Can You Freeze Mushrooms? The Easy Guide To Every Method – Grow Your Pantry

Can You Freeze Mushrooms? The Easy Guide To Every Method

by Susan Grey on January 20, 2019
mushroom_freezing_guide_graphic

 

Can I Freeze Mushrooms? Yes.
A common question we get, is asking if it’s possible to freeze fresh fungi. Freezing has been widely done as an alternative preservation technique to drying or pickling. This preservation technique is straightforward and simple.
Often in-season fungi will have the cheapest prices making stocking up on these goodies essential. But we find with so many mushrooms what do we do with them? How long do they last?
Mushrooms once in the fridge last for only a week. If you’ve brought more that you can eat, it’s a good idea to preserve them.
There are three main ways of preserving, you can dry them, pickle them or freeze them. All three have their pros and cons.
The advantage of freezing is that it doesn’t require much effort and it’s easy to cook once frozen too. You don’t need to thaw them before, just add them to the pan like normal.
Not Much Time? Skip To What You'd Like To Learn...

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How To Choose Mushrooms

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When at the supermarket or farmers market it’s essential to pick the freshest and most flavourful ones. During the freezing process they will change in taste, texture and appearance.
Only buy mushrooms that look fresh and smell good.
A few things to look out for when choosing:
  • Earthy Smell
  • Firm To touch
  • Look Fresh
  • Dry And Full Looking
A few things you don’t want to see when selecting:
  • No Musty Smell
  • No Mold
  • No Slime Or Glossy Look

Which Freezing Method Is Best For My Mushrooms?

varieties_of_mushrooms

 

Depending on the type of fungi you may get better freezing results by using a different method.
Also think about what you would like to do with your mushrooms afterwards. Do you often use your mushrooms for a stew or do you use them as a pizza topping?
Fungi contain between 70-90% water. Therefore if you decide to freeze them raw, blanched or steamed they could come out mushy in texture.
We created a table with a few popular mushroom varieties. Each with the recommended freeze preservation technique.
Although you can preserve with every method we decided to create this table to display our best results.
table_best_mushroom_freezing
Which Method Is Right For Me?
Each variety of mushroom is different but to try and give you a rough overview we have included 3 methods of freezing and recipe ideas too.
Freezing, Blanched or Steaming?
These methods favour dishes that requires slices or whole. They will be easy to break off and cooking using a handful at a time.
If the temperature of the food when cooking needs to remain hot, for example stir-frys, you should add slowly, to not cool down the temperature of the pan.
The following dishes are examples for blanched, steamed or frozen :
  • Pizza
  • Pasta dishes
  • Meat dishes
  • Stir fry and Chinese style cooking
Raw mushrooms
For freezing, as none of the moisture content has been removed, they’re likely to be mushy in texture when defrosted. The following recipes are most suitable for frozen raw mushrooms:
  • Broths
  • Stews
  • Soups
Freezing Sautéed Mushrooms
When you sauté you add new flavours. When you cook in hot fats they will absorb the fat’s taste  - this should be taken into account if you’re looking to cook dishes with no additional taste.
Frozen sautéed mushrooms can be used for the following:
  • Pasta dishes
  • Stir fry and Chinese style cooking
  • Cream sauces
  • Mediterranean dishes

Preparing And Cleaning Your Mushrooms

cutting_mushroom

 

Cleaning Mushrooms

Some chefs and cooks always recommend to not put them under the tap for fear that they will soak up too much moisture. However I personally always follow this method if i’m not short of time and looking for the best results when freezing.
1. Put your mushrooms under lukewarm water. When under the water, with a brush or cloth wipe all over your mushrooms until they’re visibly clean
2. If there are still any marks or undesirable spots carefully cut them out with a sharp knife.
3. Pat off any excess water with a dry kitchen towel
4. When complete lay them on a clean kitchen towel or in a colander with drainage bowl underneath
5. Leave, ideally next to a window ledge, until dry

Preparing Your Mushrooms

Before you to freeze you will need to cut them to your desired size. Have a think, what you would like to use your mushrooms for afterwards? If a soup or stew leaving them large and chunky is ideal. For stir frys or quiches I would cut into thin slices.

 

 Methods Of Mushroom Freezing

mushroom_saute_for_freezing

Sauté For Freezer Storage

The sauté method is very straight forward. One advantage of using this method is that you can remove some water from your mushrooms before freezing. So is ideal for those with high water content.
Remember: mushrooms absorb tastes like sponges absorb water. Consider which fat you’re going to be cooking in and how it may affect the future taste of dishes.
When cooking sautéed mushrooms from frozen you can either add them frozen to your dish, or add them slowly if you don’t want to cool your pan’s temperature. Another alternative if you’re cooking dishes such as stir frys is to defrost them in a separate pan before adding to your wok.
Once frozen these should last for a year.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb (450g) of mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp of fat
What you will need:
  • 12” Pan
  • Spatula
  • Freezer safe bag or box for storage
  • Label
  • Pen
Method
1. Place your pan over a medium heat
2. Put your mushrooms into the warm pan and stir until they start releasing water
3. If they look like they may start burning then reduce the heat
4. After a couple of minutes add your fat
5. Let cook until brown and golden
6. Let your sauteed mushrooms cool down
7. Once cool, place into your freezer safe bag or box
8. Remember to add the type of mushroom, fat cooked in and date to your box
9. Consume within 1 year

 

Blanching Your Mushrooms For Freezer Storage

boiling_pot

 

Blanching is process that part cooks the food in boiling water. Which is then followed by the mushroom being rapidly cooled in an ice bath, to stop the cooking process.
Blanching your vegetable tries to maintain the taste and overall quality of the vegetable before preserving. This process is commonly performed prior to canning, preserving or freezing.
If you’re planning on using your mushrooms for soups, stews or any liquid based dish this method is ideal. If your mushrooms have high water content after the freezing process they are likely to become mushy in texture.
After performing this process, you can store and eat your mushrooms for up to one year.
Ingredients & Equipment
  • Mushrooms
  • 1-3 tsp of Lemon Juice (optional)
  • Water
  • Large Pot
  • Bowl
  • Ice
  • Knife
  • Brush Or Sponge For Cleaning
  • Freezer Container Or Zip-Lock Bag
  • Sticky Label & Pen
      Method
      1. Place a large pot on your element and bring to the boil (make sure there is enough water to cover your mushrooms, if not you can repeat this process until all are blanched)
      2. Wash your mushrooms thoroughly under the tap, wiping with a brush or cloth (some say it’s ok if you don’t wash as the boiling process will remove and kill all dirt, however our preference is to clean first)
      3. Optional: if you would like to preserve the color of your mushrooms for freezing you can add 1 tsp of lemon juice for every 1 litre of water in the pot now
      4. Slice your mushrooms into the desired size - Important if you keep them whole or slice them different sizes you will need to cook in separate batches to cook them evenly
      5. When your pan had been brought to the boil place your mushrooms in
      6. Boil for 2-5 minutes - the larger in size the longer you will boil them
      7. Place cold water into a large bowl, if the water in warm add some ice
      8. When the mushrooms have finished boiling, immediately place your mushrooms into the cold water to stop the cooking process
      9. Once cool, drain your mushroom and place in a freezer safe container or zip lock bag to store
      10. Remember to place a label detailing the type of mushroom, method used to freeze and date they were placed into the freezer

       

                      Steaming Your Mushrooms For Freezer Storage

                      double_boiler_steaming_pot
                      Steaming your mushrooms for freezer storage will give you almost identical results to blanching. Instead of dropping your mushrooms into boiling water to part-cook, this method uses steam to part-cook them instead.
                      This method will help to retain the texture and taste of the mushrooms more so than the raw freezing method.
                      Once frozen the recommended use for these is to be put into soups, stews or any other liquid based dishes.
                      Ingredients & Equipment
                      • Mushrooms
                      • 1-3 tsp of Lemon Juice (optional)
                      • Water
                      • Steaming Pot or Double Boiler Pot
                      • Bowl
                      • Ice
                      • Knife
                      • Brush Or Sponge For Cleaning
                      • Freezer Container Or Zip-Lock Bag
                      • Sticky Label & Pen
                      Method
                      1. Fill your steaming pot or double boiler, with the appropriate amount of water for you mushrooms, and bring to the boil
                      2. Clean your mushrooms thoroughly using running tap water with a brush or cloth - the steaming process will not wash your mushrooms, and you don’t want frozen dirt!
                      3. Slice your mushrooms into even sized slices, this is important they’re the same size so they will all cook evenly
                      4. If you would like to preserve the color of your mushrooms now is the time to put them in a bowl of water mixed with tsp of lemon juice, mix well and leave for 5-10 minutes
                      5. Add your mushrooms to the steaming pot, if possible try to get no overlap when inside as this increase the cooking time
                      6. The process should take between 3-7 minutes, 3 for thin slices 7 for small whole mushrooms
                      7. Transfer your mushrooms to the cold bowl of water to halt the cooking process
                      8. Drain with a sieve or colander and pat dry with some kitchen towel
                      9. When dry, place in your freezer container or zip lock bag
                      10. Remember to write the type of mushroom, method of cooking and date stored on your label
                      11. Place in your freezer and consume within one year of freezing

                       

                                          Raw Or Fresh Mushrooms For Freezer Storage

                                          sliced_fresh_mushrooms

                                           

                                          It is entirely possible to freeze fresh mushrooms raw however the mushroom after defrosted is going to mushy in texture. We would recommend this method if you’re pressed for time or will just use them for stocks and casseroles.
                                          This method is incredibly straightforward and requires little time or equipment to freeze.
                                          Ingredients & Equipment
                                          • Mushrooms
                                          • Baking Tray
                                          • Freezer Container Or Zip Lock Bags
                                          • Label & Pen
                                          • Wash your mushrooms thoroughly under the tap and wipe with a cloth or brush
                                          1. Slice your mushrooms into the desired size, we would recommend thin slices
                                          2. Place on a baking tray - evenly spaced out with no overlapping mushrooms
                                          3. Once frozen, transfer the mushrooms from the baking tray to a freezer container or zip lock bag
                                          4. Write the type of mushroom variety, preparation method and date on your label before placing in the freezer
                                          5. Once frozen consume these mushrooms within one year

                                           

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