Drying mushrooms is one of the most common methods of preserving them. Afterward, they can be used for several years.
Maintaining their flavor and nutritional properties. Dried mushrooms can also be ground into a powder and used as a seasoning.
Here are some reasons why you might need to dry mushrooms:
- For storage: Dried mushrooms can be stored in an airtight container for several years, making them a good choice for preserving mushrooms for the winter when fresh ones are not available.
- For cooking: Dried mushrooms can enhance the flavor of various dishes, including soups, sauces, stews, and more, by adding a rich mushroom flavor.
- To improve flavor: Drying mushrooms removes excess moisture, concentrating their flavor.
How to dry mushrooms in the oven?
- Begin by cleaning the mushrooms, removing any debris, sand, and dirt. You can use the hard side of a dishwashing sponge to help with this process. If the mushroom stems are thick, remove them. For larger mushrooms, slice them into pieces about 5 mm thick.
- Place the cleaned and sliced mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Ensure they are in a single layer and not touching each other.
- Preheat the oven to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), if possible, using the convection mode or leaving the oven door slightly ajar. Allow the mushrooms to dry at this temperature for approximately 1-1.5 hours, turning them over periodically.
- Increase the oven temperature slightly to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Let the mushrooms dry for an additional 2.5-3 hours. Check the mushrooms and remove any that have sufficiently dried.
The properly dried mushrooms should be dry and brittle. If they are not fully dried, continue to dry them for an additional 1-2 hours.
In case the mushrooms release a lot of moisture, you can slightly raise the oven temperature to 70 degrees Celsius
Additionally, the day after drying, you can return the mushrooms to the oven, preheated to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), for another 20-30 minutes.
Where is the best place to store dried mushrooms?
Regarding the storage of dried mushrooms, after they have cooled, place them in an airtight container. It's best to use an airtight container made of dark glass for storage. Dark glass protects the mushrooms from light, which can affect their flavor, and the airtight seal prevents air from entering, which could lead to spoilage.
Consider the following options for airtight containers to store dried mushrooms:
- Dark glass jars with a secure lid.
- Dark glass containers with a vacuum seal.
- Cotton or linen bags with secure ties.
Do not store dried mushrooms in the refrigerator or freezer, and periodically check them for any signs of spoilage.
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