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Pickling And Canning Mushrooms: The Complete Guide

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Pickling is a popular preservation technique used for hundreds of years. Pickling can preserve your vegetables for years into the future. 
A popular pastime in Eastern Europe is going out mushroom foraging and bringing back hordes of mushrooms, before preserving. This allows you to pick lots of seasonal mushroom and enjoy them throughout the coming year.
Pickling also gives an acidic and distinct flavour to your food. You’re able to infuse it will dried herbs and chills really bringing out the best tastes.


History Of Pickling And Canning

Pickles were the perfect solution for families and farmers that had seasonal harvests. It was one of the earliest techniques to preserve food. Allowing . Preventing hunger or even starvation during the non vegetable producing months. Since then records show everyone consuming them, from sailors, adventurers and explorers to ancient Egyptians alike.
The modern popularisation of pickled food is arguably due to the influx of Eastern European, and more specifically Jewish immigrants, into the United States during the 1800 and 1900’s. With them they brought the pickled cucumber. Sold in the streets and restaurants of New York City even today you will find pickled cucumbers in the deli and supermarkets.
Possibly the oldest preservation technique it is thought to date back thousands of years, originally coming from India.


Canning Advantages



Canning is seen as a slight variation of pickling. Canning is when you seal your vegetables inside an airtight container before killing the bacteria contained within the jar.
Regular pickling in brine or vinegar reduces the PH to stop the growth of bacteria. Canning will then take the sealed jar and either boil it in water or pressure cook it. This increase of temperature when sealed will kill the bacteria inside.
Allowing your pickled food to be preserved for up to 5 years. An Ideal solution if you’re prepping, a survivalist or just looking for a longer-term storage solution.
Differences Between Canning And Pickling
Canning by killing harmful bacteria can be stored for years into the future. Whereas pickling doesn't raise the temperature of your jar after sealing, so doesn’t kill all of the bacteria.
Therefore once pickled food can be safely stored in your fridge for up to one month. Beyond that and you risk mould and bacteria growth.
We would suggest that you only pickle food that you will consume within a month to avoid waste.


The Science Of Pickling



For most of the pickling history nobody really understood the science behind why it worked. They knew the process and knew it kept their food tasting good for longer without getting sick. Through the development of science we are now able to explain just why this process works so well.
Bacteria lives off of sugars in vegetables, this bacteria causes vegetables to rot and eventually go bad.
There’s one type of bacteria that grows in this environment. That’s the lactic acid producing bacteria.
This bacteria consumes all of the sugars in your pickled vegetable. After consuming it releases lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
By consuming all of the sugar it prevent other bacteria being able to grow. However it keeps the vitamin and nutrient profile in the pickled food the same. Allowing us to preserve the foods taste and benefits for a long time without it going bad.


Hot Water Bath Canning



This process is suitable for foods with a higher PH, such as vegetables. This is because when they’re immersed into the brine and vinegar the PH of the solution is low and acidic. Which will reduce the chances of bacteria growing.
For already low PH foods such as meat you will need a more thorough solution such as a pressure cooking to ensure the bacteria is killed.
Once you have pickled your vegetables and they’re fully immersed in brine. Ensure your lid and seal is clean after you have added your ingredients and place in a canning pot. After it has been brought to the boil leave the jars boiling for 15 minutes.
By raising the temperature inside you will kill the harmful bacteria inside the jar. Therefore it’s essential you jar is airtight for less chance of contamination.
Make sure your jar is high quality and the manufacturer states it can withstand high temperatures. Low quality or cheaper jars could smash in the process.
How To Can Your Mushrooms
1. Once you have completed the pickling process ensure your lid and seal are clean
2. Bring a large pot to the boil
3. Add your jars directly into the water so they’re fully submerged and surrounded
4. Boil for 15 minutes
5. Remove from your pot and let cool down
These mushrooms can now be stored in a cool dry place for up to 5 years.


Pressure Cooking

For low PH food such as meat, fish or other high protein foods a more thorough process to kill bacteria is required. There is a chance of food that has not been processed correctly to become deadly to humans.
Pressure cooking works by boiling the water and heating the airtight jar up under a pressured environment. This will ensure your pickled food is safe to consume.


What Can Go Wrong?



The texture of the mushrooms has gone bad. When selecting your mushrooms be sure to only select the freshest and best quality available to you. If you don’t them during long-term storage the texture can get softer and less desirable.
Color of the brine changes, looks cloudy. This could be for a few of reasons. One being the vegetables have broken down or apart over time becoming mixed into the brine and changing the color. A second may be that they have taken the discolouration from a surface they’ve come into contact with.
Mould develops or the pickled vegetables look off. Bacteria probably has has grown into your jar, somehow oxygen has gotten into your jar and contaminated your pickle. This should be disposed of immediately and never consumed if you have any doubt.


How To Sterilize Canning Jars

Before you place anything inside your canning jar for storage, you need to correctly sterilize your mason jar. If you don’t sterilize your jar or don’t do it correctly you will risk bacteria and disease growth.
When pickling it’s essential that you sterilize your jar as you won’t necessarily boil it after you seal it. When canning, although we always do and would recommend for you to sterilize your jar if you boil it for 15 minutes in water to complete the process it should kill all of the bacteria.
For long-term storage of canned food, you have to ensure no contamination. Otherwise you have a very high risk of disease and ruining your batch of pickled food.
The higher above sea level you’re the longer you will need to boil your cans for. For every 1,000ft above sea level add 1 extra minute to the boiling time which is 10 minutes. For example 1,000ft is 11 minutes, 2,000ft 12 minutes and so on. This is because water boils at different temperatures depending on your elevation above sea level.
Warning: this method will include rapid temperature changes and high temperatures. It’s essential that you check the manufacturer's specification to make sure that your jar can withstand these changes.
Note: make sure you have thoroughly cleaned your kitchen or surrounding area of the jars. If this isn’t clean your jars can never be correctly sterilized.
How To Sterilize Canning Jars: (around 20 minutes to complete)
Equipment Needed:
  • Mason jars
  • Tongs
  • Large boiling pot with rack or boiling water bath canner
  • Tongs or jar lifter
1. Add water to your boiling pot enough to make sure it will cover your lids by roughly 1”
2. Raise the temperature of the water
3. Before it starts to boil carefully place your jars into the pot
4. Bring to the boil
5. Once boiling start your timer
6. After 15 minutes of boiling
7. Leave in the pot until you’re ready to can your food (up to 30 minutes)
8. Your jars have been fully sterilized and ready for canning


Picking Mushrooms To Pickle



Only pickle the freshest mushrooms that you can source. If you’re storing your pickled mushrooms for a long time, the taste and flavour of the mushroom may decrease. A few things to look out for when picking the highest quality mushrooms.
  • Firm to touch, they aren’t squidgy and fall apart when touched
  • Dry to touch, they aren’t wet on the surface or sat in water
  • The caps are perky and full looking
  • Smell earthy and fresh like an autumn walk in the forest


Cleaning And Preparing Your Mushrooms



It’s very important to clean your mushrooms correctly and thoroughly before pickling. Otherwise you will risk mould and bacteria growth forcing you to throw the batch away.
It’s often argued whether or not you should run your mushrooms under the tap or soak them in water some chefs always do, others say it makes them soggy and a less appetising texture.
1. Using a damp cloth or brush wipe your mushrooms until clean
2. Be sure to have removed all of the dirt and any debris
3. If there are any dark spots or differences remove using a sharp knife


Vegetable Tamper

When packing your kimchi or latest ferment into a jar you'll need to pack it down, squishing it below the waterline. 
We developed a unique solution to this, by making the 'pounding edge' jagged it mushes and squishes your vegetables with ease.
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Pickling Mushroom Recipes

The recipes below can be suitably stored in your fridge for up to one month. For long term storage you will need to perform the canning process. This would ensure that you can store long term.
The recipes will have slightly conflicting advice when it comes to how long to cool down and store before eating. The longer you wait the more infused the mushrooms will become. We would recommend that you wait at least 2 days before consuming. However many will recommend up to 2 weeks for maximum flavour.
Before placing anything in your mason jar, you will need to make sure that it has been sterilised correctly. If it hasn’t you will risk mould growth. Above is the guide on how to correctly do this.


Tangy Pickled Mushrooms
This recipes was adapted and inspired from the website Original recipe link here.
  • 2 Cups Of Water
  • 2 Cups Of Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Of Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Of Pickling Spice
  • 1 Tbsp Of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 lb Of Fresh Mushrooms
Equipment Required:
  • 1 Mason Jar
  • Large Boiling Pot
Note: the jar that you pick needs to be able to withstand rapid heat changes. Check the manufacturer specifications otherwise you risk breaking.
1. Slice your cleaned mushrooms to your desired size, we would suggest halves or quarters
2. Add the water, cider vinegar, pickling spice, salt, red pepper flakes
3. Bring to the boil
4. Add the mushrooms and let them boil until soft (2-5 minutes)
5. Add the liquid and mushrooms into a large jar
6. Seal the jar then chill for 10 hours
We would recommend storing in the fridge and consuming within a month. This isn’t a long-term storage solution (multiple years) because it hasn’t been heat treated after sealing.


Quick Pickled Mushrooms
This recipes was adapted and inspired from the website  Original recipe link here.
  • 1 ½  lbs Of Mushrooms
  • 2 to 3 Sprigs Of Thyme
  • 1 Small Onion Or Shallot
  • 1 ½ tsp Of Whole Allspice
  • 1 tbsp Of Black Peppercorns
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Of Sea Salt
  • ⅓ Cup Of White Wine Vinegar
  • ¾ A Cup Of Water
  • Mason Jar - 1 quart size
  • Large Boiling Pot
1. Slice your cleaned mushrooms into halves or quarters
2. Add all of the ingredients (except thyme) into the boiling pot
3. Bring the pot to the boil
4. Boil your mushrooms until soft (2-5 minutes)
5. Add the thyme to your mason jar
6. Put all of the ingredients into your jar and leave until cool
We would recommend storing in the fridge and consuming within a month. This isn’t a long-term storage solution (multiple years) because it hasn’t been heat treated after sealing.


Spicy Pickled Mushrooms
This recipes was adapted and inspired from the website  Original recipe link here.
This recipe will make 2 quart of 4 pints.
  • 3 lbs Of Mushrooms
  • 3 ¾ Cups Of White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 ⅔ Cups Of Water
  • 4 ½ tbsp Of Salt
  • 1 tsp Of Peppercorns
  • 2 tsp Of Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 Cloves Of Garlic
  • Mason Jar(s)
  • Large Boiling Pot

1. Divide the peppercorns, cayenne pepper and garlic between the mason jars
2. Combine the water, vinegar and salt into your pot and bring to the boil
3. Add your mushrooms and boil until soft 2-5 minutes
4. Split the mushrooms evenly between your pots
5. Cover with brine, leave a 1” gap at the top of each jar
6. Add the tops to your jar and seal
7. Cover and cool before storing in your fridge
We would recommend storing in the fridge and consuming within a month. This isn’t a long-term storage solution (multiple years) because it hasn’t been heat treated after sealing.


Mixed Mushroom Pickling Recipe
This recipes was adapted and inspired from the website  Original recipe link here.
  • 6 Cups Of Mixed Mushrooms
  • 4 Sprigs Of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Cup Of White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Of Granulated Sugar
  • 10 Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 Dried Bay Leaf
  • 1 Clove Of Garlic Sliced
  • 1 Dried Red Hot Chilli
  • 1 Tbsp Of Kosher Salt
  • Large Pot
  • Saucepan
  • Mason Jar(s)
1. Add the water to the large pan and bring to the boil
2. Slice your clean mushrooms into halves or quarters
3. Once boiling add your mushrooms to the pot along
4. When your mushrooms are soft (2-5 minutes) add to the mason jar(s) evenly and the thyme sprigs too
5. Add the rest of your ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil
6. Once boiled place into your mason jar
7. Let cool overnight before placing in your fridge
We would recommend storing in the fridge and consuming within a month. This isn’t a long-term storage solution (multiple years) because it hasn’t been heat treated after sealing.


For Our Full List Of Recommended Fermenting, And Canning Products Check Out Our Article Here!


Interested in learning more about fermenting & preserving? 
Check out these articles:
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Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
How To Store Mushrooms
How To Pickle Sausages

1 comment

  • We can store pickle for 2 year
    Plz give a recipy

    - Subal Bairagi

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