Mushrooms have a permanent place on my shopping list. I don’t always have a plan for using them, but I know that after a week of slipping them into frittatas and stir-fries, I’ll be ready to buy more. For longest shelf-life, I use two different methods for storing my mushrooms.
For commercial mushrooms that I buy plastic-wrapped at the grocery store, I keep them in their original packaging in the refrigerator. Unopened, these mushrooms will keep for nearly a week before starting to go slimy and brown. If I open a package but have mushrooms leftover, I wrap the container in plastic wrap and poke a few holes to allow air flow.
Wild mushrooms get slightly different treatment. I’ve found that these keep better in a paper bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. The paper allows for better airflow while the crisper drawer keeps the air slightly humid and prevents the mushrooms from drying out. They’ll start to get a little shriveled by the end of the week, but are still good for cooking.
Quick Tip: The Best Way to Store Mushrooms
Mushrooms aren’t exactly the hardiest of ingredients! Once home, they can become slimy and develop brown spots within just a few days. If we can’t use them all right away, we try to do whatever we can to eek out just a little more life from our mushrooms. Here’s how…
Lots of theories seem to exist about the best way to store mushrooms: in a paper bag, wrapped in damp paper towels, in a sealed container… And we’ve tried them all at one time or another!
Surprisingly, we’ve had the most success storing mushrooms in their original packaging, which is also what the test cooks at Cook’s Illustrated Magazine recommend. If we know it’s going to be a few days until we cook them, we just put the mushrooms directly in the fridge still in their shrink-wrapped container. Unopened, we’ve had mushrooms keep with very little browning for over a week!
If we know we’re not going to use an entire container of mushrooms, we make a small opening in the plastic wrap toward one end of the container and draw out just what we need. You can then re-wrap that half of the container with plastic wrap. We also sometimes just put the container in a large zip-top plastic bag and push out most of the air before closing.
When buying loose mushrooms, try putting those you don’t use right away in the smallest size container that will hold all the mushrooms and then wrapping the container (without its lid) with plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap to let air escape (mimicking commercial packaging).
All mushrooms can be stored in the fridge or other 40-45° environment. Mushrooms actually continue to grow after picking and refrigeration slows down their metabolism.
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