How to Dehydrate Mushrooms

November 07, 2011 The Provident Princess 0 Comments

Dehydrating vegetables is such a great way to use up extra food. Dehydrated food loses 75-90 percent of its moisture making it a very effective way to store a large volume without needing too much room.  And drying mushrooms is one of the best vegetables to dehydrate because they keep their flavors so well.

You can dehydrate things using your oven. But with the cost of energy as high as it is, I don't think it's very economical to dry them like that.

On the other hand, dehydrators are very energy efficient and are an easy way to dehydrate big batches of food any time. Dried mushrooms can be used almost anywhere fresh ones are called for, except perhaps salads. But even then dried mushrooms would taste good crumbled up and sprinkled on top for a little crunch.

Mushrooms are so easy to dry. So when my local store had them on sale, I stocked up.

To start, DO NOT wash your mushrooms. You can wipe them off gently with a paper towel, but washing them whether for dehydrating or cooking is a no no. It will make them rubbery. Once they are dehydrated and you want to use them, you can wash them then.

OK, now that we got that out of the way, let's get back to the mushrooms.

Slice your mushroom about 1/4 inch thick. I bought the pre-sliced ones because I thought it would save time but I found out that there were quite a few I needed to slice smaller anyway.

Lay your sliced mushrooms on one of the trays of your dehydrate. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until all of your trays or full or you run out of mushrooms. Turn on your dehydrator and let mushrooms dry for about a day. Mine were done after about 14 hours. I put my trays in after dinner, rotated them before I went to sleep and dried them overnight. They were done when I woke up.

Look how much they shrink down. You can tell your mushrooms are done when they are brittle and snap easily between two fingers.
Place in an airtight container. If you have oxygen absorbers your could put one in with it. You don't have to put them in a bottle but they won't get broken this way. This quart jar holds the mushrooms from two 8 oz. containers of fresh mushrooms.

Store these in a cool, dark place for 6-12 months. You could also extend the life of your mushrooms by freezing them from this point.

To Use:
Wash, then add to recipes that will be cooked for at least 20 minutes. Otherwise, soak in liquid (hot water, broth or wine for added flavor) for an hour or 2 before using. 

You can also eat these plain like chips. For more flavor, sprinkle with seasoned salt before drying. They have a really nice crunch and earthy flavor which your kids will love.

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