Preserving food is a great way to save money on groceries. Here are two easy methods to show you how to dehydrate mushrooms; even if you do not have a food dehydrator.
I love clearance finds and sale prices. Loooove them. I’m sure you do too. After all, it is the simplest way possible to save money on groceries. Clearance deals are great but sometimes they won’t last long in the fridge so they need to be preserved in a better way. This was exactly the case with some mushrooms I found on clearance not too long ago. They were still good but of the verge of going bad. Luckily, I am quite familiar with how to dehydrate mushrooms so I picked up what ended up being close to 4 lbs for $2.00!
How to Dehydrate Mushrooms
If you have been wanting to learn how to preserve food, there is no better place to start than to learn how to dehydrate food first. The process is typically very simple and dehydrator recipes are usually very simple to follow.
Dehydrating, canning, salting and other preservation methods are perfect ways to keep food from spoiling.
When you keep food from spoiling, you save money and frankly? I like saving as much of my money as possible.
Can You Dehydrate Any Type of Edible Mushrooms?
Yes! As long as the mushroom is edible, it does not matter what type of mushrooms you’re dehydrating. The process is the same no matter what so once you learn how to dehydrate mushrooms, you won’t need to learn another method for a different type.
This also means if you’re learning how to forage morel mushrooms, you can preserve them for later if you happen to get lucky and find a huge score.
If you do, will you share with me? Pretty please? 🙂
Whether you buy fresh mushrooms or you forage them, chances are good, they will come to you very, very dirty. If you bought clearance mushrooms like I did, they may also show a few dark or bad spots. These were not so far gone that I would skip buying them.
When you’re learning how to can food, it’s best to pick foods that are not damaged or bruised, but dehydrating is different. Some soft spots are okay provided the inside of the food is fine or you can easily cut away the damage/bruise.
In other words, be picky in that you don’t try to dehydrate mushrooms that are truly too far gone, but you do not need sparkling white mushrooms that were just picked.
How to Clean Mushrooms
However, no matter where your mushrooms come from, the very first thing you will want to do is to grab a soft vegetable or mushroom brush like this one (Amazon). Brushes like that do not require water to clean the mushroom, however, it won’t hurt anything if you do rinse them in water.
Be sure to get all the dirt and debris off each mushroom.
Do not skip this step. Cleaning them before you dehydrate them is incredibly important.
If you cleaned them with water, set them in a colander like this one (Amazon) and allow the water to run off them. Once they’re no longer dripping, you will need to lay them out on a kitchen towel – not touching each other – and allow them to air dry for several hours.
Do Mushrooms Need Dried Out Before Dehydrating?
Mushrooms are a very moist food.
If you hate that word, I’m sorry. It was unavoidable.
If you dry brushed your mushrooms when you cleaned them, they’re likely still a bit moist. Allowing them to dry for an hour or so won’t hurt anything.
But, if you used water to clean them, you’ve added more moisture. If you do not allow them to air dry, they will take twice as long to dehydrate. Set them to dry for at least two hours before attempting to dehydrate the mushrooms.
How to Dry Mushrooms for Food Storage?
Once you have fully cleaned and dried the mushrooms, slice them. You can either remove the stems and slice them separately or you can simply slice the entire thing. Smaller and thinner pieces will dehydrate quicker though so keep that in mind.
Please do not make the mistake of not including the stems. I typically chop the very end off since it’s sort of hard to clean and typically so dried out it’s crusty. I then slice the stem to include.
They are just as tasty and useful as the rest of the mushroom.
Once they’re sliced, you’re ready to go!
How Do You Dehydrate Mushrooms?
Here’s where drying mushrooms gets fun. There are two different ways to dehydrate mushrooms. First, you can dehydrate mushrooms in the oven. Secondly, you can use a food dehydrator like this one (Amazon).
Dehydrating mushrooms with a food processor is by far the quickest. Using the oven is possible, but does take a longer amount of time because there is not as much air circulation moving around. The oven method also requires you to pay a bit more attention than a dehydrator will.
However, use whichever method you’re fully comfortable with.
How Do You Dehydrate Food in the Oven?
Dehydrating mushrooms in the oven is fairly easy and does not require a whole lot of supplies. You only need a full size baking sheet with a wire rack like this one (Amazon) and parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Once it’s heated, turn it down to the WARM setting.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Fill the baking sheet with your food slices. Make sure no piece of food is touching another. If they are, the parts that are touching will not dehydrate correctly.
- Put the baking sheet in the oven and crack the oven door.
- Leave mushrooms or whatever food you’re dehydrating in oven, with the door open, until they’re fully dehydrated. Be SURE they’re fully dried before you remove them.
How to Dehydrate Mushrooms with a Food Dehydrator
After you have sliced your mushrooms, it’s time to load your dehydrator trays.
Make sure that you leave plenty of room between each piece. You do not want ANY piece touching each other They’ll take twice as long as they should to dehydrate if they touch.
Once you have the trays lined, turn the machine on and let it do it’s thing. Depending on the temperature of your dehydrator, mushrooms can take as much as 10 hours to dehydrate.
You will know they’re fully dry when they’re crispy and wrinkly. Once they’re dry, store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them. If you plan to keep them as part of your food storage (Six Dollar Family). Use a mylar bag and oxygen absorber to store them.
How to Use Dehydrated Mushrooms
Once your mushrooms are dehydrated, they’re super easy to use. One very common way to use them is to grind them in a coffee grinder like this one (Amazon). Mushrooms are very rich in vitamins like copper, magnesium and B vitamins which makes them great to grind into a powder and add to soups, casseroles and other recipes.
You can also rehydrate dehydrated mushrooms very easily. Simply add enough water to cover the mushrooms and allow them to sit. Use the rehydrated mushrooms in recipes as you normally would.
So what do you think? Will you dehydrate mushrooms anytime soon?