If you’ve purchased dried mushrooms you know they can be seriously expensive. The good news is you can dry mushrooms at home with only the cost of the mushrooms and the effort of slicing! My mind was blown when I learned this technique in culinary school and have been doing it ever since.
If you’ve never used dried mushrooms, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Once you try them, you’ll want to incorporate these little flavor bombs again and again. They offer a deep, rich, umami mushroom flavor to almost any dish where you’d use fresh mushrooms.
Many dried mushrooms in the grocery store are more exotic varieties. Some are dried because that’s the only good way to preserve them and they don’t travel well when fresh. We’re going to put a terrific new spin on
Benefits of Drying Mushrooms at Home
- Big mushroom flavor in a little wrinkly package
- Except for the cost of the mushrooms, they’re free!
- Maximize a good sale on mushrooms
- Make good use of mushrooms in your fridge that might otherwise be thrown away (and we’ve all found the slimy ones we forgot about jangling around the vegetable bin)
- Explore something new in your cooking
Super Simple Sheet Pan Drying Procedure
You can research many ways to dry mushrooms such as using a dehydrator, drying at a low temperature in the oven, laying in the sun, etc. All of that is not needed for small batch drying. If I am drying more that one pound of fresh mushrooms, I use my dehydrator (instructions below).
Drying a small amount on a sheet pan is just super easy, though!
Very simply, clean your mushrooms and slice them 1/4″ thick, or thereabouts. Here, I’ve used cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms. This works with any kind of mushroom in any quantity! Do you have a few mushrooms left in the fridge that will likely meet a slow slimy death? Slice them up and dry them. Collect the dried mushrooms over time and use them later.
Lay your sliced mushrooms directly on a sheet pan or plate or whatever is convenient. Cover with a paper towel or unfolded paper napkin to keep dust off and so they still have plenty of air. Set the tray out of the way somewhere for a week or two; I set mine on top of the refrigerator. Anywhere works, just don’t forget about them for too long.
It’s okay if you smell a little fungus funkiness. That won’t last and it’s just the way mushrooms smell. They won’t taste this way, I promise.
When your mushrooms are dry enough, they’ll still be just a tiny bit flexible, but dry throughout. If they are still moist and spongy, give them more time. Store them in a plastic bag in the pantry or in the freezer. I write the date on the bag.
If properly dry, they won’t mold when stored in a plastic bag or container and will last for months and months.
Drying Mushrooms in a Dehydrator
Every machine is a little different, but when I use my dehydrator for larger batches of mushrooms it sure speeds up the process. I cut them with my egg slicer, so they’re 1/4″ thick and lay them in a single layer on the mesh lined dehydrator trays.
They do well for me when dehydrated at 125° for at least 12 hours. Shorter amounts of time have left them not quite dried out – it depends on the mushrooms’ water level. I’ve even let them go as long as 24 hours.
How to Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms
Dried mushrooms must be rehydrated for most uses. It’s very simple to bring them back to life! The most common way is to cover them in hot water and just let them sit for a few hours. If you know you want to use them for dinner, simply pour some hot water over them in the morning and let them sit all day. They’ll be just fine at room temperature. They need to rehydrate for at least one hour, but several hours are best.
Rehydrated mushrooms have a dense, meaty texture. In some dishes, like risotto
Be sure to save that soaking liquid! It will be dark brown and look like coffee and is loaded with mushroom flavor. You can use it directly in your dish.
You can also grind your dried mushrooms in a food processor, or better yet, a coffee or spice grinder. That powder will provide a terrific boost to spice rubs and is a great way to add mushroom flavor into dishes for those who hate mushroom texture.
Just a Few of the Many Ways to Cook With Dried Mushrooms
- Add to soups or stews such as my Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Stir Fry with other vegetables
- Add ground mushrooms to spice rubs for roasts and steaks
- Mix into meatloaf
- Make a paste of ground mushrooms and water and add with the eggs to fresh pasta dough
- And those are just a few ideas!
Don’t let your extra mushrooms languish in your fridge any longer. Give them new life today!
How to Dry Mushrooms at Home
- Dry as many mushrooms as you like. As a guide, 12 oz of cremini or button mushrooms yielded approximately 1 oz dried. The volume was approximately 2 cups.
- Clean mushrooms and slice 1/4" thick.
- Spread in single layer directly on a sheet pan. Cover with a paper towel or unfolded paper napkin to keep off any dust.
- Lay sheet pan somewhere out of the way for one to two weeks. The top of the refrigerator might be an option. No worries if you notice a funky smell; that will pass.
- Alternatively, you can dry larger batches of sliced mushrooms in a dehydrator at 125° for about 12 hours or so.
- Mushrooms are dry enough when they're still a little bit flexible and slightly spongy. They should be brittle at least in spots. If they're spongy all over or moist, give them more time.
- Store in a labeled plastic bag in your pantry or freezer.