How To Dehydrate Mushrooms

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how-to-dehydrate-mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of those foods people are passionate about–they love them, hate them, wash them, never wash them, or proclaim they don’t eat fungi and won’t even try them. Whatever your opinion is on mushrooms the fact remains that they add a lot of nutrition to meals, are very versatile, and are easily grown indoors. As a result they are a great addition to your food stores.

I come from a split family. My husband loves mushrooms while my youngest son is adamantly against eating them. In my son’s defense he might be allergic or at least have a sensitivity to them because he has some trouble digesting certain varieties. However, I still have a constant call to add more mushrooms to recipes and then before I can say anything my son begs, “please don’t add mushrooms.”  It’s kind of frustrating, but I have found one thing that has helped the situation is to explore other varieties of mushroom beside the button mushrooms you find in the typical grocery store.

Once you start looking at other varieties of mushrooms and see the prices you might quickly contemplate a get rich quick scheme by growing your own. Yeah, they can be that expensive. Of course it depends on your location and your local mushroom market. They are not terribly expensive all over–it’s the old supply and demand issue. If you don’t have people in your area that often buy a variety of mushrooms then your local price will be higher if you’re even able to obtain the variety you are seeking in it’s fresh state. I am lucky to be in an area where I can easily get a large variety of mushrooms at a low cost. If you can’t I would highly recommend growing your own. Then if all goes well you really might consider that side business. With all the specialty restaurants in business today you could have a customer base already in place because higher end restaurants are willing and able to pay you top dollar for a few exotic mushrooms.

Whether you grow your own or have a great source, mushrooms are super easy to dehydrate. The are commonly dried and shipped through the mail because chefs want to add different flavors to their recipes. So if you can’t get hold of fresh mushrooms you might want to consider buying them dry and adding them to your food storage if the mushroom growing business is just not for you.

How To Dehydrate Mushrooms Step-By-Step

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I’m starting off with some enoki mushrooms. They are great in soups or salads.

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These enoki mushrooms still have some of the pasteurized substrate that they were grown in.

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So just go ahead and cut that off.

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I wash my mushrooms. I wash everything that comes into my kitchen. Many mushroom connoisseurs will tell you to never wash but to only brush your mushrooms. You’ll have to decide for yourself which camp you belong in, but I’m a bit of a germaphobe so I wash.

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Lay them out on your dehydrator trays. It’s fine if they overlap, just make sure there are no piles. These are my new Excalibur stainless steel trays, I love them!

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Here I have some brown and white beech mushrooms. They are called beech mushrooms because they are commonly found on beech trees.

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The too still in some of the substrate attached to keep them together.

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Cut that off.

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Then wash your mushrooms.

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Load your trays.

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These are king oyster mushrooms. They have a meaty texture and could pass for scallops or some other meat in the right recipe. They also are popular with the vegan crowd for making veggie burgers and bacon. Obviously the main part of these mushrooms are the stems and so that’s what we’ll need to dehydrate.

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Cut off the ends.

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Since I’m just going to make mushroom powder out of these I’m going to chop them in the food processor. If you wanted to make something like veggie bacon out of these king oyster mushrooms you would slice them length-wise. It’s really important to know how you’re going to cook with your food before you dehydrate it so you can dehydrate it in such away that it will work in your recipes.  Slice the mushrooms up small enough to fit into a food processor.

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Chop the mushrooms. You can chop with a knife if you like.

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Load your trays.

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Now, on to some regular sized oyster mushrooms.

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To get them ready to go into the dehydrator wash them or brush them.

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I cut off a few thick or bad spots.

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Load your trays.

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Here are some shiitake mushrooms. These guys are becoming a bit more popular so you might be able to find them in you local grocery store even is you don’t have a large variety of mushrooms to choose from.

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Wash them.

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I take off the stems; just grab and twist.

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They pop right off.

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To slice these mushrooms I used a food processor. I was kind of lazy. I generally don’t like to use the food processor for slicing but the appliance was already out.

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Load your trays.

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Well, I couldn’t very well do a post about dehydrating mushrooms and leave button mushrooms out. Wash your button mushrooms.

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I used an egg slicer to slice these. An egg slicer really works well to get button mushroom just the right size. However, if you wash your mushrooms you might want to put them in the dehydrator whole to dry out thoroughly for an hour or so. If you put your button or shiitake mushrooms in an egg slicer wet they won’t slice very well.

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Here are the slices I made with the egg slicer.

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Load your trays.

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Remember those stems I took off of the shiitakes. Here they are in the food processor. I want to dehydrate them so I can make mushroom powder out of those as well.

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Go ahead and chop up your stems. Because I want to make mushroom powder from these stems I’m fine with using a food processor to over-chop them. If I wanted to keep the food in a chopped form after dehydrating you might want to consider another chopping device.

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Load your trays.

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Dehydrate for 8 to 12 hours at 135ºF

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Here are the dehydrated stems that I am going to make into mushroom powder.

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Here are the dehydrated button mushrooms.

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Here are the dehydrated shiitake mushrooms.

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Here are the dehydrated oyster mushrooms.

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Here are the dehydrated chopped king oyster mushrooms. I’m going to make mushroom powder out of these too. The powder is great to add to soups for an extra layer of flavor.

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Here are the dehydrated white and brown beech mushrooms.

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Finally, here are the dehydrated enoki mushrooms.

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For storing mushrooms I like to use a vacuum sealed Mason jar. I love this wide mouth attachment for the FoodSaver that allows you to easily vacuum seal your jars.

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They make a regular jar attachment for smaller jars too.

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Label and put away.

It’s really that easy!

What is your favorite type of mushroom? Have you ever thought about going into the mushroom growing business?

  • Henderly says:

    Hi. We gave a GO at dehydrating for the first time and dehydrated mushrooms. We have the 9 tray Excalibur and the booklet that came with it said to leave them in for 4-7 hours. We tested them at 4 hours and they were dry and when bent, they broke with a crisp snap. It had been raining all day so to play it safe, we kept them in there for a few more hours. My better half got up at 1:00am to turn the dehydrator off. The next morning, the ones we took out and tested that were in a ziplock were still dry and crisp but the ones that stayed in the dehydrator overnight didn’t break the same way and are a bit more flimsy. Do you think the moisture in the air has started to reconstitute them? Should we put them back in the dehydrator? If so, for how long? Thank you for your time!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Yes, the moisture in the air can certainly effect dehydrated food. So yes, put them back into the dehydrator for a few hours. You’ll have to test them to make sure they are completely dehydrated.

  • Rowena Philbeck says:

    I dehydrated my first mushrooms last week. They turned out great. I’m going to do more and put them in a sterilized jar and seal it. I loved how they turned out. Thanks for your help.

  • Vicki says:

    In your sons behalf our daughter now grown and family of her own never liked mushrooms. She still doesn’t and now realizes it was and still is a texture thing for her. Anxious to dry mushrooms after this article. My husband and I love them. Never insisted my daughter eat them since she wasn’t a picky eater.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Vicki,

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone and that others have had children who don’t like mushrooms. I think I’m accepting it and just look at it as a “more for us” situation……:)

  • Christine says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I have a couple of pounds of oyster mushrooms that have been blanched prior to storing per advice received elsewhere. I’m not sure now if and how I should dry them (though I don’t have a dehydrator) or just freeze in ziplock bags. If I freeze them, I’d like to remove as much moisture as possible anyway. Can I dry them in my oven on a low temp?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      You can dehydrate them in the oven if it goes below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperatures above that will cook the mushrooms.

  • Sarah says:

    As someone who is almost 30 and has never liked button mushrooms, I think that looking at other varieties is the best thing you could have done.

    Button mushrooms have always made me sick to my stomach, cooked or uncooked, whether I knew they were there or not. It’s an unpleasant experience to be perfectly happy with the flavor, taste, and texture of a food only to have to make a dash for the nearest bathroom or garbage can because it turns out that the food had mushrooms! So when I had my first Asian dish with straw mushrooms, I understandably looked askance at it before trying a tiny bite.

    Instant love. I hunted down every last mushroom on that plate.

    I have tried several varieties since then and have loved ALL of them (shiitake being my favorite), but button mushrooms continue to be the bane of my existence!

  • Zoe Tassava says:

    Your post doesn’t really say anything about how to use the dehydrated mushrooms. What do you put the powder into and how much do you use? How do you use the other mushrooms in their dehydrated form and what do you tend to use them in? Do you rehydrate any of your mushrooms before using them and, if so, how?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Zoe,

      You can use them in soups and stews. I just throw them in, no need to re-hydrate in that case. My son uses them to make omelets, in that case you’d want to re-hydrate them. You can re-hydrate them by placing them in warm water for a few minutes.

  • Katherine Taylor says:

    I will definitely try dehydrating mushrooms.

  • Patricia Woodward says:

    I dehydrated my first mushrooms this year–found them on sale!!!! Looking forward to using them this winter in my soups and stews!

  • Gary Nelson says:

    I will dehydrate mushrooms soon, in an oven at ~150? degrees. I have a Foodsaver with jar attachments. What would you estimate the shelf life to be?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Gary,
      It all depends on how they are stored. In the right conditions dehydrated food will last for hundreds of years, although, I would not eat dehydrated food that old…..:) So that’s another thing you’ll have to decide. How long will you keep food before it’s gone past the time you’d eat it and enjoy it.

  • Ruth Wetterwald says:

    Hi there, I just picked a large box of Coprinus comatus; do you think I can dry them as you have suggested for other types. I have a dehydrated.

  • Carolyn Lawver says:

    Is there a problem with purchasing packaged/sliced mushrooms. Removing the stems for making powder and drying the mushrooms?

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