How to Store Mushrooms to Keep Them at Their Best

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Mushrooms are earthy and flavorful, with a meaty texture that makes them appealing in both meat and veggie recipes. Mushrooms go nicely with steaks, pig, veal, poultry, shellfish, and vegetables like onions and asparagus. They also pair nicely with creams, butters, eggs, and cheeses, as well as red or white wine or sherry. If you prefer to keep it simple, they can also be eaten raw as part of a seasonal salad.

Garlic, salt and pepper is common seasoning for mushrooms, but they also taste well when seasoned with tarragon, rosemary, dill, parsley, marjoram, oregano or chives.

It might be more difficult to prepare ahead of time to acquire mushrooms since they quickly sweat and get slimy when left in the plastic wrapping from the grocery shop. This plastic wrap not only keeps extra moisture in, but it also prevents the mushrooms from breathing.

This lesson provides an introduction of mushrooms as well as a step-by-step approach for preserving fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator and another for preparing them for freezing. Continue reading to discover not just more about mushrooms, but also how to preserve them properly.

Some of The Different Types of Mushrooms

How to Store Mushrooms to Keep Them at Their Best

Mushrooms, like yeasts and molds, are members of the fungus kingdom. White button mushrooms and baby portobellos are the most popular mushrooms seen in supermarkets. These mushrooms, sometimes known as creminis, are roughly the same size as button mushrooms but brown. If you’re fortunate, you may also be able to obtain portobello mushrooms, which are perfect for stuffing and baking or grilling due to their huge size.

Surprisingly, all three of these mushrooms are from the same Agaricus bisporus species; they are just harvested at various stages of maturity. If they are white when juvenile, they are button; if brown, they are creminis. Buttons and cremini mushrooms develop into bigger portobello mushrooms.

Although there are over 2,000 edible mushroom species, only a handful are commercially accessible. Unless you are fortunate enough to be an expert forager (or know someone who is), you will need to visit a specialist grocery shop or your local farmers market to purchase several varieties of mushrooms.

Oyster mushrooms are wild mushrooms that vary in size and may be cooked in a number of ways, including on the grill, since they are rather solid with a more delicate texture.

Chanterelles are often yellow to orange or peach in hue, although they may also be crimson or black. Black chanterelles, also known as black trumpets, have a rich and almost truffle-like taste. Chanterelles are frilled and have an apricot scent. Because like oysters and others, these are wild mushrooms, they are often quite expensive to buy and are best served up simply, just sauted with some butter or oil and a little garlic.

Morel mushrooms, which are available in the spring, have a nutty taste that lends itself to being simply sautéed in butter or oil with a little spice.

Mushrooms accounted for $1.85 billion in sales in North America in 2018, and their popularity will continue to rise (excuse the pun!) as demand for frozen or canned vegetables rises, as does consumer knowledge of the nutritional advantages of mushrooms.

Benefits of Mushrooms in Our Diet

Although the nutritional advantages of mushrooms vary somewhat depending on the species, they are a good source of antioxidants like selenium and vitamin C. These antioxidants help to prevent and repair some of the damage in our bodies which is caused by free radicals molecules associated with aging and many health conditions.

Mushrooms are high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and fiber, which is frequently in the form of beta-glucans, which has been associated to reduce cholesterol levels.

Mushrooms also provide B vitamins, which aid the body’s use of dietary energy, and they are the diet’s sole non-fortified and vegan source of vitamin D.

Buying Mushrooms at Their Best

Mushrooms will continue to grow after being plucked. This is why, when fresh, they should always be refrigerated to inhibit their metabolism.

When choosing fresh mushrooms, seek for ones that are dry and solid, with no damp or squishy patches. They should be plump, with undamaged stems and tops.

If you purchase mushrooms loose, they should have a somewhat sweet fragrance with earthy undertones. Avoid purchasing any that have a strong musty or sour odor.

If feasible, get fresh mushrooms that are not shrink-wrapped; however, this is generally more difficult when purchasing from a grocery shop. Mushrooms are also much superior when purchased whole and cut at home rather than pre-sliced.

Storing Mushrooms

In a perfect world, we would always purchase fresh mushrooms when we need them, but that is seldom the case. When I know I’ll need mushrooms throughout the week, I keep them in a paper bag in the refrigerator, or I sauté them and freeze them for longer term storage. Because I freeze them, I always have mushrooms on hand for last-minute dishes.

In the first tutorial below, we provide a step by step guide on refrigerator storage and in the second, we consider how best to freeze mushrooms for longer term storage.

Mushrooms may be left in their grocery store plastic wrapping if you want to use them within the next day or two, but to keep them in the fridge longer, they should be removed from the plastic to minimize moisture buildup.

Fresh mushrooms may also be placed on a paper towel inside a berry bowl (a perforated ceramic dish) if you have one.

If you have a dehydrator or frequently dry in the oven, dehydrating mushrooms and then adding them to a meal as is or rehydrating before using is another option for longer term storage.

Tutorial 1: For Refrigerator Storage of Fresh Mushrooms

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

  1. Plastic wrapped mushrooms
  2. Paper bag paper lunch bags are ideal

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Carefully remove all of the plastic packing from the mushrooms.

Step 2: Place in paper lunch bag: It is critical not to wash the mushrooms before placing them in the paper lunch bag. If you do, they will quickly become slimy.

If they are really unclean, just brush away some of the extra dirt with a mushroom brush or similar tool, or wipe them off with a dry paper towel.

If you purchased professionally produced mushrooms, you should be aware that the mushroom growing materials have been pasteurized and sterilized to eradicate any bacteria that might cause foodborne disease. There have been no reported cases of foodborne disease from ingesting fresh mushrooms commercially grown in North America as late as 2018.

Step 3: Refrigerate open bag: Leaving the paper bag open prevents extra moisture from being retained in the bag, which the mushrooms would otherwise absorb. Leaving the bag open allows ethylene gas (which mushrooms emit after being picked) to escape. Some people like to fold the bag’s top over, but if you do, pierce the paper bag to enable moisture and ethylene gas to escape.

Storing the bag in the crisper drawer will help prevent mushrooms from absorbing other refrigerator scents, while others argue that mushrooms are best kept in the main compartment of the refrigerator since the crisper drawer may accumulate too much moisture.

When storing mushrooms, take care not to put anything on top of them. Not only do smashed and bruised mushrooms seem unappealing, but they also don’t keep as long as undamaged ones.

Mushrooms should stay in the refrigerator for about a week, although some estimates go as high as 10 days.

Tutorial 2: For Freezer Storage of Fresh Mushrooms

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

  1. Fresh mushrooms
  2. Toilet Paper Instead of paper towels, you may use a clean dish towel.
  3. Colander For rinsing the mushrooms
  4. Brush for mushrooms If you don’t have a mushroom brush, a fresh paintbrush or, like in this example, a pastry and basting brush would suffice.
  5. Knife For slicing the mushrooms with
  6. For sautéing the mushrooms, use olive oil. If you want to use butter or another oil, that is OK.
  7. Fry pan or skillet, or any other appropriate saute pan
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may add any spices or herbs you choose; just keep in mind what meals you want to use the frozen mushrooms in to avoid taste clashes.
  9. baking dish large enough to spread out your cooked mushrooms to coolThe cookie sheet
  10. Ziplock bag For storing your cooked mushrooms in

Most mushrooms freeze nicely, but you should do it right away rather than storing them in the refrigerator for a few days. If my friends have gone foraging and bring me some wild mushrooms, I will also use freezing. I prefer to eat these fresh but also like to store the excess in the freezer so they can be added to dishes during winter.

Most mushrooms freeze nicely, but you should do it right away rather than storing them in the refrigerator for a few days. If my friends have gone foraging and bring me some wild mushrooms, I will also use freezing. I love to eat them fresh, but I also like to freeze the extras to use in recipes over the winter.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Clean the mushrooms: Remove packaging from the mushrooms and rinse them well under cold water. Do not be concerned if there is still dirt on them at this stage; it will be eliminated in the following step.

Pro tip: If you’re cleaning foraged or speciality mushrooms from a farmers market, soak them in water for a few minutes, particularly if they’re frilly mushrooms like chanterelles or oysters. A soak will get rid of any leftover trash, even stray insects!

Step 2: Dry the mushrooms: Lay the mushrooms flat on paper towels or a dish towel to dry.

Step 3: Brush off any residual dirt: Once the mushrooms have dried, use the brush to carefully remove any remaining dirt.

Step 4: Heat the oil and cut the mushrooms: To heat the oil, add two teaspoons of olive oil to the fry pan and heat on medium. Trim any dried ends of stems and other woody portions of the mushrooms while the oil heats, and then slice them equally.

Step 5: Cook the mushrooms: Place the mushrooms in the fry pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until they are the color you desire. When finished, switch off the burner.

Step 6: Arrange the mushrooms: Place the cooked mushrooms on a cookie sheet or baking pan to cool. You might put them on some paper towels to absorb the extra moisture at this stage, but I like to keep some of the stock with them, so I freeze them as is.

Step 7: store the mushrooms in a container or a Ziplock bag, remove the extra air, seal, and store in the freezer. Remember to write the cooking date on the bag.

Pro Tip: If you freeze them as I do with the excess stock from the pan then give the bag a shake once an hour or so as the mushrooms are freezing as this will help stop them sticking together as they freeze.

Once frozen, just remove as many or as few mushrooms as desired from the bag and add them to pasta dishes, stews, or risottos five to ten minutes before the end of the cooking period.

If you add frozen mushrooms to eggs, do it at the beginning of the cooking time to ensure they are thoroughly cooked, or if you want to put a couple in your sandwich or wrap, simply spread them out between two paper towels and microwave them on medium high for 15 to 30 seconds.


In this tutorial I have looked at two ways to store fresh mushrooms. The first instruction demonstrated how to prepare fresh mushrooms for short-term preservation in the refrigerator, while the second demonstrated how to prepare fresh mushrooms for long-term storage in the freezer.

I hope you found these instructions useful, and please feel free to share them with your friends and leave any comments or recommendations in the section below.


What is the best container for storing mushrooms?

Refrigerate raw mushrooms in a paper bag or porous container for the greatest shelf life. When storing mushrooms, avoid using plastic bags or sealed containers since the lack of air movement can hasten rotting.

Should mushrooms be kept in the fridge?

Mushrooms should be kept in the refrigerator due to their high water content to keep them as fresh as possible. You can probably keep them on the counter for a day or two, but if you want to preserve them for many days, or even up to a week, put them on a fridge shelf.

Do mushrooms last longer in airtight container?

The most important guideline for keeping mushrooms fresh is to allow them to air. “Storing in airtight containers or plastic bags will cause condensation and accelerate spoilage,” Giorgio says.

Should you store mushrooms in paper or plastic?

Because plastic absorbs moisture, mushrooms wind up resting in a wet container or bag, causing discoloration, mold, and slime. While button mushrooms should be eaten within five days after purchase, you may prolong their shelf life by storing them in a brown paper bag – with or without paper towels.

What are the two methods of storage of mushrooms?

Low temperatures are beneficial for short-term storage. Mushrooms may be packaged in wooden containers with three compartments; ice goes in the center compartment, and mushrooms go in the other two. Mushrooms may also be sent via airfreight in bamboo baskets.

Why are mushrooms stored in paper bags?

“What’s the deal with the brown paper bags?” It’s a frequent query. The solution is straightforward: it keeps them fresher for longer. Because brown paper absorbs excess moisture, the mushrooms may breathe, but plastic stores moisture, forcing the mushrooms to absorb it.

How do you make mushrooms last longer?

The key to mushroom storage is to remove them from their container before storing them. Refrigerate them wrapped in paper towels in open plastic bags (paper bags are much better).

Should I wash mushrooms before refrigerating?

In a nutshell, no. Rinsing mushrooms may produce discolouration, and you want your dish to appear as wonderful as it tastes. We suggest brushing mushrooms that will be served raw with a dry toothbrush.

Should I wash mushrooms before storing in fridge?

Washing or soaking your mushrooms before storing them might cause them to absorb too much water, resulting in a shorter shelf life. Instead, use a moist paper towel to remove any remaining dirt or filth off the mushrooms.

Should you wash mushrooms?

“All wild mushrooms should be washed and dried after,” explains Joseph Rizza, Executive Chef at Prime & Provisions in Chicago. “Cultivated mushrooms, such as buttons and portobellos, may be cleaned with a dry cloth or paper towel to remove any extra ‘dirt’ that has accumulated.

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