April 18, 2013

How to dehydrate mushrooms

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How to dehydrate mushrooms

Drying mushrooms is a great way to preserve them for later – which is exactly what I wanted to do with the pile of mushrooms in my fridge. This was my first time dehydrating mushrooms and it was incredibly easy – and I’m happy I now have them on hand for soups and sauces down the road.

When researching how to do dehydrate mushrooms I found a lot of disclaimers about dehydrating wild mushrooms you find in nature. If you’re not an expert forager, don’t go eating random mushrooms you find in the woods. If it’s toxic in it’s regular form, it certainly isn’t going to be any safer after drying.

I stick to store bought mushrooms, thank you very much. I might *live on the edge* and buy marked down mushrooms, but that’s as exciting as I get with ‘shrooms. This time I dried some full size portobello mushrooms (manager markdown!) and some baby portobellos (Costco!).

Mushrooms-Portobello

The first thing you’ll want to do is wipe the mushrooms off. Clean ’em up just like you would before cooking with them. I didn’t want to wash or rinse my mushrooms because this would only add moisture, which seems silly right before drying them. I wiped the mushrooms down with a paper towel. I bet if you wanted to rinse them off, it wouldn’t hurt. Just dry them well before dehydrating.

Mushrooms-Remove-Stems-to-dry

Then you may want to remove the stems. Because portobello mushrooms have a thicker stem – I opted to remove the stem. I saved those for a batch of vegetable broth.Some of the fancier mushrooms I think have a lof flavor in the stem – so you decide if you want to keep it on or not.

Drying-Mushrooms-in-dehydrator-temp

Then slice the mushrooms in 1/4 inch slices and spread them out on dehydrator tray.

how-to-dry-mushrooms-dehydrator

Dry mushrooms at 130 degrees F for 8 to 14 hours*. I opted for 12 hours. If mushrooms have any moisture remaining in them, could grow bacteria or mold, so I opted for a little longer. They will shrink a lot in the process.

*I saw some sources that recommend drying the mushrooms at 90 degrees F for a few hours and then increasing it to 130 degrees F. But I cannot find any information on why they are recommending this. Anyone know? I just went with one temp, the whole time.

Dried-Mushrooms-on-dehydrator-tray

I won’t lie. Drying mushrooms may leave an earthy smell in your house. If you are generally sensitive to mushroom smells, this could bother you. I live near Ostroms Mushroom farm, so I’m used to it. You might not even notice, but I like to give you a heads up.

How to Store Dried Mushrooms

As with most dried foods, you want to store it in an airtight container away from moisture and light. Places like World Market Cost Plus have inexpensive  pantry jars with sealable lids (like the one pictured below). These can be labeled and added to your pantry shelf!

Dehydrated-Mushrooms-how-to

How to Rehydrate Mushrooms

I’m not an expert on this since this is my first time dehydrating mushrooms. BUT from what I’m seeing – the best method is to soak in cold water for about 4 hours. You can soak them in hot water to speed up the process, cover the bowl with a plate or lid. Everything I read said to keep the water you use to rehydrate the dried mushrooms, as it makes good stock. I’m planning to use the dehydrated mushrooms in soups, so I’ll just add a little more broth to compensate. If you’re a drying expert, and you know how to rehydrate dried mushrooms, please chime in here!

I referenced these books especially, which I’m guessing you can find at your local library (or Amazon):

As for the type of dehydrator that you need – I think all of them are pretty great. First you can check your local thrift shops, because they are big appliances I think people get tired of storing them and donate them a lot.

Nesco-FD-80-square-dehydrator-1

If you’re thinking about getting a dehydrator, Amazon has this Nesco FD-80A Square-Shaped Dehydrator for just $55. This is the best price it’s ever been on Amazon. Regular price is $98 and it has nearly 5 out of 5 star reviews.

Excalibur-dehydrator-reviews

I personally have the Excalibur 3900B 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator, Black – but it’s probably much more than the average person needs. The only reason I splurged is because I found a crazy good deal that included a lightning deal and a gift card I had. But I have to say that I do love it and it has amazing reviews for a dehydrator.

I’ve been a drying a lot of things lately! See my recent posts:

I’d love to hear from you – what do you dehydrate? How do you use your dehydrator? Have you dehydrated mushrooms before?

Comments

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  1. That mushroom ‘smell’ is actually the spores being released into your home. Although generally safe, if you are exposed to millions of spores over time you may become allergic. I have a friend who loves picking morels and dried them in his home for a couple years, now he is allergic to the spores and now its difficult for him to enjoy to picking, dehydrating and eating them, he even experiences symptoms when the mushrooms are growing in the forest naturally. I dehydrate mine on the back deck underneath a table. Its safe in the rain and the spores are released into the winds.

    • if the weather is good try plugging the dehydrator in an outside outlet. think of it as needing ventilation like paint thinner. not as dangerous though. good luck for all…. bye.

  2. Hey,I just finished drying approximately 100(yes,100!)lbs.of late fall Chanterelles.I re-hydrated them in chicken stock
    .I added some half and half,added onions and spices and threw it all in the ol’ crock pot.OMG,best soup ever.Rehydrating in just about any flavor stock really packs a punch.Water is good also,but stock is my number one choice,My shrooming partner and I eat about 12 different varieties of the many found in Northern Idaho.I do not reccomend eating wild mushrooms without much learning first.Rule number one..When in doubt,throw it out! Take Care all,I look forward to any e-mail or my Facebook messaging can be reached at,,,Danielle Alicia Brown Mccrory.

  3. My mother-in-law dries lots of fruit throughout the summer and fall. She doesn’t have to worry about it smelling up the house because she does all the drying in the garage! If the smells are too strong you could certainly try setting up your dehydrator in the garage and skip the odors in the house! 🙂

  4. Monica Comollo says:

    I love mushrooms, but I would soak your mushrooms and discard the liquid afterwards. I have a web site
    called Mykoweb.com and it tells all about the safety of mushrooms. Mushrooms should never be eaten raw.
    There is a amount of poison in every mushroom, but thru proper cooking it makes it safer. Check it out.

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