How to Freeze Mushrooms: The Do’s and Dont’s

how to freeze mushrooms
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Barbroforsberg

Mushrooms add a nice flavor to savory dishes, but sometimes getting fresh ones can be tough. Learn how to freeze mushrooms so you can enjoy them any time.

If you’re a fan of fresh mushrooms, it can be tough to find them out of season. Instead of missing out on that mushroom flavor in your dishes out of season, follow these steps to freeze mushrooms. This will give you the option to use them at any time – read on to learn how.

How to Freeze Mushrooms

Sautee or steam your mushrooms before freezing for a longer lifespan.
Sautee or steam your mushrooms before freezing for a longer lifespan. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jarmoluk)

In order to properly freeze mushrooms to get the longest life out of them, you have two options: steam before freezing, or sauté before freezing. Steaming them will give a longer lifespan, while sautéing adds a bit more flavor. Regardless of which method you choose, the first step is to clean the mushrooms:

Cleaning Mushrooms

  • Before you freeze your mushrooms, you should clean them. Choose fresh looking mushrooms at the store, and once home remove the mushroom stems, wash them under cold water, and cut them to bite size pieces if large.

Sautéing Mushrooms

  1. Once you have cleaned your mushrooms, you can begin the process for freezing them. Using a frying pan, add some oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms on high heat for about five minute.
  2. If most of the water has evaporated, you know your mushrooms are done. Remove them from the heat and let them cool.
  3. Set them out on a cookie sheet, and freeze them for 30 minutes. This is called “flash freezing” and it should preserve more of their flavor.
  4. Once they are completely cool, you can transfer them to a freezer safe tupper ware.

Steaming Mushrooms

  1. After cleaning your mushrooms, prepare 2 cups water with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Sit the mushrooms in the mixture for 5 minutes.
  2. Next, set them inside a pot with water, or a steamer if you have one.
  3. Heat the water and steam the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove them from the heat, place them flat on a cookie sheet, and once cool, place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Then remove them from the cookie sheet and place them in freezer-safe tupperware.

Both of these options should leave your mushrooms fresh for up to 6 months. Optional: add spices when you are steaming/sautéing in order to add more flavor to the frozen dish.

Things to Keep in Mind When Freezing Mushrooms

For those learning how to freeze mushrooms for the first time, make the most of them using the following simple tips.

Do:

  1. Always choose fresh mushrooms. If they are starting to dry out, freezing them might make them taste bitter and they won’t have as long a lifespan.
  2. Freeze them quickly after purchasing them. If you wait too long to cook them, they will lose their lifespan and not taste as good. Mushrooms last 7-10 days if left whole, or 4-6 days if chopped.
  3. Clean the mushrooms before cooking them. This will remove some of the bitter (dirt) taste. You can skip the water and just dry them off with a paper towel if you want to avoid them getting too mushy.

Do Not:

  1. Freeze raw mushrooms. These do not last as long and become slimy if frozen raw. Always cook them first.
  2. Forget to label the frozen mushrooms with the date. Although mushrooms can last up to 6 months if properly frozen, it’s always best to label them with the date so you avoid wondering if they are still good when using them.

How to Use Frozen Mushrooms

Add additional herbs or spices when preparing mushrooms for freezing to add flavor.
Add additional herbs or spices when preparing mushrooms for freezing to add flavor. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / congerdesign)

Depending on your dish, you can use the frozen mushrooms in different ways. If you are making a dish that will be completely heated through, like vegan mushroom soup, you can toss in mushrooms frozen as is. If you are only briefly heating a dish, make sure the mushrooms are thawed completely before adding them. To thaw them, remove them from the freezer and either add them to the refrigerator or leave them out until they reach room temperature before moving them to the fridge.

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