Learning how to clean mushrooms reduces any chance of excess moisture and keeps them from getting slimy. There are different techniques—from a quick rinse to wiping with a damp towel—to keep the fresh mushrooms from absorbing too much liquid. When you realize how easy it is, dig into a bunch of recipes below that highlight their delicate flavors!
Do you need to clean mushrooms?
With mushrooms from the grocery store, it’s not likely that they’re covered in dirt because they are grown in indoor farms. The important thing to remember is that it’s always a good idea to quickly examine your whole mushrooms before cooking with them. If there’s a visible dirt, it’s a good idea to clean them in some way.
It’s most effective to wipe your whole mushrooms, either with a damp cloth, kitchen towel, or paper towel, to make sure they’re clean. Mushrooms are like sponges, so wiping them minimizes the amount of moisture they can absorb. But there are other ways to also keep your fungi dirt-free. With any of the below methods, you’re aiming to expose them to as little water as possible so that come cooking time, your mushrooms will have every chance to soak up all the flavors in your sauces.
Method 1: Quick Rinse in a Bowl
Fill a large bowl with cold water and place a clean towel (preferably lint-free) nearby. Add only a handful of mushrooms in the water at a time; do this in batches if you need to. Swirl the mushrooms around for a short soak—less than 10 seconds and immediately remove them to the towel nearby.
Pat them dry and lay them mushroom cap up, so they can air dry while you do the next batch. Once you’re finished cleaning all of your mushrooms this way, check each mushroom again for any visible dirt or specks of water. Use a very damp paper towel to remove any excess dirt, and you are now finished cleaning your mushrooms.
Method 2: Shower in a Colander
Place a colander in your kitchen sink and turn on cool running water. Place mushrooms in the colander, and use your hand to move water all over the mushrooms. The colander prevents you from soaking mushrooms—which is the last thing you want to do!
Additionally, using a salad spinner is a similar way to wipe your mushrooms. You do the same thing by placing the salad spinner in the kitchen sink, turning a stream of water on, adding the mushrooms, and coating them lightly in water.
Then you’ll push down the spinner button to get the excess water off. Afterwards, you can use a dry paper towel to wipe off the mushroom cap and mushroom stem.
Method 3: Wipe with a Paper Towel
Using a damp towel is the best way to get all the extra moisture off raw mushrooms. Simply place your fresh mushrooms cap up on a dry, clean surface, and wipe the caps and stems off. You can use a paper towel, kitchen towel, or any kind of cloth to do this.
If you want to reduce time, you can use a sharp knife to remove the stems. This is the least invasive way to clean mushrooms and gives them a long shelf life in your refrigerator.
Should you wash or wipe mushrooms?
If you’ve bought a package of mushrooms from your grocery store, it’s not likely that there’s much dirt on the mushrooms. But either way, it’s important to examine each one quickly before cooking mushrooms.
“Wash” and “wipe” are actually completely different terms when it comes to cleaning mushrooms. You should only need to wipe your mushrooms with something like a damp cloth (or using the other methods from above).
Once clean, place them in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Brown paper bags are the better option than plastic because plastic leads to slimy mushrooms due to condensation. If you don’t use paper, then leave your plastic bag slightly open to get good circulation amongst your mushrooms.
Mushrooms absorb any moisture they can! As a result, washing them will dilute their flavor. Once wet, mushrooms can never fully dry, so you won’t get that golden color and crispy edges when you cook them.
Clean them before cutting because it’ll be a lot easier to wipe off a whole mushroom cap, compared to sliced mushrooms.
It’s always a good idea to quickly wipe off any excess dirt that you see.
Fresh, whole mushrooms can last up to 10 days in the fridge.
No more than 10 seconds.
Cold water; it prevents a waterlogged mushroom.
Best Mushroom Recipes
To get a simple sear on your mushrooms, try out this Sautéed Mushroom recipe. If you’re into stuffing mushrooms, you don’t want to miss out on these Crab Stuffed Mushrooms and Spinach Stuffed Mushroom recipes! If you like only a little bit of mushroom in your dish, try out this Green Bean Casserole from Scratch. For a cold, winter night, this Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup will hit the spot.
How to Clean Mushrooms
Learning how to clean mushrooms reduces any chance of excess moisture in these fungi. Read about the different techniques to match your own personal preference for how to do this. When you realize how easy it is, you'll want to try a recipe that highlights the delicate flavor of the mushroom.
Method 1: Place your fresh mushrooms on a dry, clean surface, and wipe the caps and stems off with a damp paper towel. If you want to reduce time, you can use a sharp knife to remove the stems.
Method 2: Fill a large bowl with cold water and place a clean towel nearby. Add handful of mushrooms in water at a time, doing this in batches. Swirl the mushrooms around for a short soak–less than 10 seconds and immediately remove them to the towel nearby. Pat them dry and lay them mushroom cap up. Check each mushroom again for any visible dirt or specks of water. Use a very damp paper towel to remove any excess dirt and allow the mushrooms to dry thoroughly before cooking.
Method 3: Place a colander in your kitchen sink and turn on cool running water. Place mushrooms in the colander, and use your hand to move water all over the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to dry thoroughly before using.
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