So, you’re interested in learning the process of dehydrating mushrooms? In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need about the dehydrating process. We will show you how to dehydrate them using a dehydrator, but for those that don’t have one, there are other options.
You will also learn all the extra necessary info about this topic, as you can see in the table of contents. Let’s not waste any more time, read on to learn all about dehydrating mushrooms.
Can You Dehydrate Mushrooms?
Yes, they can be dehydrated. There are two main methods we use to do this, and in this article, we will take a look at both. The first one is by using a dehydrator, and the second one using your oven.
What Types of Mushrooms Can Be Dehydrated?
The answer to this question is easy – any edible type of mushroom can safely be dehydrated. This includes crimini, shiitake, chanterelle, porcini, portobello, and many more.
The thing you should watch out for is the freshness of the mushrooms. You will always be dehydrating fresh mushrooms, but make sure they are as fresh as they can be. If they are starting to become stale, they won’t dehydrate properly and you won’t be able to store them.
If you want to know how to check if your fresh mushrooms are fresh enough, there is a simple method. Break the stem from the cap and you should hear a snap. This means that they are fresh enough, and you can dehydrate your mushrooms slices safely.
If they are slimy and rubbery they aren’t fresh enough and you shouldn’t dehydrate them. Especially if they developed brown or black spots.
How to Dehydrate Mushrooms in a Dehydrator (Step by Step)
In this part of the article, we will guide you on how to dehydrate your mushrooms with a dehydrator.
Step 1 – Check How Fresh They Are
Not every mushroom can be saved by drying it, so you should always make sure to pick fresh mushrooms for the dehydration process.
The easiest way to check freshness is to break the stem from the cap. If you can hear a snap, that means that it is fresh and you can use it. If the mushrooms are slimy, mushy, or won’t break, you shouldn’t use them, because they are way past their prime.
Step 2 – Clean Them
Before you use a dehydrator, make sure that your mushrooms are properly cleaned. To clean the mushrooms, wipe them off using a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush. You shouldn’t put them under flowing water, or place them in a bowl and wash them with water.
If you do this the mushrooms can swell up, which is something you want to avoid. A damp kitchen towel should be enough to get rid of all the dirt.
Step 3 – Slice Them
While this might go without saying, we should repeat it for those that are new to the world of mushrooms. Your mushrooms won’t be dried properly unless you slice them.
The mass of whole mushrooms is too dense which makes it impossible to get rid of all of the water inside of them, meaning your mushrooms won’t be completely dry. You should cut most mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices for the best result, using a sharp knife to make a clean line so they can dry evenly.
Some people might like thicker slices, but it will often depend on the mushroom type. Just make sure your mushroom slices are cut evenly with a clean line and there shouldn’t be a problem.
Step 4 – Arrange Them On The Dehydrator Trays and Dry Them
To get the best results when dehydrating, you should arrange your sliced mushrooms close to each other on the dehydrator tray. This way you will dehydrate a lot of them in a single batch. Just make sure their edges aren’t touching since you don’t want them to overlap.
You need to create the proper airflow, so keep them close, but with no contact. Your mushroom slices will shrink once they dry up, so keep that in mind as well.
Once they are on the tray, you should dry them at a temperature between 110 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crispy.
This process can last anywhere between six and twelve hours, depending on the thickness of your sliced mushrooms.
You will know the mushrooms are completely dry if they break in half when you bend them.
How to Dehydrate Mushrooms in the Oven
The process of dehydrating in an oven is practically the same as doing it in a dehydrator. Let’s take a look at all of the steps to see what’s different.
Step 1 – Check How Fresh They Are
This step is the same as when you are using the dehydrator, so check the previous segment of the article to see how to correctly do this.
Step 2 – Clean Them
Just like before, we already explained how to clean the mushrooms in the previous segment.
Step 3 – Slice Them
This is also a step we already talked about, so scroll up a bit to see what you need to know.
Step 4 – Arrange Them On The Baking Tray and Dry Them
Now, this is where things get a little bit different. You should arrange the mushrooms just like we mentioned earlier, as close to one another as possible but without them touching.
You don’t want the edges to touch because they might overlap inside the oven, which can cause the mushrooms not to not be properly dried.
Since you don’t have a dehydrator tray, you should use a baking tray or a cookie sheet with parchment paper to dehydrate mushrooms in the oven. The temperature should be around 130 degrees Fahrenheit and you should dehydrate them anywhere between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the thickness of your sliced mushrooms.
Make sure to flip the tray every 1 or 2 hours so they dry evenly. In case your oven can’t go below 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can prop open the oven door, which will bring down the temperature a bit.
You can also pat the mushrooms dry whenever you go to flip the tray. This can speed the entire process up a bit.
Conditioning After Dehydrating Mushrooms
After you are done drying mushrooms, you should condition them for storage. In order to condition your dried mushrooms slices, first, let them cool completely. Then you should place them in an airtight container such as a mason jar and leave them there for a couple of days.
Check them daily in order to make sure that there is no condensation or moisture forming. Always shake the jar so the mushrooms don’t stick together. Keep them like this for a week, and then they will be ready for storage.
How to Store Dried Mushrooms
Once the conditioning process is over and you allowed your mushrooms to cool completely, place them in airtight containers such as mason jars. Clearly label the storage containers with the date and the mushroom type.
The best containers you can use are sanitized glass jars that have tight lids. Fill them with your mushrooms and store them in a cool place away from direct sunlight. This will extend their shelf life indefinitely and they will be ready for long-term storage.
You can also make mushroom powder and store your dried mushroom slices that way. Although they won’t be slices anymore!
In order to make mushroom powder, place the dried mushroom slices inside of a food processor, or a blender, and simply blend them until they become a fine powder.
You can then sieve the mushroom powder and check if there are any larger pieces remaining. You can blend those again.
If you want to make a nice mushroom seasoning out of your mushroom powder, simply add some salt before blending. You can also use chili powder, garlic powder, or red pepper flakes.
Safety Precautions to Look For
When storing mushrooms, if you follow our tips closely, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if you didn’t, there are a few things that might mess up your mushroom batch.
If you skipped the conditioning step and some moisture remained, mold might start growing on your mushrooms. Mold is a sign that you didn’t dehydrate the mushrooms properly, and you should get rid of that entire batch because of too much moisture. They will start absorbing moisture and won’t be dry anymore.
Making Sure The Mushrooms Are Placed Correctly On the Tray
This is one thing that a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to during the drying process. You should place your mushrooms close to each other on the tray, but their edges shouldn’t touch each other.
If they touch, they can overlap, and that part won’t have good airflow, which means some moisture will remain.
What can you use dehydrated mushrooms for?
Dehydrated mushrooms and mushrooms powder can be used in a variety of dishes. They will add some depth to any savory dish. Let’s take a look at some of them.
You can use your dehydrated mushrooms to make a nice pasta sauce, just like you would with fresh ones.
Dried mushrooms can also be used in vegetable broth, but you can also use mushroom powder as seasoning.
Soups or Stews
A variety of soups and stews can be made using dried mushrooms. Of course, you can also use mushroom powder for some extra flavor.
Risotto with Vegetables
Dehydrated mushrooms or mushroom powder can make any risotto better by adding that umami flavor.
Of course, you can use these mushrooms to make tasty mushroom gravy.
For meat lovers looking for a bit of umami flavor, you can use these mushrooms in this dish as well. This is one of the most popular backpacking recipes.
How to Rehydrate Mushrooms
The process of rehydrating mushrooms is not complicated, but you need to follow it down to a t. First of all, place your dry mushrooms into a bowl, preferably a heat-proof bowl. Top the dry mushrooms with boiling water.
You should use 1 cup of water per 1 ounce of mushrooms. After you pour boiling water on them, you should leave the dry mushrooms submerged in the water for 30 minutes. Some mushrooms might float a bit, but that’s not a problem. Just stir them occasionally.
Once the 30 minutes are up, you will need to strain the mushrooms. In general, people will use a coffee filter for this, although a paper towel, a damp kitchen towel, or a cheesecloth will do.
We do this to remove the mushroom dust from your dried mushrooms since this can create a gritty texture.
Now, in order to strain the mushrooms, you should line a sieve with your filter, towel, or whatever you’re using, and put a bowl underneath it. Then you can pour the rehydrated mushrooms and the water through the sieve.
It may take a while for the excess water to drain through. Paper towels will absorb some of it, so they may be a good choice. After this step, simply rinse the mushrooms with cold water and they are ready to cook! Some also like to chop them before cooking.
What’s the Shelf Life of Dehydrated Mushrooms?
The shelf life of dehydrated mushrooms is basically indefinite. Of course, only if you store them properly.
Dehydrated mushrooms need to be stored in a dark place, away from direct light. The temperature should be cool, and they should be vacuum-sealed. If you do this correctly, your dry mushrooms can be stored forever, basically.
Fresh mushrooms have a shelf life of around 6 months in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you rinse mushrooms before dehydrating them?
No, you shouldn’t rinse mushrooms, but you should always clean them properly before putting them in the dehydrator.
This is simple – just wipe them using a damp paper towel and that’s it. Don’t put your mushrooms under running water. Mushrooms are porous and will usually swell when you place them inside of a liquid.
Avoid giving them a quick rinse as well, as it will only leave them damp, which isn’t something you want before dehydrating.
How long do dehydrated mushrooms last?
Some of you have probably had the problem of leaving fresh mushrooms in your fridge and them getting covered in fungus and going to waste.
You won’t have that problem with dried mushrooms. If you store them properly – in a cool dark place and in an airtight container, they can last indefinitely. Dried mushrooms will never spoil, unlike fresh mushrooms.
They might lose some flavor over time, but that’s basically it.
Do mushrooms dehydrate well?
Yes, mushrooms dehydrate extremely well. Water makes up 80% of a fresh mushroom, and by removing that you are left with all of the nutrients and flavor.
This is quite different from vegetables, which usually lose their nutritional value once you process them. When dried, mushrooms will retain all of their health benefits.
Is it better to freeze or dehydrate mushrooms?
It all depends on your needs. By freezing mushrooms, you won’t remove the water content from them, and you can keep them in your fridge without them going bad for at least 6 months.
Dehydrating mushrooms will remove basically all of the water from them, and they will last you a much longer time than frozen ones. Dehydrated mushrooms can last indefinitely if stored correctly, and they will retain all of their nutrients.
Are dehydrated mushrooms soft?
No, frozen mushrooms aren’t soft. They are extremely light and have a crisp and leathery texture. They will easily break if you fold them in half.
Why are my dried mushrooms chewy?
Your dried mushrooms can usually get chewy if you didn’t dehydrate them properly, or, more commonly, if you rehydrate them wrong.
This happens when you pour very hot water over them, which is how most people rehydrate their mushrooms. This hot water can cause your mushrooms to become bitter and tough because it cooks them and creates irregular textures, which is usually the cause of chewiness.
Can dried mushrooms be fried?
Yes, you can prepare your dried mushrooms just like fresh ones, using any method. That includes frying them. Just make sure to rehydrate the mushrooms before frying them.
We explained the rehydration process earlier in the article, so check it out!
Are dried mushrooms as healthy as fresh mushrooms?
Yes, dried mushrooms offer all of the health benefits of fresh mushrooms. By dehydrating mushrooms you are removing the water content from them, and that’s it. Mushrooms are made up of 80% water.
Everything else is the same as in fresh mushrooms, meaning you get all of the nutrients, as well as the flavor. Dehydrated mushrooms will also last you a very long time if stored properly, which is one of the advantages they have over fresh ones.
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!