Hello everyone! Hope this article will find you in great health. Today, in this article, I’ll let you know about the various techniques on “how to dry mushrooms?” While drying mushrooms, the first question that may come to your mind could be why or when to dry them? You will find an answer to this question in today’s post.
The second possible question coming to your mind could be “how many possible ways are there to dry mushrooms?” I’ll surely answer this question in detail as well.
Why Dry Mushrooms?
Dry mushrooms are usually cost-effective, easy to use, luxurious, and convenient at the same time. They have an intense and concentrated flavor with a meaty texture. This feature makes dried mushrooms spectacular for their addition to soups, stews, broths, etc.
On the other hand, morels are gritter and dustier in dried form. The drying process enhances the flavor of mushrooms to a great extent.
Dried mushrooms are famous for their key role in adding meatiness to the Asian vegetable stock. You can also use them in making Korean stews like Soondubu or Japanese stocks like miso soup. You can also use dried shiitake mushrooms in sticky rice or steamed chicken and mushrooms.
Why Should You Dry Mushrooms?
If you want to preserve your mushrooms for a longer run, you can dry them to achieve better results. Dried mushrooms are nutritious and incredibly lightweight and you can easily rehydrate them. You can use them in a couple of dishes e.g., pasta, soups, omelets, and many more.
What Mushrooms can You Dry?
You can dry almost all of the edible mushrooms including Porcini, Cremini, Enoki, Shiitake, Oyster, Chanterelles, Morels, and Portobello.
Possible Ways to Dry Mushrooms?
The mushrooms can be dried in a couple of ways depending upon the present circumstances and need of the hour. In this section, I will focus on the different techniques (as given below) to dry mushrooms effectively.
- How to dry mushrooms naturally?
- How to dry mushrooms using Oven?
- How to dry mushrooms using the Freeze Drying method?
How to Dry Mushrooms Naturally?
This process consists of five different stages to get a better dried version of mushrooms. The details are given below.
1) Cleaning and Slicing Mushrooms
You can use either a dry towel or a brush to clean the mushrooms. Water is not usually recommended for cleaning purposes because of its role in fungi growth. After cleaning, you should cut the mushrooms into small pieces (of 0.5 inches thickness).
2) Weather Monitoring
You can dry mushrooms naturally only when the weather around is sunny having a low level of humidity. This method won’t be useful in winter. If the atmosphere has high humidity, mushrooms will take longer to dry.
3) Finding Good Location
The selection of a good area to dry mushrooms play a key role in the whole process. You can choose areas with proper air circulation processes e.g., rooftops, sunny rooms, and windowsills.
4) Arranging Mushrooms that need to be dried
You can arrange mushrooms in two different ways i.e., either you can string them up with the help of cooking string or laying them on the drying rack.
String mushrooms with cooking string
In this scenario, you can pass the string with the help of a sterilized needle, through the mushrooms. To sterilize the needle, you can simply run it through a flame. After that, you can string the mushrooms along the string just like a necklace having beads over its rope.
Using a drying rack
You should lay the mushrooms in one layer in this process ensuring that none of them is overlapped. If some mushrooms are overlapping, they could either stick together while drying or get converted into weird shapes. Don’t forget to cover the drying rack and mushrooms in a net sheet (you can easily find it from nearby kitchen supply shops). In case the net sheet is not available you can use a piece of mesh fabric under and over the mushrooms and dry rack.
5) Placing Mushrooms in the chosen area
You can expose the mushrooms rack directly to the sun. Allow them to dry for two days. Keep on checking the progress a couple of times in a day. If you are not able to properly dry mushrooms even after allowing them to dry in the sun for two days, you can put them in an oven to do it efficiently. This process is explained in detail below.
How to Dry Mushrooms using Oven?
Multiple steps involved in this process are:
1) Cleaning Mushrooms
To remove any dust on mushrooms, you can use a dry towel or brush. Avoid using water to get rid of fungi or mold growth. If you use water to clean mushrooms, extra fungi can make you ill if you eat them.
If there are some rigid spots over the mushrooms that cannot be removed through a brush, you can use either a paper towel or a damp cloth to deal with those spots. Ensure that there is no moisture left on the surface of mushrooms.
2) Cutting Mushrooms
If the mushrooms are cut down into thicker pieces, they will consume more time to get dry. In order to boost the drying process, you can make thin pieces of them. The recommended thickness for the mushroom piece is 0.125 inches. This thickness can maintain flavor packed into the slices. The thinner the slice, the less will be the drying time.
3) Placing Mushrooms over the baking sheet
Ensure that the mushrooms are laying side by side and flat. There should be no overlap between mushrooms as it may cause them to fuse together in the drying process. Make sure to lay them out in one layer.
You should not oil the sheets as the mushrooms can absorb oil that may cause a huge change in flavor and take longer to dry.
4) Preheating oven (150°C)
You just need to wait for some time until the oven reaches the desired temperature as mentioned. After that, you can place the baking sheet into the heating oven. Leave the mushrooms in the oven for about an hour.
5) Taking Mushrooms out of the oven
After one hour of baking, you can take mushrooms out of the heating oven. Right after taking them out, flip them over to make them dry evenly. Moisture should be removed from their surface and you can use a dry cloth or a paper towel to do this.
6) Placing Mushrooms back in the oven
Put the mushrooms in the oven again to bake them for one more hour so that they can be dried completely. When you take the mushrooms out don’t forget to ensure that there is no moisture remaining on their surface. If you still find any moisture, clean them again with a paper towel or bake them for more time.
7) Keep on checking Mushrooms continuously
You should continue to check mushrooms until they get dried completely. Keep on repeating the baking and moisture removal process until they get completely dry. A proper dehydrated mushroom should look like a cracker.
8) Allowing Mushrooms to cool down
After taking mushrooms out of the oven, you should allow them to cool for some time over the baking sheet. Avoid placing the heated mushrooms in Tupperware having a closed lid. Otherwise, they will cause condensation and all of your efforts will be wasted.
9) Storing dried Mushrooms
Once the mushrooms are completely cooled down, you can put or store them in canisters having strong airtight working seals. Make sure to place these canisters in a cool and dark location until you get ready to utilize these mushrooms in multiple dishes of your own choice.
How to Dry Mushrooms using the Freeze Drying Method?
As it is clear from the name of this method that mushrooms need to be frozen during this technique. Various steps involved in this method are given in detail below.
1) Laying paper towel on the flat surface of Mushrooms
First of all, clean the mushrooms to be dried and make slim slices of them. Put them on a paper towel. Make sure that they are placed in a single layer without any overlap to avoid their fusion together.
It is very important to ensure that the mushrooms are effectively dried. Even if they have a little bit of water on their surface, those water droplets could become ice and spoil the mushrooms.
2) Laying one more paper towel on top of Mushrooms
Place the mushrooms in single layers and lay paper towels on those layers until you have covered all the mushrooms to be dried.
3) Sliding Mushrooms into a paper bag
You should use a large-ish paper bag that can cover all the mushrooms and paper towels. Water vapors can be passed through the paper bag to help mushrooms dry easily.
4) Placing paper bag in freezer
When you place a paper bag having mushrooms in the freezer, they will start drying. This is an effective but slow drying process in comparison to the previously described two different methods. This technique is recommended if you are not planning to use mushrooms immediately.
How to Dry Mushrooms using the Box Fan Method?
Box fan is considered one of the effective techniques for drying mushrooms. In this method, moisture is removed through the moving air. It is quite similar to the sun drying technique and the directions are quite simple.
- Set up the equipment as you did in drying mushrooms naturally
- Put the box fan near the mushrooms
- Place the fan as closer to the mushroom slices as you can and avoid blowing them away
- Set a fan on the highest setting
- Moving air will help mushrooms to get dried
- Monitor the moisture content on the surface of mushrooms a couple of times in a day
This method will not be able to completely dry your mushrooms that is why you will need a heating element at the end if you want to preserve them for a long time.
How to Rehydrate Mushrooms?
If rehydration of mushrooms is required, you can simply soak mushrooms in either hot or cold water for about half an hour. A rich, dark broth will be produced as a result of this process. Don’t waste it. You can use this flavored soaking in sauces and soups.
There are certain points that you must know if you are planning to dry mushrooms to fulfill your need of the hour. I have provided these points below.
- The dried mushrooms can be kept for years if stored properly
- Don’t forget to use dried mushrooms sparingly because their flavor is more concentrated in comparison to fresh mushrooms
- Dried mushrooms can be reconstituted if some boiled water is added to them
In this article, I have provided a detailed discussion about the different techniques (natural drying process, drying mushrooms in the oven, freeze-drying technique, and drying mushrooms through the box fan method) to dry mushrooms for their daily use in cooking items.
The reason behind drying mushrooms is also presented to get a clear understanding of today’s post. Various types of mushrooms are mentioned that can be easily dried depending upon the requirements.
By now you may be wondering, which technique do I recommend? They all have their own pros and cons but, in my opinion, unless you have a huge mountain of mushrooms to be dried, the freeze-drying method is the most suitable method if you are not planning to use your mushrooms immediately.
If you want to rehydrate mushrooms for cooking, don’t forget to soak them in warm water for about two hours. Soak liquid is full of flavor and you can use it while cooking.
There you have got a lot of information on how to dry mushrooms? I hope you have enjoyed the content and it will be beneficial for you if you are fond of using mushrooms in your daily routine. Please don’t forget to give your feedback.
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