How do you store mushrooms?

Mushrooms are fruits formed from subterranean fungi, many of which are edible. Chefs prize mushrooms for their unique flavors, rich textures and versatility. If you don’t store mushrooms properly, however, they can rot and become unappetizing.

How you want to store the mushrooms largely depends on how you received them. To some extent it may also depend on the actual type of mushroom, but most mushroom species are stored in approximately the same way.

Mushrooms should generally be stored in the refrigerator.

Many store-bought mushrooms will be packaged when you receive them. They are usually in a styrofoam tray, covered with some sort of plastic wrap. You can simply leave them in their store-bought packaging, which is designed to store mushrooms. Put them in the fridge, somewhere outside the drawer, and you’ll be fine. Pre-packaged mushrooms can last a week or more without being damaged as long as they are not opened. Once opened, follow the directions for storing store-bought mushrooms loose if you don’t use them all at once.

Loose mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag.

If you want to store mushrooms you bought new, place them in a paper bag. The paper bag will absorb excess moisture from the mushrooms, rather than letting it build up inside to rot the mushrooms, which a plastic bag will do. As the bag can get wet, some people prefer to use the two bag technique to store mushrooms. First place the loose mushrooms in a paper bag, fold the top, then store the paper bag inside a lightly perforated plastic bag.

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Store the entire bag in the refrigerator, but do not store it in the drawer drawer. You want the mushrooms to be kept cool, but you always want the moisture to come out of them, and not build up in the bag with them. Store mushrooms away from any foods in your refrigerator that give off strong odors. Mushrooms absorb odors incredibly, and if you place them near fragrant foods, they tend to absorb some of that odor.

Enoki mushrooms can be kept in plastic in the fridge for up to a week.

If you store the mushrooms properly, they will keep for a few days. Try to use them as often as possible, as their freshness can wear off quickly. Most of the lighter tan mushrooms get darker as they age, so it’s a good idea to try using the darkest mushrooms in the bunch first, so you can use them before they go bad. Mushrooms should also be stored whole. It is a bad idea to cut or prepare them in any way before storing them, as this will shorten their shelf life. You can pickle or canned mushrooms, in which case they will last almost indefinitely. Mushrooms can also be dried, which will allow them to last forever if protected from moisture.

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