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How you can dehydrate mushrooms at home, and what to do with them after

A variety of mushrooms dehydrated on a wood board

Things happen, plans change and suddenly you’ve forgotten about those fancy mushrooms you’d bought three days ago. 
When you finally find your mushrooms squished to the back of the fridge and peer inside the bag . . .
Some mushrooms are droopy,
some are shrivelled,
and some are looking just fine.

Except, now there’s not enough mushrooms for the recipe and you don’t want to waste the rest.

Dehydrated mushrooms on a wood board

Who knew you could dehydrate mushrooms!?

This is a fantastic kitchen tip! Don’t toss out your mushrooms – dehydrate them!  And it’s easy and fun. 
Then, when you’ve got a casserole on the menu or a slow-cooked vegetable dish, simply toss in some dehydrated mushrooms.

Here’s what you do!

  • Check the mushrooms for slime, mould, or rot and discard and compost those.
    If some mushrooms look only a little shrivelled, KEEP THEM!
    They’re already on their way to being dehydrated.

     

  • Slice each mushroom (except Enoki) as thin as possible without the slices falling apart.

     

  • Arrange mushroom slices on dehydrator shelves so they don’t overlap. 
    Now, depending on 3 things:
    ~ your dehydrator’s age and brand,
    ~ how thick your mushroom slices are, and
    ~ how much moisture the mushrooms already have
    this could take between 4-8 hours.

     

  • Check mushrooms every hour or so and rotate the shelves by moving the bottom shelves to the top, for even dehydrating.

     

  • When every mushroom looks super-shrivelled and feels fairy-light and brittle, remove them for the test. 

Dehydrated mushrooms in a bowl

What if you don't own a dehydrator?

No problem!  
In your oven:

Lay mushroom slices on a rack, over a tray, in your oven at the lowest possible temperature. 120 – 140 degrees F (50-60 degrees C) is ideal.
Make sure to give each slice a little space for airflow.

Check often as the only downside to this is, moisture can’t escape so dehydrating this way might cook them as well.
At least when you open the door, the moisture escapes.
And, if your temperature is too high, they may burn.

An easier way is with a MycoDRYER. 
If you tend to use a lot of mushrooms then this idea is worth considering.
Forget it and leave it, the MycoDRYER container is designed just for mushrooms.

With a re-usable liner that changes from blue to bright pink colour, you’ll know when all moisture is absorbed

Drop your mushrooms on a plate and they will 'clink' when dry

When are your mushrooms dehydrated enough to store?

You should do this test to know 100% that your mushrooms are ready.

  • Place mushrooms in a ziplock bag or sealed container for 24 hours.
  • If mushrooms are still brittle, they are ready to vacuum pack.
  • If mushrooms soften, they are NOT ready.
  • Dehydrate them again before repeating the overnight seal test.
dehydrated mushrooms

How to store your dehydrated mushrooms

 There are several ways to store your dehydrated mushrooms, depending on when you’d like to use them and how

If you are using your mushrooms sooner
Store your mushrooms in a re-sealable container or bag and keep in a cool place.

If you are using your mushrooms later
When you know each mushroom is dehydrated, divide mushrooms into meal portions and vacuum seal them.

Label and date the bag, and again, store in a cool, dry place.

Dehydrated oyster mushrooms lined up on wood
Dehydrated sliced Oyster mushrooms on a wood board

How to use your dehydrated mushrooms

There are 2 ways to use them: whole and rehydrated, or ground as a powder.

Whole and rehydrated
Soak for 30-45 minutes in warm water, or even better, vegetable stock! 

Strain mushrooms and when dry, use according to your recipe.
If you’d like to try making a spicy vegetarian antipasto for 2 using dehydrated mushrooms, this recipe walks you through the steps.

Don’t forget to keep
the mushroom-water for a stock! 
If you’re not using it immediately, boil the water down to a concentrate, cool, then freeze in a labelled bag or container.

rehydrated dried mushrooms on a wood board
Rehydrated mushrooms

You can also grind your mushrooms into a fine powder (seen below with dehydrated and ground garlic powder).
Add mushroom powder to your cooking, or mix it with a little salt for sprinkling over omelettes and other dishes.

Label a jar and store powder in a cool, dry cupboard.

Dehydrated and ground mushroom and garlic on two spoons
dehydrated and ground mushrooms and garlic powder

Looking for a dehydrator or spice grinder?

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I love my NESCO dehydrator for 2 BIG reasons!

  • The thermostat has a wide range of temperatures. This means I can lower the temperature for overnight dehydrating and not worry.
  • I’ve never had to replace the trays like my other brand.

I own two grinders, one for coffee and the other for spices and this is recommended. I’d also suggest you have them in different colours.

NESCO dehydrator showing temperatures
Meet my dehydrator

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Comments

  1. Great idea! I can use mushrooms in so many dishes, and its nice to have them on hand and ready when I need them! Thanks!

  2. We love mushrooms at our house but never tried this! We are also guilty of buying too many so this is a solution. Thanks for the really good instructions.

  3. Thanks so much, Denise. You’re so right – this is such a good way to have them on hand.

  4. Thank you, Vicki – we love mushrooms too and I’ve been guilty of forgetting I have them in the fridge until it’s too late to use them. Now I don’t worry as they go in the dehydrator. If you get a chance to dehydrate some, grind them up and mix in a pinch of salt, you’ll have an incredible seasoning on hand.

  5. Mushrooms are so versatile and I love all the varieties you mentioned in your article. Nice to have another great pantry staple available when we need it.

  6. I agree!
    They’re amazing and when dehydrated the flavour really pops, especially with a little sea salt on eggs!

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