How do you store your fresh grown mushrooms?
This question comes up a lot with people who are new to growing mushrooms at home. Typically it’s not a problem as they’re eaten quickly once they’re ready to go, but sometime you grow too many. When you do need to store excess mushrooms there’s a few tricks to keep them fresh longer.
Mushrooms are Mostly Water
It cannot be stated enough, mushrooms of all varieties are very moisture rich. Once picked they will immediately begin to dry out. This is of course natural and expected, but you don’t want them to loose too much water too quickly.
Similarly, because mushrooms start loosing moisture right away, if you put them in a sealed container they can build up condensation which will lead to contamination and spoilage.
Easiest way to store mushrooms: Brown Bags
If you want to keep your mushrooms fresh longer put them in a paper bag and gently close the top. This helps keep the mushrooms moist, but the bag also will soak up any excess moisture that they do give up. Any non-waxed brown lunch bag will do.
Should I refrigerate Mushrooms?
If you don’t plan on using them within a day of picking them, yes. A refrigerator prevents spoilage in mushrooms the same as in any other food. Additionally your refrigerator might slow the rate at which the mushrooms loose moisture.
What if I want to store them longer?
Mushrooms don’t keep for very long. If you store them in optimal conditions you can keep fresh cut mushrooms for about 4-7 days, sometimes a little longer depending on the species. In any case, you have about a week to use them under normal circumstance.
If you want to keep them longer there are two major methods for preservation. You can pickle them (depending on the species) or you can dry them. Both methods work great, but preserved mushrooms are prepared differently than fresh ones, so make sure you understand how to use these before you fill your pantry.