Oyster mushrooms are delicious, and after a recent post about maitake mushrooms we got to thinking about storing oyster mushrooms too. Whilst a lot of what we spoke about in the other post can apply to oyster mushrooms, we thought we’d focus more on storing oyster mushrooms for freshness, quality, and ease of access this time.
After all, whenever we have oyster mushrooms at home, they don’t last long because we want to add them to every meal. So today we will teach you how to store oyster mushrooms safely to guarantee freshness, and you’ll be able to do our 3 suggestions at home, with very little effort!
How To Store Oyster Mushrooms
Today we’ll cover 3 ways, 2 of which focus on storing oyster mushrooms long term, and 1 of which focuses on storing them short term. But EVERY one of our suggestions puts quality and freshness first, so no matter how you choose to store them, you know they’ll be as delicious as they were when they were freshly picked.
Refrigerating (And How Long They Last)
Let’s start with the obvious one, and perhaps the easiest of all the storage methods we’ll discuss today: refrigerating oyster mushrooms. Did you know that a freshly picked oyster mushroom will only last at room temperature for around 2 days before it starts to go bad? But in the refrigerator it’ll last much longer, which means you can enjoy them for longer too!
The key to storing oyster mushrooms is preventing them from getting wet or damp. Given that fridges can be quite wet and damp places, you’ll need to make sure you have airtight containers to keep them fresh whilst in the fridge. The reason getting mushrooms wet is so bad is that it encourages them to rot quicker, meaning the whole batch can be spoiled in a day or two, when really they should last much longer in the refrigerator. So, what do you need to do?
- Rinse the oyster mushrooms under running water to remove dirt.
- Pat them dry.
- Then wrap them in paper towels to prevent them from getting damp.
- Place the wrapped mushrooms into a plastic container with an airtight lid.
Doing this will mean you have done everything you can to prevent the mushrooms from getting damp, and it’ll allow them to last longer. Still, oyster mushrooms will only last for 5-7 days in a refrigerator before they start to go bad, so storing them in the fridge is the best method for short-term use, but you might want to consider our other 2 methods if you want to store them for even longer.
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Drying (And What You’ll Need)
We said that today’s post was going to focus on freshness, but we also want to focus on giving you options you can do at home right now. If you want to buy specialist equipment to dry your oyster mushrooms using something like a dehydrator, then go ahead. The end result will last longer. But, if you don’t want to spend money on drying oyster mushrooms, then we have the perfect method for you – and so long as the mushrooms are dried completely, they’ll still last for up to 6 months!
If you want to store your oyster mushrooms for a relatively long time, but without all the fuss of a dehydrator, then you can use our oven method below. Here’s what to do:
- Wash and dry the oyster mushrooms.
- Because oyster mushrooms are so large, you’ll need to cut them into slices around an eighth of an inch thick.
- Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit – the trick to drying mushrooms instead of cooking them is a very low temperature oven.
- Place the mushroom slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Leave in the oven for around 1 hour until all the moisture is gone.
- Transfer to airtight container or jar.
Drying oyster mushrooms and keeping them in an airtight container is a great way to prevent them from going bad quickly. Food needs moisture, heat, and oxygen to go bad, so by keeping an airtight container of dried oyster mushrooms in a cool place, you’ll be able to keep them for 6 months comfortably.
Because you’ve only dried the mushrooms, there’s no need to rehydrate them before use. You can simply drop them into whatever dish you’re making and they’ll soak up the moisture in the dish quickly. However, if you prefer to rehydrate them, you can do so by soaking them in boiling water or boiling stock for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are plump and large again, like they were before drying.
If that sounds too complicated though (trust us, it isn’t) then you can always fall back on another reliable method of food storage…
Freezing (And How To Do It)
We’re talking about your freezer, of course! Humans have recognized the benefits of freezing food for years now, so it makes sense to use your freezer when you’re trying to keep oyster mushrooms for longer periods too. The only problem with freezing mushrooms is that they can often stick together and form a mushroom ball. But don’t worry, if that has been stopping you from freezing them, we have a helpful trick to prevent it below.
So, how do you freeze oyster mushrooms?
- Wash and dry the raw oyster mushrooms (you can freeze cooked oyster mushrooms too, but raw will yield better results and they’ll last longer in the freezer).
- You can freeze them whole if you like, but it might be easier to cut into strips to allow for a quicker thawing time when you want to use them again.
- Place the oyster mushrooms in a single layer on a baking tray.
- Place the baking tray in the freezer for 4 hours (this will prevent them from sticking because they have been frozen separately).
- Remove the baking tray from the freezer and place the mushrooms in a bag or freezer-safe container.
Once frozen, raw oyster mushrooms can last in the freezer for up to a year, but 6 months is best if you want to guarantee flavor, texture, and general freshness and quality. When you’re ready to use them, just take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge for 6 hours until thawed. Then you can use them as usual.
Thanks for reading, We hope this post answers any questions you may have! But before you go, check out our store where you’ll find everything from digital cookbooks to other digital products that will help you make those delicious home-cooked meals, be sure to check us out!
Whether you choose to store your oyster mushrooms in the fridge, in the freezer, or by drying them really depends on how long you wish to use them for and your preferred method. Now you know some useful tips and tricks though, we’re certain you’ll find a way that works for you so you can enjoy oyster mushrooms at their freshest, no matter the time of year!