Here's how to get the most from your 'shrooms.

By Melanie Fincher
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If you've stocked up on seasonal mushrooms, you'll need to find a way to preserve them to get as much enjoyment as possible. Mushrooms only last about a week when stored in the refrigerator, but they can last a whole lot longer if you get your freezer involved. Here's how to properly freeze both raw and cooked mushrooms for best results.

How Freezing Affects Mushrooms

So, can you freeze mushrooms? Yes! But you'll need to take some pre-freezing steps to ensure they don't become mushy when thawed. Keep reading to learn how to freeze mushrooms, both raw and cooked, the best way.

How to Freeze Mushrooms

Frozen mushrooms will last up to a year in the freezer. But not all types of mushrooms should be frozen the same way. Hen of the woods mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, and wild mushrooms in the slimy-capped Suillus genus are best frozen raw, because their high moisture content makes them difficult to dehydrate. Most store-bought mushrooms (like button mushrooms, creminis, and portobello) can be frozen raw or cooked.

Freezing Raw Mushrooms

When it comes to freezing fresh, uncooked mushrooms, the fresher they are at the time of freezing the better.

  1. Clean the mushrooms. Either use a paper towel to brush any visible dirt off the mushrooms or lightly rinse them in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Don't soak the mushrooms because this will make them mushy once cooked.
  2. Prep the mushrooms. Chop the mushrooms into slices or dice them, depending on how you intend to use them.
  3. Flash freeze the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure the pieces do not overlap. Freeze for at least two hours.
  4. Transfer the mushrooms to a freezer bag. The mushrooms should stay loose since they were frozen in a single layer. Add the date to the bag and freeze for up to a year.

Freezing Cooked Mushrooms

Many mushroom varieties do best when they're cooked before frozen.

  1. Clean the mushrooms. Either brush any visible dirt off the mushrooms or lightly rinse them in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Don't soak the mushrooms because this will make them mushy once cooked.
  2. Prep the mushrooms. Chop the mushrooms into slices or dice them, depending on how you intend to use them.
  3. Cook the mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms with oil or butter over medium-low heat until soft. You may also steam the mushrooms to cook them.
  4. Allow the mushrooms to cool. Wait for the mushrooms to cool to room temperature.
  5. Transfer the mushrooms to a freezer bag. Lay the cooked mushrooms into a freezer bag and store the bag horizontally. Label with the date and freeze for up to a year.

How to Thaw Frozen Mushrooms

Once you're ready to use your frozen mushrooms, you may either add them frozen to a dish that you plan to thoroughly cook, or allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking them.

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