We have been dehydrating mushrooms for a couple of years now. This is a great way to save them for later rather than watch them go bad when leftover from cooking with half the package. With the food shortages this year we are doing more preserving. We scored a huge batch of about 12 pounds mushrooms for $8 on clearance at the local produce market. Dehydrating mushrooms is a great way to give us a good stock of them for winter.
Mushrooms are easy to dehydrate and they rehydrate perfectly making them a great option for this preservation method. My husband will use them when cooking and they plump up as if they hand never dehydrated. An old pasta sauce jar can hold about 3 to 4 pounds of mushrooms making it a great way to save space.
How to dehydrate mushrooms
Clean your mushrooms before drying. Some people will clean them with soap and water but I find this makes mushrooms mushy. Instead I take a clean terry cloth towel to scrub and peel the mushrooms to remove all of the dirt.
This step was vital with this batch of mushrooms as they were very dirty. This method gets the dirt off and gives you a chance to see if there are any mushy spots or imperfections that should be cut off before drying.
Slice your mushrooms. Roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch is perfect for cutting your mushrooms. Avoid built mushrooms that have already been cut as they take up more space getting you less for your value.
Place in a single layer on your dehydrator trays. If during bits and pieces that will shrink small enough to fall through to trays you may want to use a clean a screen to keep them on the trays after they have shrunk.
Mushrooms should be dried at about 110 degrees. If your dehydrator does not have a temperature setting expect your mushrooms to dry faster.
Rotate your trays often while drying mushrooms to ensure they dry evenly.
Mushrooms can take between 4 and 8 hours to dry depending on the thickness of your mushrooms and the humidity in your home.
Move your dried mushrooms to a glass jar. For the next few days give your mushrooms a shake if condensation occurs place them back inside your dehydrator for a few hours to ensure they are fully dry.
Secure your mushrooms in an airtight container for storage. We like to use a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and bags to give us more storage space.
How to dehydrate Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are a bit tricky. Before dehydrating your morels you need to cut them in half to ensure that there are not slugs or other insects hanging out inside. This is a common problem and you do not want to risk it.
While other mushrooms can often get away without washing you will want to take the time to give your morels a good wash under high water pressure to ensure any insects hiding in the grooves are gone before drying and starting the dehydrating process.
How to dehydrate Potablela mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms can be dehydrated the same away as listed above for these mushrooms I found on sale but you will fir considerably less to a tray. If you plan on using your portabella mushrooms for stuffed mushrooms place them on their back whole after cleaning.
This will drastically increase your drying time but will allow for your mushrooms to rehydrate in hot water or chicken stock to prepare for stuffing.
Is dehydrating mushrooms a good option for food storage?
Mushrooms weather found at the grocery store, grown in your backyard, or foraged for in the woods tend to have a short lifespan. While canning and freezing are both options for preserving mushrooms you can get great results from dehydrating. Dehydrating will give your mushrooms a stronger flavor rather than watering the flavor down.
How to use dehydrated mushrooms
Dehydrated mushrooms are great for making soups and gravy along with adding to cooked dishes while they are less than ideal for placing you your pizza. To use them this way rehydrate by simmering in hot water until plump.
Dehydrated mushrooms make a great addition to these recipes.