Preserving the harvest

dried mushrooms

So, you have grown your first batch of mushrooms. Now what? Preserving your mushroom harvest is an essential part of the mushroom growing experience. With the right tools and a little time you will be able to enjoy your harvest for months to come.

vegan mushroom jerky

What is the best way to preserve your mushrooms?

Saving mushrooms is a vital part of the mushroom growing experience, however, not all methods are created equal. What is good for a button mushroom may not work for a lion’s mane. Before you start, do your research.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Freezing

Freezing your mushrooms is a great way to go if you are planning to use them relatively quickly. Different types of mushrooms do require a bit of prep work though. Most varieties are best frozen raw. Always clean your mushrooms. Either whole or sliced, lay them out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pop them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until frozen through. Store in an airtight container or zipper bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.

For certain varieties, like the aforementioned lion’s mane, are just too delicate and moist to withstand raw freezing and must be cooked before freezing in order to preserve the integrity of the flavor. In the case of such specimens, it is best to give them a quick saute in butter, working in small, usable portions. These portions can then be frozen in the same manner as the above mushrooms, in little pancakes for precooked deliciousness.

Dehydrating

Dried mushrooms are a staple of many a pantry. They are a great long term storage staple that will add punch and just the right of umami to just about any dish. And they couldn’t be easier to prepare.

Remember to always clean your mushrooms. Remember what you grew them in.

Also, remember there are just some varieties that are not good for dehydrating. Do your research.

For commercial operations, dehydrating on a large scale is usually best done with aid of a desiccant. Products like Drierite Desiccant can be a bit pricey for small scale growers, however if you have a large quantity in need of preservation it may be worth the investment. With the ability to quickly absorb 6.6 % of its weight mass, Drierite can quickly get the job done. plus, if you are willing to pay a little extra you can get the indicating style of Drierite which changes from blue to pink when it has reached its peak absorption, thanks to cobalt chloride which also happens to increase its drying ability. The biggest perk to using Drierite is its re-usability. This is true for both types. Pop it in the oven, dry it out, and use it again and again. For more information on refreshing Drierite, pop on over to the product page. Drierite and/or Dessicant Dehumidifiers also pair well with a vacuum mushroom preserver, which allows you to remove air from the drying container creating that coveted “cracker-dry” level of dehydration.

On a smaller scale, a food dehydrator will do the trick. They are reasonably priced, easy to use, and has the benefit of versatility, as it can be used for more than just mushrooms. As with all dehydration, be sure to do your research.

button mushrooms

For more information on dehydrating mushrooms on a small scale, check out this great piece from trail.recipes

Extra tip

One thing that you might consider doing if you plan to dehydrate, is to fan dry your harvest before employing one of the above methods. 12-24 hours in front of a box fan will remove a fair amount of moisture which will speed up your drying process significantly.

Ready to start preserving your harvest? For preservation supplies, storage supplies, and all your mushroom growing needs, please pop on over to our shop now. Have more questions? Speak to a customer service representative now.

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