How to Dehydrate Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of the food items that no one can resist. And it is cherished by gourmet food lovers as well as food enthusiasts. These can level up any dish and give a unique taste. But wouldn’t it be great if you could dehydrate mushrooms so that you could use them anytime and store them for a longer period of time? Well, do not worry; we have the perfect solution for you.
In this blog, we will break down the process of how to dehydrate mushrooms using different kitchen appliances so that you can dehydrate mushrooms according to your preferences and suitability. Dehydrating mushrooms will help you to preserve the natural flavors of your mushrooms.
Sometimes mushrooms can go bad rotting in your refrigerator, and you might feel bad that all your money went to waste. But dehydrating them will help you to store these mushrooms as long as you want without having to worry about them going bad. You don’t have to be a kitchen expert; you just need to follow our guidelines to dehydrate and preserve those amazing flavors of your mushrooms perfectly.
So, if you want to know how to dehydrate mushrooms, keep on reading!
Preparing mushrooms for dehydrating
Before you dive into the dehydrating process, it is very important to prepare your mushrooms. Also, make sure that your utensils counters are clean and sanitized; otherwise, your mushrooms might get contaminated, and this might spoil your mushrooms.
Here’s how to prepare mushrooms for dehydration:
- First of all, you should clean your mushrooms very carefully. Using a fresh, wet kitchen towel, gently brush off any dirt or silt that sticks to your mushrooms. It’s advisable to avoid giving them a quick wash because doing so could cause unintended darkening when the drying process is going on.
- Now, let’s move on to those mushroom stems. We’re resourceful in the kitchen, so don’t throw them! These stems can be saved to make a large vegetable stock. To remove them from the caps, use your hands or a paring knife.
- Now that your mushrooms look clean and fresh. These mushrooms can be sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces using a sharp knife. Cut them into smaller pieces if dicing is more suitable for you. This is based on what you want to do with your dried mushrooms in the future.
Now that your mushrooms are prepared, you can move on to the dehydrating process.
How to dehydrate mushrooms in a food dehydrator
A food dryer is a great choice if you want to dehydrate your mushrooms; it helps you to preserve the natural flavors of the mushrooms, and minimal effort is needed.
Follow these steps to dry mushrooms in the dehydrator:
- Place the cleaned and prepared mushrooms onto the trays of the dehydrator. Although it’s not necessary, you can line the trays with parchment paper to stop anything from sticking.
- Choose a temperature range of 125°F (52°C) to 135°F (57°C) for your food dehydrator. Refer to the user manual for help since the optimal temperature may differ according to the model of the dehydrator you own.
- As you put the loaded trays into the dehydrator, make sure that there is enough area for the slices of mushrooms to breathe. It usually takes three to eight hours to dry the mushrooms.
Check the mushrooms for dryness. When you break a piece in half, it should be dry and brittle. Be patient since complete drying is necessary to avoid spoiling. After the mushrooms have dried completely, leave them to chill for a few hours at room temperature. To avoid moisture buildup in the storage container, make sure they reach room temperature before storing.
How to dehydrate mushrooms in an oven
The oven may be a reliable choice for maintaining the tempting flavors of fresh mushrooms. One simple way to increase the shelf life of mushrooms and enhance their umami flavor is to bake them until they become dry.
Here’s how to dehydrate mushrooms in an oven:
- Prepare and clean your mushrooms thoroughly.
- Set the oven to the lowest possible temperature, usually no more than 150°F (65°C). Use the lowest setting if your oven isn’t able to go that low.
- Arrange the slices of mushroom in a single layer on baking sheets. It’s optional to line the sheets with parchment paper to keep them from sticking.
- Place the baking sheets filled with mushrooms inside the preheated oven, leaving the oven door slightly open to let moisture out. To keep the door open, use an oven-safe utensil or a wooden spoon.
- In the oven, let the mushrooms dry for a few hours, preferably two or three. After an hour, turn around the mushrooms to make sure they are drying evenly.
Allow the dehydrated mushrooms to reach room temperature. After they have cooled, move them to vacuum-seal bags or airtight containers. Keep them away from direct sunlight and in an area with low humidity and temperature.
How to air dry mushrooms naturally
When it comes to air-drying mushrooms, you have two different options that will affect how you prepare them.
Using a mesh container:
- Your mushrooms will have optimal air circulation if you use a container like a mesh colander.
- If there is sufficient ventilation above and below the mushrooms, using a baking rack or mesh screen placed over a baking sheet may achieve the same goal.
- It’s possible to air dry whole mushrooms, caps, sections, and slices of mushrooms using this adaptable technique.
- Keep in mind that mushrooms dry faster when they are sliced thinner. This method produces sliced mushrooms that include part of the cap and stem. Cut the mushrooms lengthwise to a thickness of around 0.2 inches (0.5 cm). Take care not to overlap or touch the mushrooms as you arrange them in the container in a single layer.
Stringing the mushroom pieces:
- For generations, people have used stringing, a conventional and space-saving technique, to air dry mushrooms.
- It can be difficult to thread the mushrooms onto the string if you slice them too thin. So, when using this method, cut the pieces a little larger.
- Thread the mushroom pieces onto a durable thread or cooking string using a sterilized needle.
- By placing the needle near an open flame, such as that of a candle or alcohol lamp, you can quickly sterilize it.
After your mushrooms are cleaned and ready to dry, it’s time to choose a good spot where they may dry naturally without being damaged by animals, birds, insects, or too much moisture.
The air-drying process generally takes seven to ten days, depending on the size and wetness of the mushroom pieces. You can use a fan to increase air circulation or put your mushrooms in direct sunshine to speed up the drying process. In addition to being ready in five days, sun-dried mushrooms have higher vitamin D levels as a result of their exposure to sunlight.
How to rehydrate dried mushrooms
Rehydrating dried mushrooms can be done in two ways: the plate approach (for stubborn mushrooms) and the simple soaking method.
Method 1: Basic Soaking
- Put the dried mushrooms in a covered bowl or container.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cover the dried mushrooms fully with the boiling water. Pour one to one and a half cups of water over each ounce of dry mushrooms.
- After placing a cover or piece of plastic wrap over the bowl or container, let the mushrooms soak for twenty to thirty minutes.
Method 2: Plate Method (for Stubborn Mushrooms)
- Try the plate approach if you’re in a rush or if the basic soaking method doesn’t work. Put the dried mushrooms on a plate that is safe to microwave.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cover the mushrooms in the dish with it.
- Cook in the microwave for one to two minutes or until the water starts to boil. Take the mushroom out of the microwave.
- After removing the mushrooms, carefully drain the dish of any remaining water.
- After the mushrooms have been drained, place them on a dish or saucer and cover them with another dish or saucer. Put something heavy, like a can, on top of the upper plate as a weight.
Check the mushrooms for rehydration after the specified time. They should be juicy, soft, and sufficiently hydrated, like fresh mushrooms. You can use the dried mushrooms in your favorite recipes or freeze any leftovers after they have fully rehydrated. Rehydrated mushrooms can be frozen for longer term preservation or kept in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.
By using these techniques, you can bring dried mushrooms’ whole flavor and texture into your cooking, giving your meals more depth and richness.
How to store dehydrated mushrooms
The best approach to preserve the flavor and freshness of your dried mushrooms is to keep them stored in a cold, dark, and dry place in airtight containers or bags. This is an essential step whether you use the oven, dehydrator, or freeze-drying technique. The procedure is called “conditioning.”
Here’s how it works:
- Once your dehydrated mushrooms are completely cool, put them in a ziplock bag or a sealed mason jar, making sure to press out as much air as you can.
- Then, put your bag or sealed container in a cold, dark place.
- Don’t worry if you see condensation but no obvious mold symptoms.
If there is any trace of condensation on freeze-dried mushrooms, it indicates that they were not fully freeze-dried or that they may have gathered moisture after being taken out of the freeze dryer. In this case, return to the freeze dryer for additional drying. But be aware that their shelf life may be a little bit shorter. After a week, if there is still no condensation in your jars or bags, your mushrooms are well-dried and prepared for long-term storage.
Best mushrooms to dehydrate
The key to choosing the best mushrooms for dehydration is to consider your ultimate usage for them. The ones you picture in saucy, soupy, risotto, or pasta dishes are the ideal candidates for dehydration. When cooking, these mushrooms will happily rehydrate and impart their own flavor to your food.
On the other hand, dehydration might not be your best option if you’ve always wanted to fry your mushrooms. Some mushrooms, such as the “Chicken of the Woods,” are best prepared in a skillet and cannot be dried out.
Remember that some mushrooms, for example- portabella mushrooms, take on an odd texture, although they are still edible.
Dehydrating cultivated mushrooms
Dehydrating your mushrooms is a great way to preserve them if you cultivate your own. If you’re not into growing your own, make sure to monitor the sales at your local grocery shop. Sometimes, mushrooms are on sale at a great price, which is a great chance to stock up and dry mushrooms.
Dehydrating shiitakes, oysters, wine caps, white buttons, and Crimini mushrooms—a young variation of portabella mushrooms—is an excellent option. These mushrooms are culinary treasures because they rehydrate beautifully and hold their flavors and textures.
Dehydrating wild mushrooms
Dehydrating wild mushrooms provides a wide range of possibilities. Desired types such as Pheasant Back, Lobster Mushrooms, Lion’s Mane, Chanterelles, and Morels. When properly dried, mushrooms are ready for their tasty mixture in your cooking. But when it comes to dehydration, mushrooms like Chicken of the Woods are a problem. When in season, they are best consumed fresh, so think about preserving them if you find a surplus. Brittle, transient species, such as Shaggy Mane Fresh mushrooms, are best enjoyed fresh because they rot quickly after being harvested. They should not be dehydrated.
Dehydrating Medical Mushrooms
One of the best ways to maintain the taste of medical mushrooms is to dehydrate them. Turkey Tail Mushrooms, Birch Polypore, Tinder Polypore, Reishi, and Chaga are a few prominent examples. They can be quickly dehydrated by placing them in the dehydrator, as they are naturally dry. These can be used in tinctures and teas to improve your health all year long.
How long does it take to dehydrate mushrooms?
Depending on the drying method you select, dehydrating mushrooms take different amounts of time. The approximate times for the various approaches are as follows:
- Food Dehydrator: It usually takes 3 to 8 hours for mushrooms to completely dry out when using a food dehydrator. This is an overview, and the actual time may vary depending on the dehydrator’s temperature setting and the mushrooms’ moisture content.
- Oven Drying: It typically takes two to three hours to dehydrate mushrooms in the oven. Set your oven to the lowest temperature (approximately 150°F or 65°C) and observe the level of dryness of the mushrooms.
- Air Drying: Naturally, air drying mushrooms takes the longest—seven to ten days. The size of the mushroom pieces, humidity conditions, and sufficient airflow are all important factors in this process.
These timelines are only estimates that may change depending on the particular mushrooms you’re drying and the surrounding conditions. To guarantee the greatest outcomes, always check the mushrooms for the right amount of dryness.
In conclusion, in this blog, we discussed how to dehydrate mushrooms using different kitchen appliances. Dehydrating or rehydrating mushrooms is a breeze if you know how to. Even though each process has different time settings, all of these methods provide you with the best results.
Dehydrating mushrooms not only helps you to enhance the flavor of any dish but also saves you a lot of time and money from buying mushrooms again and again. It can be confusing to choose the best mushroom for dehydrating, and to help you out, we answered all the questions that you might have about dehydrating those mushrooms. So, try dehydrating your mushrooms and enjoy it with various dishes.