Can You Freeze Mushrooms?

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Do you love mushrooms?

I do! They are so tasty and are a great nutritious addition to many meals. You can use them in a variety of dishes like pasta sauce, risotto, a pizza topping, or as a side dish. But what if you don’t have any on hand when the craving hits? Don’t worry! I am here to tell you that yes, you can freeze mushrooms!

In this blog post, you’ll learn about buying mushrooms, storing mushrooms, cleaning mushrooms, steam blanching mushrooms, and of course, freezing mushrooms!

Freezing mushrooms will take a little time and effort up front, but maybe worth it in the end because then you won’t have to worry about running out of this delicious ingredient ever again! Follow along with our easy step by step instructions below and enjoy cooking with your home-frozen mushrooms year-round 🙂

Now before we talk about freezing your favorite shroom, let’s cover a little basic information about them to make sure we’re all on the same page. Ok?

What Are Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are fungi that grow abundantly in many parts of the world. They come in an amazing range of sizes (from tiny buttons to large portobellos), shapes (rounded or angular), colors (white to brown), and textures (with soft-cottony gills on the underside versus rough gritty ones).

Their flavors vary also. Some have a light, fresh flavor while others have a smoky, earthy, savory, umami-type flavor. Then there are other types like oyster mushrooms, which have a mild, seafood-like flavor.

Can You Freeze Mushrooms?

Yes, you can freeze mushrooms! You can freeze raw, blanched, or fully cooked mushrooms. The quality of your thawed shrooms will depend on their freshness when frozen as well as how they were frozen and for how long they were frozen.

What Types Of Mushrooms Freeze The Best?

All mushrooms freeze pretty well except ones that are about to go bad or have gone bad. Don’t try to freeze mushrooms once they have started to feel wet and slimy or have spots on them. Instead, throw them out.

Remember, replacing a container of mushrooms is cheaper than a trip to the emergency room!

Always choose the freshest mushrooms when freezing. Here’s what you need to know.

How To Choose The Freshest Mushrooms?

Generally speaking, the more brown spots on a mushroom, the less fresh it is.

If you’re buying loose mushrooms from the store, look for firm, dry mushrooms with no spots. They should not be wet or slimy.

If you’re buying prepackaged mushrooms and are unable to check for dryness, try to pick mushrooms without spots and avoid packages where the mushrooms are darker than the others.

How Long Do Fresh Mushrooms Last In The Refrigerator?

Mushrooms from the store will last anywhere from a day up to about a week in the fridge. The fresher the mushroom when purchased, the longer they will last.

I always plan on using my shrooms within a day or two from purchase. You never know if you are one day or five days away from those little suckers developing brown spots and getting slimy!

Before you freeze mushrooms, proper cleaning is essential.

How To Clean Mushrooms

There are a lot of opinions in the culinary world on the best way to clean mushrooms.

Most people agree that mushrooms should be rinsed or wiped with a damp cloth and then given a quick rinse in cold water.

Some cooks also recommend wiping them off quickly with milk before cooking, which helps to prevent sticking.

Others will use a small brush to clean their mushrooms.

I try to avoid submerging my shrooms in water if possible and prefer to use a brush or damp cloth.

Can You Freeze Raw Mushrooms?

Yes, you can freeze raw mushrooms but the quality suffers. Due to their high water content, once frozen, raw mushrooms have a tendency to get soggy and somewhat mushy once thawed.

If you freeze your shrooms raw, plan on chopping them up and using them in soups, stews, and casseroles. You could also puree them for use in a sauce or gravy.

Chopping up the shrooms or pureeing them will help offset any texture issues you may have.

How To Freeze Raw Mushrooms

Tools & Equipment Needed

  • paper towels or kitchen towel (to clean and dry your shrooms)
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • freezer-safe plastic bag
  • freezer labels (optional)
  • black sharpie

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Gather your supplies.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper (if you’re flash freezing).
  3. Label your freezer-safe plastic bag with the date and type of mushrooms you’re freezing. Or use a freezer label.
  4. Clean your mushrooms thoroughly.
  5. Dry off any excess moisture (if you used a damp rag or water to wash).
  6. Slice or leave whole. The option is yours.
  7. Place the mushrooms into the freezer a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (See Notes Below)
  8. Allow them to freeze for one or two hours before then remove from the freezer.
  9. Place the mushrooms into a freezer-safe plastic bag.
  10. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
  11. Return the bag to the freezer.

Notes: As we discussed previously, while you can freeze raw mushrooms, you’re limited by their use due to texture changes. When you don’t flash freeze them first on a baking sheet, you’re limiting your uses again. When you freeze them together in a bag, they will stick together. So you’ll need to use the whole bag once thawed. You will not be able to remove a few at a time.

Just be sure to know how you want to use them before freezing. If you’re unsure or freezing more than you will use at once, take the extra time and flash freeze. You won’t regret it!

Now, if you want to achieve the best quality and texture once thawed, you’ll need to blanch them first.

What Is Blanching?

Blanching is a cooking term that means to briefly cook food in boiling water.

This is often done before freezing fruits and vegetables. Blanching helps preserve the quality of your shrooms by stopping the enzyme actions that cause loss of flavor and nutrients. It also helps preserve the color and remove any traces of dirt and microorganisms that may be lurking on the surface.

The key to blanching any vegetable is perfect timing. You must not over or under blanch your veggies.

In order to accomplish this, you must first, set a timer. Secondly, when the timer goes off, put your vegetables straight into an ice water bath to stop the blanching process. 🙂

Underblanching actually encourages more enzyme activity which can lead to quicker loss of flavor, texture, and color. Overblanching actually partially cooks your food which results in nutrient loss as well as changes in texture, color, and often flavor.

When it comes to blanching mushrooms, you can opt to blanch them in boiling water but the quality and texture will be so much better if you steam blanch them.

What Is Steam Blanching?

Steam blanching serves the same purpose as blanching in boiling water. But steam blanching helps preserve the quality and texture of your mushrooms better than traditional blanching.

How To Steam Blanch Mushrooms

When steam blanching mushrooms, you can blanch them whole or sliced. The only difference is the blanching time is longer for whole mushrooms. Before we get started, here’s a tip for you.

Tip: Soaking your shrooms in a mixture of lemon juice (or citric acid) and water before steam blanching will help preserve the color of your shrooms. This is optional but highly recommended if you decide to freeze some shrooms.

Here’s how you steam blanch and freeze shrooms.

Tools & Equipment Needed

  • paper towel or kitchen towel (to clean and dry your shrooms)
  • citric acid or lemon juice
  • measuring cup
  • timer
  • pot with a tight-fitting lid
  • steamer basket
  • spider or slotted spoon
  • water
  • bowl
  • ice
  • baking sheet
  • wax or parchment paper
  • freezer-safe plastic bag or container
  • freezer labels
  • black sharpie

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Gather your supplies first.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper (if you’re flash freezing).
  3. Label your freezer-safe plastic bag with the date and type of mushrooms you’re freezing.
  4. Clean your mushrooms thoroughly.
  5. Slice or quarter your shrooms (or leave them whole)
  6. Mix 1 tsp lemon juice ( or 1 1/2 tsp citric acid with 16 ounces of water. Pour over shrooms. Let them soak for 5 minutes.
  7. Dry off any excess moisture (if you used a damp rag or water to wash).
  8. Place your steamer basket into the pot.
  9. Fill with an inch or two of water. **Make sure the water does NOT come through the holes of your steamer basket**
  10. Put on the lid and heat the water until it is boiling.
  11. Once boiling, add your mushrooms in a single layer to the steamer basket. Replace the lid.
  12. Set your timer for 3 minutes for sliced mushrooms, 3 1/2 minutes for button or quartered shrooms or 5 minutes for whole ones.
  13. While your shrooms are blanching, put ice and water in a bowl and make sure you have your spoon ready.
  14. When the timer goes off, get your shrooms into the ice bath as quickly as possible.
  15. Stir the shrooms. Leave in for the same amount of time as you blanched them (5 or 9 minutes)
  16. Drain the water off the shrooms
  17. If flash freezing, place the mushrooms into the freezer a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If not, skip step 18.
  18. Allow them to freeze for one or two hours before then remove from the freezer.
  19. Place the mushrooms into a freezer-safe plastic bag.
  20. Remove as much air as possible and seal.
  21. Return the bag to the freezer.

Remember, when steam blanching, you start the timer as soon as you put the lid on the shrooms. If you are blanching in boiling water, start the time once the water returns to a boil.

How Long Do Frozen Mushrooms Last

When frozen properly, mushrooms will last in your freezer for 6 to 12 months.

Tips To Help Preserve The Quality Of Your Mushrooms

  • Always use freezer zip top bags or a freezer-safe container. These are specially made for the freezer and will help keep air and freezer odors from your mushrooms.
  • Don’t store mushrooms in a freezer with other “smelly” items such as frozen onion or garlic. If you have only one freezer, double bag your shrooms.

How To Thaw Mushrooms

Mushrooms should be thawed in the fridge overnight.

However, if you are cooking a dish with a long cooking time, you could use your shrooms from the frozen state. Just be sure to cook your dish long enough to thaw and cook your shrooms.

How To Use Frozen Mushrooms

Previously frozen mushrooms should be used in dishes that are cooked. Do not plan on eating them raw.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Store Mushrooms At Room Temperature?

No, mushrooms have a high water content which causes them to dehydrate rather quickly. Mushrooms breathe.

How Long Do Fresh Mushrooms Last In The Refrigerator?

Whole mushrooms from the store will last anywhere from 1 to 10 days in the fridge.

Sliced mushrooms will last from 1 to 7 days in the fridge.

The fresher the mushroom when purchased, the longer they will last.

What Are the Benefits Of Eating Mushroooms?

Mushrooms have immune-boosting properties that can help keep you healthy all year long! They’re a rich source of antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals in your body (these are unstable molecules that can cause cancer) and they are full of vitamin D, which can help keep your bones and teeth strong.

What’s The Best Way To Cook Mushrooms?

The most wonderful things in life are often the simplest. Mushrooms, for example, need little to no preparation before they can be enjoyed!

Just like many other foods, you can enjoy mushrooms raw or cooked in a variety of ways!

They are delicious when grilled, sauteed in a pan, or roasted in the oven. And they’re so good when marinated raw or added to a salad.

They are delicious raw or cooked. They can be grilled, sauteed, or roasted in the oven.

Mushroom lovers would agree that their flavors make them worthy additions to all sorts of dishes: from pasta sauce, soup, risotto, and even as a topping for pizza. They are delicious when grilled, sauteed, or roasted. And they make healthy additions to pasta sauce, soup, risotto, and pizza to name a few.

Is Freezing Mushrooms Better Than Canning?

Freezing is a great way to preserve mushrooms for future use but does not work as well in preserving their color and texture.

Can You Freeze Leftover Canned Mushrooms?

Yes, you can freeze leftover canned shrooms. Here’s how.

  1. Transfer shrooms to a freezer-safe bag.
  2. Label the bag.
  3. Remove as much air as possible.
  4. Seal the bag
  5. Use within 1 to 2 months.

Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen

Are freezing mushrooms cost-effective?

For me, absolutely not! Not only is it not cost-effective, but it also is not worth the time and effort. Here’s why.

Around here, I can find 8- ounce white button mushrooms and portabellas year-round, without fail, in just about all the stores I shop.

They range in price from $1 to $2 depending on the store and time of year.

By the time you consider the cost of the freezer bags, parchment paper, and the cost of the electricity, not to mention the citric acid or lemon juice you use to maintain the color of the mushrooms, it isn’t worth it money-wise.

It is easier for me to buy my button and portabellas fresh from the store than to freeze them.

And instead of freezing other types of mushrooms, I will keep some dried ones on hand to use. They are so much easier to use than frozen.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Porcini Mushrooms
  • Gourmet Mix European Mushrooms
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Mushroom House Stir Fry Blend
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Chanterelle Mushrooms

Now, if you live in a part of the world where shrooms are rarely available or super expensive, it might be worth it to stock up when you can get them or they are on sale and freeze.

Or, try to grow your own with these kits:

Until next time…

Kim

varieties of mushrooms

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