One mother sharing her knowledge with others.

Dehydrating Mushrooms

Everyone in our family loves mushrooms.    We love them raw as snacks.   We love them sliced and fried in butter or mixed into stir fries.   Fresh mushrooms are great to have on hand to add to all sorts of recipes.

But as our kids went off to university and college, we found that sometimes a package of mushrooms didn’t get eaten before they started to go bad.  That’s where having our Excalibur dehydrator (<-affiliate link) comes in handy.

Dehydrating mushrooms is so easy.

First wipe off any bits of dirt that may be on the mushroom.  Then slice each mushroom into 1/4” slices.  Arrange slices on the dehydrator trays.

Slice mushrooms and arrange on trays

Put the trays in dehydrator.

Put trays in dehydrator

Set the temperature at 120 degrees F and the timer for 10 hours.

The water content of mushrooms varies so you’ll want to check the mushrooms after 10 hours to see how far along in the drying process they’ve gotten to.   Most of the books I have instruct to dehydrate until they are tough and leathery.

With the humidity we have in the South, I like to dry our mushrooms until they break when tested.  Our last batch took about 20 hours to get to the point.

When they came out of the dehydrator they looked like this:

Finished dehydrating

Close-up view

Those four trays of dehydrated mushroom fit into a one quart canning jar; with a few missing that got snacked on.  Seriously, I could eat these by the handful.  They are that good.

All those mushroom fit in a one quart jar

Add the lid to the jar and store them in a cool, dark cupboard until needed for a recipe.

Add lid to jar and store in a cool, dark place until needed

We add dried mushrooms to homemade pizzas.  No need to even re-hydrate them, just scatter them over the top of the pizza before adding the cheese.

When making Salisbury Steak, I used to use a can of mushroom soup to make the gravy.  But now, I re-hydrate a couple of handfuls of dried mushrooms in a bowl with boiling water.   I do this about an hour before I want to make supper.

Once the beef patties are cooked almost through, I pour in the mushroom and water mixture.  I let everything boil for a few minutes until the beef patties are completely cooked and then add my flour/water mixture to make the gravy.

It tastes so good and I no longer have to worry about consuming the MSG,  not to mention other unpronounceable ingredients, that are added to commercially canned mushroom soup.

And I also used re-hydrated mushrooms when I was making the Beef Rouladen that will be featured in next week’s German Cooking week.

Speaking of which, in honour of the calendar turning to October and the Oktoberfests which are being held throughout the world… each weekday next week, I’ll be sharing a different recipe that I learned to cook while Dave and I were posted to Germany from 1984 to 88 and which have become family favourites.

 

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6 Comments

  • Sandra :)
    October 1, 2011 9:40 pm

    I use canned mushroom gravy for my salisbury steak, LOLOL – we’re not big mushroom fans here!

  • Robin (rsIslandCrafts)
    October 2, 2011 3:45 pm

    Great idea to dehydrate mushrooms. My Daughter and I love to have fresh mushrooms in our salads but we don’t always eat them all before they get brown and slimy.

    Do you like your dehydrator? I would love to buy a dehydrator but I’m not sure which one I want. I had one of those circlular plastic ones before and I wasn’t happy with it. Yours looks industrial like.

    • supermom
      October 3, 2011 10:25 am

      We love our Excalibur dehydrator. I did quite a bit of research before we decided which one to buy and from everything I’ve read the Excalibur is the best of them all.

      We decided to go with the 9 tray dehydrator because Dave likes to make jerky, in addition to all the other things that we dehydrate. But there are smaller 4 and 5 tray models as well. They are pricier than the round type dehydrators but come with a 5 year warranty (some have a 10 year warranty.)

      One of the things I really like about ours is that it has both a temperature control and a timer. That way I can dry herbs at a lower temperature and they retain more of their colour and flavour. I just finished using a jar of basil from the summer of 2009 and it was just as flavourful and aromatic as when I first put it in the jar.

      I’ve experimented with drying all sorts of things… herbs, of course… but also onions, cabbage, pasta and even frozen vegetables.

      I buy bags of vegetables when they are on sale. They don’t even have to be defrosted… just spread them out on the trays and they are ready for the dehydrator. They are all great to have on hand to throw into winter soups and stews.

      I think I’m sounding like an Excalibur salesperson but we really have gotten our money’s worth out of the one we bought.

  • Mary
    October 2, 2011 5:22 pm

    that’s a great idea! Now I wish I hadn’t turned our dehydrator into a clay tool :O)

  • [email protected]
    October 4, 2011 7:42 pm

    I grew up in a Polish household and my father used to dry mushrooms by placing them on a pan and setting the pan on top of the coal furnace in the cellar. We’ve come a long way baby…dehydrators and basements…hahaha.

  • lee
    July 22, 2015 6:51 pm

    Thank you! I just purchased a dehydrator and about to try dehydrating mushrooms

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