooms whole or cut in halves. If you halve your mushrooms, slice from the stem to the top - length ways.
1. Pour water into a bowl
2. Add a little bit of salt, mix until dissolved
3. Place your morel mushrooms in the water
4. Let sit for 20-30 minutes or until clean
5. You may need to change the water depending on how dirty your mushrooms are

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Storing Your Mushrooms

Why in the fridge and not room temperature?
Mushrooms contain anywhere between 70% - 90% water. Also Mushroom have the potential to keep on growing even after they have been picked.
Given these two facts here’s why we need to keep them cool.
Storing at room temperature the fibres will continue growing and then eventually break down.
By refrigerating your mushrooms it cools down the enzymes. This will stop or at least significantly slow down the growth and eventual death of the mushrooms. Keeping them good to eat for up to 7 days.
Packaged Mushrooms
Dealing with freshly packaged mushrooms is super simple. If they’re already in a container with a plastic film wrapping over them, they’re ready to store as is.
If you’re only using a few at a time, we would suggest making a small opening at one end. Remove your mushrooms and then place the film back over. Alternatively you can remove all of the film, select your mushrooms, then replace with new cling film before placing back into the fridge.
Unpackaged Mushrooms
For storage of loose mushrooms they’re many methods. Some swear by wrapping them in a damp cloth whilst others prefer the paper bag method. We will run through multiple popular methods that you can utilise.
Damp Kitchen Paper Or Cloth
You will need kitchen paper or a cloth. They both have little holes in which allows the mushrooms to breathe fully. This is important so they don’t become soggy or mushy.
Also make sure they’re a little bit damp so the mushrooms don’t dry out when stored in the fridge.
1. Make sure that your mushrooms have been cleaned and are ready to be stored
2. Damp a cloth or kitchen paper towel
3. Wrap your mushrooms up inside your towel so they’re fully covered
4. Place in fridge
5. They should keep fresh for 7 days

 

Paper Bag
When storing in a paper bag we will need to make a few little holes and leave the top open too. This allows for air to fully circulate and lets the mushrooms breathe.
1. Make sure your mushrooms have been cleaned and are ready to be stored
2. Pierce a few holes in your paper bag, a pen is ideal for this
3. Place your mushrooms inside the bag
4. Place in the fridge
5. They should keep for 7 days

 

Zip Lock Bag
A zip lock bag is not the most ideal solution. Being fully air tight it doesn’t allow for your mushrooms to breathe. So although you can use this method, make sure you’re going to consume your mushrooms within a few days.
1. Make sure your mushrooms have been cleaned and are ready to be stored
2. Place your mushrooms into the zip lock bag
3. Place in the fridge
4. Consume within 3-4 days

Which part of the fridge to store my mushrooms in?

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Mushrooms are excellent at absorbing taste and flavour. They will literally suck it in from whatever food they’re stored near to.
To retain their flavour we suggest that you store you mushrooms in the crisper drawer. Here you may be able to control the humidity that your vegetables are stored at, allowing them to stay fresher for longer.

Long Term Mushroom Storage Methods

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For a longer term solution to storing your mushrooms you should consider pickling, canning, drying or freezing. Which will preserve your mushrooms for a minimum of one year. Each method is different and has different positives and negatives.
Pickling Your Mushrooms
Pickling has been around for thousands of years. Originating in India it has been utilised by almost every culture since. From German sauerkraut to traditional Chinese pickling, everyone has their own specialty recipe.
Pickling mushrooms will take roughly 1-2 hours. The process involves cleaning, cooking, then storing in your brine. Then leaving it for 10 days before consuming.
This method is ideal for those looking for that distinctive pickling taste. Preppers or survivalist that want long-term vegetable storage solutions. Or somebody looking to try something new.
Drying Your Mushrooms
Often you’ll see bags of dried herbs, fruit and mushrooms in local Asian supermarket. The method of drying food ensures that it will keep for a long time. Some reports that you can consume it for years into the future. The way to consume them is to simply rehydrate, 20-30 minutes prior to cooking.
The method of drying is relatively simple yet time consuming.Taking a very long time if you have many pounds to dry.
After cleaning your mushrooms thoroughly you need to slice them thinly. Next you place them on your tray and place into your dehydrated. Where they will now remain for 6-8 hours. Once fully dry and crisp you seal in a jar then leave until eaten.
A very simple method for long term storage. Perfect if you need to transport them or move them around they’re light and will not break, unlike a jar of pickled mushrooms which could smash.
Freezing Your Mushrooms
Like pickling there are many ways to freeze your mushrooms for long term storage. This method of preservation is very easy to complete and not very time consuming. Making it ideal for almost everyone.
You can freeze your mushrooms after sautéing, blanching or steaming them. For the full guide on freezing mushrooms check out our post here.
Sauté Method For Freezing
Sautéing before freezing is a quick and easy method for long term storage. Add clean mushrooms to the pan with your desired fat until fully cooked. Let cool and store in your fridge for up to one year. Just remember the taste of the fat you cook in will be absorbed by the mushrooms.  
Blanching Method For Freezing
This is simple and keeps your mushrooms free from any other taste. Slice your clean mushrooms and add to your boiling pot of water. After 3-5 minutes remove and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled remove and add to your freezer.
Steaming Method For Freezing
Steaming, much like blanching it is quick and easy. Slice your cleaned mushroom up into even sizes. Place onto your steaming rack with no overlap. Once cooked through (3-5 minutes) plunge into an ice back to stop the cooking process. One cooled remove and add to the freezer. Store for up to one year.

 

Other Articles You May Be Interested In...
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Pickling And Canning Mushrooms
How To Pickle Sausages

 

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