Mushrooms are such a delicacy these days that if you are thinking of dehydrating mushrooms, then you surely want to do it right. The best way possible is using a dehydrator, which saves time and money.
Why should I dehydrate mushrooms?
While fresh mushrooms are fantastic ingredients, they can also turn bad quickly. To avoid wasting money and food, you can preserve them in different ways. Drying mushrooms is not as hard as it looks, but using a dehydrator especially, is a good idea to keep your mushrooms tasty and lasting longer.
Tip #1 Start by preparing your mushrooms
Before you go about dehydrating your mushrooms, you need to make sure they are clean and ready.
First, soak your mushrooms quickly under the water. You may find that people say mushrooms will shrink and wrinkle if wet, but for a few minutes, you will not harm them.
Be sure to scrape off any dirt you see. Allow them to dry on a paper towel. Once they are drier, you can start to look for more impurities under the nooks and crannies.
If you have large mushrooms with lots of ridges, you may want to slice them first. You can also start by slicing them, and then placing them in a strainer for a quick rinse.
For a better process when dehydrating mushrooms, it is recommendable that you slice them into similar pieces. Keep in mind that the thicker the slices, the longer it will take to dehydrate them.
Tip #2 Pick the right dehydrator
Not everyone has a dehydrator at home, and if you are new to this, you should start by looking at some of your options.
Below are affordable, and good choices on Amazon:
This machine comes with five trays. You can also adjust the temperature between 35-70 degrees C or 95-158 degrees F. Because it has Circusmart 360 degree Air-Flow Circulation System, it can ensure proper air circulation for a more even dehydration, and in less time.
Because it offers the ability to place food trays in different angles, you can rotate them to fit larger or smaller food. This food dehydrator is great for mushrooms, apples, zucchini, herbs, and meat. For a good price, you will get a durable machine that dehydrates your mushrooms without burns or damage.
This COSORI dehydrator is much more advanced. With this one, you get six stainless steel trays, one mesh screen, one fruit roll sheet, one manual, and recipes. You can make all sorts of foods without fear of staining or chemicals in your machine.
With an easy-to-use digital control, you can set the timer and increase the temperature incrementally for up to 48 hours. This machine is much bigger than most, but it makes little noise, so it can run at night without waking anyone up. You can dehydrate mushrooms, jerky, fruit, and more!
With eight trays, this dehydrator is perfect for jobs in bulk. It is completely BPA-free. It will also allow you to control the temperature between 95-158 degrees F (35-70 degrees C).
To make things easier, you can clean the trays in the dishwasher, and detach some of the parts to clean your dehydrator thoroughly. The VIVOHOME is suitable for fruit, vegetables, meat, herbs, mushrooms, or jerky. This dehydrator is also very small, so it fits anywhere in your kitchen.
This food dehydrator can be a good intermediate between one of the most basic dehydrators and the very elaborate ones. It comes with seven separate mesh trays, a fruit leather sheet, and oven mitts. You can clean all of the trays in the dishwasher without much problem.
You can safely adjust the temperature between 95-165 degrees F, starting at half an hour and up to 24 hours. Once the time is up, it can automatically shut off, or keep your food warm. This is a bigger dehydrator, is perfect for fruit, mushrooms, fruit leather, herbs, granola, and meat.
Tip #3 Arrange your mushrooms carefully
One of the most common mistakes people make when dehydrating mushrooms is clumping them all together in one place. Another common mistake is to leave too much space in between the mushroom slices. Sounds complicated, right?
For best results, you will want to place the mushrooms close together but ensure the edges are not touching each other. If they do, these areas will retain moisture and may not dehydrate all the way.
By placing your mushrooms close together, they can dry quicker and more evenly. Remember, though, do not let them touch or clump together, or they will not dry properly.
Since mushrooms shrink considerably when dry, you can fit as many as you want in one tray, as long as they are not touching.
Tip #4 Pick the correct temperature
Mushrooms do not dry at too high of a temperature, but they also do not dry as slowly as others foods. For best results, you will want to set your temperature in your dehydrator to about 110 – 120 degrees F.
The process can take anywhere between six to eight hours, but sometimes it can take as long as 10 hours. As always, you should check on your mushrooms while you are dehydrating to ensure no burning or clumps form at any point.
Follow the instructions to your dehydrator as well, because drying times can be different depending on the power, size, and temperature range.
Tip #5 Store your mushrooms properly
Another very common problem with dehydrating mushrooms is that people do not store them properly, and they go bad faster than they should.
Before you do anything, be sure to let them cool down. Once the mushrooms are at room temperature, you can begin to handle them. It is always best to check that every piece of mushroom is dry, because if one of them has retained any moisture, it can ruin the rest by inviting mold to grow.
You should also use a storage container that will preserve the mushrooms. Some appropriate containers include clean glass jars with tight lids, or other glass storage containers.
Be sure to mark your container with the date of dehydration and place it away from light and heat. Most dry mushrooms last between 7 to 10 days.
Tip #6 Use them before they go bad
You can use your dry mushrooms in food by re-hydrating them in the water right before you start to cook. Your mushrooms will absorb the water and regain their shape again.
If you are not sure when you will use your dehydrated mushrooms, you can make a mushroom powder that preserves them even longer. You can store your mushroom powder just like the rest of your spices and add it to all sorts of meals, such as pasta, sauces, broth, soup, and even smoothies.
A mushroom powder is also a great way to add umami to anything you are cooking, so it can come in handy more than you think.
Give your dehydrator a try by dehydrating mushrooms!
Since you are now familiar with all the ins and outs of dehydrating mushrooms, give your dehydrator at home a try and save yourself time and money.
If you enjoyed reading this article, why not start with dehydrating Morels? Check the article here: How to Dry Morel Mushrooms with a Food Dehydrator in 5 Steps