Drying mushrooms is a great way to preserve cultivated or wild mushrooms and keep them for long-term storage. It's also the best way to save money on fresh mushrooms, which can be expensive at the grocery store.
Not only will this process help you save money, but it also allows you to add dried mushrooms to all sorts of recipes—from soups and sauces to stir-fries. So let's get started!
Why dry mushrooms?
The dehydrating process of drying out food works by removing moisture from it without cooking it, so no additional ingredients are necessary ).
Dry mushrooms are an excellent option for those looking to save money on their mushroom purchases. They can be stored for up to a year without losing their intense flavor, and they're easy to transport and use in recipes. In addition, you can dry all types of mushrooms and preserve the different flavors.
The convenience of dry mushrooms makes them more versatile than fresh ones, too—you can use them as a flavoring or in place of fresh mushrooms, so long as you have some water on hand to rehydrate the dried variety before cooking with them.
Dried mushrooms also make it simple to create mushroom powder by grinding them up into a fine powder that has many uses, including adding flavor and nutrition to soups and stews, making spice rubs for your meats, or creating homemade seasoning blends that'll add an extra kick of flavor wherever they're used!
You can use mushrooms in all sorts of recipes, but the best thing about them is that they're so versatile. They can be added to any meal, whether stir-fries or stew. Store them in a paper bag until ready to use.
- Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor and are often used in Asian cuisine. They work well in soups and stews.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms have a more earthy flavor than oyster mushrooms, which makes them great for adding depth to dishes like pasta sauces.
- Porcini mushrooms: Porcini are creamy-white with brown caps and stems. They're great for adding umami to dishes like risotto or polenta.
- Button mushrooms are small and firm with a subtle flavor. They work well with almost any other ingredient—they're perfect for sautéing or roasting!
Before you start, make sure that your mushrooms are clean. First, you can use a mushroom brush to remove dirt or debris. Next, gently rinse them with water and pat them dry with a paper towel if they aren't too dirty.
You can dehydrate your mushrooms without a dehydrator, but it's much easier if you have one. Dehydrators will ensure that all the moisture is removed from the mushroom so that it doesn't spoil quickly after being dried out. It also helps to keep them from sticking together during drying.
You can buy dehydrators at most grocery stores or online stores/ Make sure that the one you buy has an adjustable temperature setting and a timer to control how long it takes for your mushrooms to dry out completely!
How to dry in a food dehydrator
Once they're clean, slice them into thin pieces—⅛" is ideal—and place them on your dehydrator trays in a single layer so they'll dry quickly and evenly.
Slice whole mushrooms as you would for cooking, but be careful not to cut too thin, or they'll turn into dust in the dehydrator.
Place your sliced mushrooms on dehydrator trays in a single layer, ensuring they don't overlap.
Dehydrate your mushrooms at 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours or until they're dehydrated and crisp, checking every hour to ensure they're not getting too browned or brittle. Keep an eye on them as they dry, so there's no chance of burning!
5. Once dried thoroughly, store them in an airtight container away from sunlight in a cool (but not cold), dry place—they'll keep for up to 6 months if stored correctly!
How to dry mushrooms without a dehydrator
1. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips, then place them on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and wait until it reaches that temperature before placing the mushrooms there.
3. Set your timer for 3 hours, but check on your mushrooms every hour to ensure they aren't getting too dry or too wet (which can happen if you leave them in too long). If they're getting too dry, turn off the oven and let them cool inside until they reach the right consistency.
How to store dried mushrooms
Dried mushrooms are an easy way to add flavor to many dishes, but they can be tricky to store. Here's how:
First, make sure you're storing your dried mushroom slices or powder in an airtight container. The container should be made of glass or plastic, not metal. This is because metal can react with the mushroom, resulting in discoloring or a metallic taste.
Second, keep your dried mushrooms in a cool, dry place. Humidity and heat can cause mold growth on the mushrooms, so they must stay away from them while you're storing them.
Third, add silica gel packs to absorb any excess moisture in the container. These are available at most grocery stores and can also be purchased online. They're safe for use around foodstuffs like dried fruit and spices!
Fourth, avoid storing your dried mushrooms near light or humidity because this will cause them to lose their color over time and possibly become discolored or moldy due to exposure to air currents that carry dust particles into their containers (which could result in ingestion).
How to rehydrate dehydrated mushrooms
To rehydrate mushrooms:
- Fill a medium bowl with warm water and add your dehydrated mushrooms.
- Soak for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Drain the mushrooms and pat dry with paper towels—Reserve the soaking liquid for broth.
- If you want to use the reconstituted mushrooms immediately, add them directly into soups or stews without being cooked first.
Air drying mushrooms is an easy way to preserve them, but there are better methods because of inconsistent temperatures.
Dried mushroom Shelf Life
The shelf life of dried mushrooms is lengthy, provided that you store them properly in a cool dark place.
Keep them out of direct sunlight, and don't let them get wet. Dried mushrooms can last for at least a year on the shelf if stored in an air-tight container. They'll last even longer if kept in a freezer or refrigerator.
If you plan to keep your dried mushrooms for over six months, freeze them rather than refrigerate them.
Freezing won't affect the flavor or texture, but they'll eventually lose some of their nutrients after being frozen. It also helps prevent mold growth and protects against rancidity (which makes them go bad faster).
Drying your mushrooms will save you money and help you add them to all of your favorite recipes, especially soups.
You can dry your mushrooms at home at low temperatures in a dehydrator or stovetop. You can even make a mushroom powder for use in baking!
Drying is simple. Just put the mushrooms on a sheet pan in an oven with no heat or turn on the dehydrator to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius). This will allow them to slowly lose their moisture without cooking them.
Dried mushrooms are a great way to preserve your favorite mushrooms for longer. They're also super easy to make and only take a few hours to dehydrate in your food dehydrator. You can use any mushroom for this recipe: Portobello, crimini, shiitake, or even exotic wild mushrooms like chanterelles!