Mushrooms are fungi that grow in damp conditions. And yet, they bring so much flavor to your everyday diet, (once they’ve been washed, of course).
While their growing conditions aren’t that healthy, mushrooms have a heap of health benefits. Mushrooms have a high content of protein and antioxidants and even a good helping of magnesium.
But, when you have mushrooms, you’re going to need to know how to store them properly. Keep reading to learn about all of the methods for storing mushrooms to keep them for an extended amount of time.
Table of Contents
How To Properly Store Your Mushrooms?
While mushrooms grow in a damp environment, it’s not a good place to store them. When stored correctly, mushrooms can keep for up to a week before losing flavor or spoiling.
However, the best way to store mushrooms for a long amount of time is to dry them or freeze them. For each of the methods, you must follow the steps very closely to avoid making a mistake and spoiling your mushrooms.
Storing Mushrooms In The Fridge
Storing mushrooms in the fridge is the best way to have them fresh and on hand for the duration of their shelf life. But it’s very important that you don’t put them in the crisper or drawers of your fridge.
Storing mushrooms is best done with a very absorbent paper towel and a paper bag. This sucks up the excess moisture from the mushrooms. With this method, you can store mushrooms for up to 7 days without any of them going slimy or mushy.
Storing Mushrooms In The Freezer
If you choose to store mushrooms in the freezer, you’ll have to do it right away. If you wait a few days, it will be too late. In this case, the freezing process will only cause freezer burn in the mushroom, which renders it unusable. When you do it right away, mushrooms freeze quite well and can last for 12 months.
You will also need to prepare the mushrooms by washing and cooking them first. Once the mushrooms have been cooked, cool them completely on a paper towel. Then, you can put them in an airtight food container and keep them for up to a year without losing any flavor.
Storing Mushrooms By Drying Them
If you want another way to preserve the life of your stored mushrooms, you should definitely consider drying them. Just like with “magic mushrooms”, normal and edible mushrooms can also be dried and stored for almost 2 years.
You can rehydrate dried mushrooms as you need by soaking them in water. All you need is a dehydrator or your oven at the lowest setting. When they’ve dried, cool them off on a paper towel to make sure that all the moisture is drawn from your mushrooms. Then, pop them into an airtight container and store them in a cool environment like your pantry for as long as you need to.
How Long Can You Store Mushrooms?
Mushrooms can rot quickly when kept in improper conditions. But, when you take the right steps for each method, you can keep them for a long time without losing any vitamin content or flavor. Each of the three methods will alter the mushroom to some degree, but not enough to make them inedible unless you don’t do it right.
You can store mushrooms for up to a week in the fridge. If you use a vacuum sealer, you can extend that by 3-4 days. In the freezer, you can store mushrooms for up to a year before they’ve gone past redemption.
The longest-lasting way to store mushrooms is to dry them. By doing this, you can store them indefinitely, even for years. Plus, it’s super easy to rehydrate them whenever you need to use your stored mushrooms.
How To Tell If Mushrooms Are Going Bad?
Mushrooms in the fridge will only last for up to 7 days, which is the shortest lifespan of all mushroom storing methods. However, the only sign of spoilage in frozen mushrooms is freezer burn, since mold and bacteria can’t grow at that temperature.
So, it’s easier to spot signs of spoiling while your mushrooms are in the fridge because this is the only place they can actually spoil, rather than suffer the effects of too much time at a certain temperature.
In the fridge, you will notice mushrooms beginning to spoil after 7 days. Here are some of the signs of a mushroom that’s had its day:
- Dark spots or decoloration on the mushroom
- Slimy texture or visual presence of slime in the container or on the mushroom
- The mushroom has a softer, mushy structure.
- Your mushrooms are starting to sprout mold.
There’s a hack to saving mushrooms from spoiling. If your mushrooms are only a little slimy and there are no other present signs of decomposition, you can fry them up well in order to get a few more days out of them.
Mistakes To Avoid When Storing Mushrooms
Because mushrooms grow surrounded by decomposition, it’s natural for them to only last so long. Improper storage and preparation when storing mushrooms will lead to them spoiling quicker than usual.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid when you’re storing mushrooms to extend their shelf life:
- Storing mushrooms in the crisper of your fridge, as there is too much moisture.
- Storing mushrooms in a plastic container or airtight Ziploc baggy.
- Storing close to garlic or another strong-smelling food, as the mushrooms will soak up the smell.
- Putting mushrooms under a heavier dish, to crush them.
- Cleaning and not letting mushrooms dry completely before storing in the fridge.
- Buying mushrooms in a package, all are older than the ones you can pick yourself.
When you store mushrooms through one of the methods we’ve already discussed, you should have no problem keeping mushrooms tasty and dry. Make sure you follow all the method’s instructions carefully to avoid making these mistakes.