Mushroom

How to Store Mushrooms So They Stay Fresh & Slime-Free

Because no one wants a slimy ‘shroom.

November 20, 2020
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Time and time again, I’ve found myself in the same situation: reaching into the back of my fridge to find a forgotten package of mushrooms, slimy to the touch and absolutely not appetizing. Tossing them in the compost, background fading to the black-and-white of an infomercial, I shout: But I bought them less than a week ago! How! Why! There’s got to be a better way to store mushrooms.

And there absolutely is. Just as there’s a recommended way for storing greens and potatoes and tomatoes, there is a method for mushrooms.

Here’s how to store mushrooms, from button to enoki and everything in between.

Because of their high water content, mushrooms should be stored in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible. You can probably get away with stashing them on the counter for a day or so, but if you want to keep them for several days, or even up to a week, place them on a shelf in the fridge.

Store-Packed Method

If you buy mushrooms pre-packaged, your work is done. The package’s perforation will let in air to dry out any moisture the mushrooms release, so simply pop them in the fridge. When you’re ready to use them, wipe any dirt off of the mushrooms and get cooking. If you don’t use all the mushrooms at once, cover them back up with plastic wrap punched with a couple holes.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“The best way to store mushrooms is to put them in a net bag, like the ones that onions are often sold in, and hang them from a hook or nail. If they're in the sun, even better because they'll absorb vitamin d. If you don't use the mushrooms right away, they'll dry out and you can reconstitute them. ”
— Stacey
Comment

For loose mushrooms, follow the instructions below:

Paper Bag Method

If you buy loose mushrooms at the grocery store or farmers market, the best way to keep them fresh for as long as possible is to stash them in a paper bag. As mushrooms age, they may begin to release water; the paper bag will absorb that moisture, keeping the mushroom’s surface slime-free for longer than if they were, say, packed in an airtight container.

Freezer Method

If you find yourself with a surplus of mushrooms (you never know what the CSA will throw your way), and there’s no way you’ll use them up in time, clean the mushrooms well, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Keep in mind that freezing mushrooms will likely compromise their texture, so it’s best to use these thawed mushrooms to flavor stocks or chop them into veggie burgers, as opposed to trying to fry them into a crispy pasta topping.

To use up those mushrooms quickly, here are some recipes we keep on deck:

Mushrooms With Caramelized Shallots & Fresh Thyme

This recipe calls for four pounds of mushrooms, so if that doesn’t take care of most of your haul, you’ve simply bought too many.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This creamy mushroom soup is easily doubled, making it ideal for dinner tonight plus a couple days of leftover lunches.

Nutty Veggie Burgers

Though the recipe calls for shiitake, nearly any chopped mushroom will work in these (vegan and gluten-free!) nutty black bean burgers.

Miso Mushroom Pasta

Mushrooms take a bath in a buttery miso cream sauce in this recipe, which I have personally eaten straight out of the pot.

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Whether you call it savory bread pudding or stuffing, this cheesy dish would be welcome on my table any time the weather’s a bit chilly.

What’s your favorite mushroom-heavy recipe? Let us know in the comments.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.

9 Comments

Stacey November 23, 2020
The best way to store mushrooms is to put them in a net bag, the kind that onions are often packaged in, and hang the bag from a hook or a nail. If they're near a window, even better because they'll absorb vitamin d. Any mushrooms that aren't used right away will dry out and can be reconstituted.
 
Smaug November 23, 2020
This sounded dubious to me, so I looked it up- mushrooms do, in fact, produce usable amounts of vitamin d when exposed to ultraviolet light; however, glass will block most ultraviolet, so that's not helpful- best to keep them in the refrigerator.
 
Stacey November 24, 2020
I don't recommend glass. The next time you buy onions--or any other produce (lemons, oranges)--that come in a net bag, save the bag and use it for your mushrooms. A cancer dietition/nutritionist told me about the vitamin D.
 
Smaug November 24, 2020
I was referring to the window glass, actually. UV tolerance can be a real problem with moving indoor plants outside, which is why I know about it. Best way to get vitamin D is to go outside, as most of our body's vit.D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight.
 
Stacey November 23, 2020
The best way to store mushrooms is to put them in a net bag, like the ones that onions are often sold in, and hang them from a hook or nail. If they're in the sun, even better because they'll absorb vitamin d. If you don't use the mushrooms right away, they'll dry out and you can reconstitute them.
 
Pete M. November 23, 2020
"Savory mushroom bread pudding"--is that the same as a strata? Or how does it differ?
 
stellabelle November 21, 2020
This is probably weird...but I take mushrooms out of any packaging and layer them on the cardboard drinks trays (like you get from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc.) and store them stacked in the fridge. This allows air to circulate as well as absorbs any potential moisture.
 
Mike S. November 20, 2020
Best mushroom dish ever - Mushroom Ragout with Creamy Polenta. Warming, comforting. Great winter comfort food.
 
Smaug November 20, 2020
I don't buy prepackaged mushrooms if I can help it, but I certainly wouldn't leave them in the store's packaging, which generally does not allow enough air circulation. Paper bags work well, but a small cloth bag is by far the best. Mushrooms will slowly dry out, but even completely dry they're quite usable in cooked dishes.