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!).
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.
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.
Then slice the mushrooms in 1/4 inch slices and spread them out on dehydrator tray.
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.
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!
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):
- The Dehydrator Bible: Includes over 400 Recipes (pictured above on my table)
- The Complete Guide to Drying Foods at Home: Everything You Need to Know about Preparing, Storing, and Consuming Dried Foods (Back to Basics)
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition <– Love this one! It’s a huge book, 922 pages, it has so much information in it.
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.
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.
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?