How to Freeze Mushrooms

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How to Freeze Mushrooms. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Stock up on mushrooms when they're in season (and cheap). Then, freeze them until you're ready to use them. Here's how:

Mushroom Selection

Choose mushrooms that look and smell fresh. Mushrooms that are dry, shriveled, darkened, moldy, have bad spots or give off an unpleasant odor should be avoided.

Cleaning and Prep

Wash your mushrooms in cold water. Then, trim off the ends of the stems. Mushrooms over one-inch across should also be sliced or quartered.

Cooking

Mushrooms need to be cooked before freezing. There are two ways to accomplish this:

Sauteeing

Heat the mushrooms in a frying pan with a small amount of butter or oil over high heat. Cook for five minutes, or until the mushrooms are fully-cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Steaming

To minimize the darkening effect of steaming, soak the mushrooms in a solution of one teaspoon lemon juice or 1-1/2 teaspoons of citric acid to one pint of water for five minutes. Then, steam following these recommended times:

Whole mushrooms - 5 minutes
Button mushrooms - 3-1/2 minutes
Quartered mushrooms - 3-1/2 minutes
Sliced mushrooms - 3 minutes

Freezing

Allow the mushrooms to cool completely. Then, spread them out on a cookie sheet, and flash-freeze them. Once they're completely frozen, use a spatula to lift the mushrooms from the cookie sheet. Then, pack the mushrooms in freezer-safe containers or bags, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace for expansion; and return them to the freezer.

Frozen mushrooms should be used within a year (though sooner is definitely better).

Tip: Use a FoodSaver to vacuum-pack your mushrooms. Since they have a high water content, mushrooms are more prone to freezer burn than other foods.

Buy a FoodSaver on Amazon

To Use Frozen Mushrooms:

Drop the frozen pieces directly into recipes that will be heated, or thaw your mushrooms in the refrigerator before using.

Since you froze your mushrooms individually, you'll be able to scoop out just what you need from your freezer stash.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Freezing will change the color and texture of mushrooms – making them both darker and softer
  • Steamed mushrooms have a longer freezer life than sauteed mushrooms
  • Washing mushrooms may make them soggy. Many people prefer to simply brush or wipe them off

More Ways to Preserve Mushrooms

If your fresh mushrooms don't last as long in the fridge as you'd like them to, try storing them this way.

Limited on freezer space? Dry your mushrooms, instead of freezing them. They're easy to rehydrate as you need them, and take up very little space. Here's how to substitute dried mushrooms for fresh mushrooms in recipes.

Sources: The National Center for Home Food Preservation
USDA