The first thing to know when freezing morrel mushrooms is that you cannot freeze raw morel mushrooms. Freezing your mushrooms raw is likely to ruin the flavor, but this won’t be detectable until they’re cooked and served, ruining the whole dish.
Preparing your mushrooms for freezing
Freezing mushrooms is a great storage technique. Since fresh mushrooms only last up to a week in the refrigerator, freezing lets you save them for a much longer period of time. Edible mushrooms should be cooked before being frozen or they’ll become mushy when reheated. A few extra minutes of cooking may save you a soggy mushroom in the end. Always add frozen mushrooms directly to a dish without thawing. Three different cooking methods to use before freezing mushrooms are sautéing, blanching, and steaming.
If you love mushrooms and regularly serve them in your table, knowing how to freeze morel mushrooms allows you to get the best of these expensive mushrooms. The key to your success in freezing morels is to make sure you precook them before freezing morrel mushrooms.
Just about all mushrooms can be dehydrated, and some actually taste better when dried, as the process concentrates their flavor. Shiitakes are particularly good dried, and some people love to use dried morels. You can dehydrate mushrooms is in the oven. Simply clean the mushrooms with a soft brush, slice, place on parchment with no pieces touching, and put in the oven for an hour or so. Turn once and put back into the oven for another hour or until totally dried, turning more times if required.
Dried morel mushrooms are rich in taste; they have a smokey and earthy fragrant inside them. People love them with meat, sauce, pasta, or poultry. They also increase the taste of risotto, omelets, stir-fries, quiche, and many more appetizers. The dried mushrooms are made after the spring harvest season. Morel mushrooms are fragile and fast composting, so producers have to give lots of effort to process it. In the spring season, many mushrooms hunters straws here and there in the midwest region.
A food dehydrator: there are a variety of ways to preserve mushrooms, and certain methods work best with certain species: sautéing and freezing , pickling , and canning (video) are all options for chanterelles, for instance. But drying is the closest there is to a universal solution, and it can actually improve (or at least concentrate) the flavor and aroma of some mushrooms.
Most mushrooms rehydrate well for use in soups and pasta, and dried mushrooms can also be ground into powder and used as a seasoning. (i’ve made this recipe and can vouch for it. ) and the best, fastest way to dry mushrooms is with a good food dehydrator such as our top pick, the nesco fd-1018a gardenmaster dehydrator.
Why do people love Morel mushrooms?
The most obvious reason is their flavor. Morels are delicious and taste different than other mushrooms. People who dislike mushrooms generally mention the texture as being slimy or viscous. Morels instead are meaty, with a thicker consistency and a deep, nutty flavor. The second reason is demand. Because people love morels, they’ve developed a reputation as the mushroom for connoisseurs. People want to get ahold of them more and more because of the prestige attached to the name, or just to see if the reality meets up with the hype.
How to buy Morel mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are one of the most highly regarded mushrooms in the world, but a lot of people might not know that morel mushrooms aren’t actually farmed, they are only picked in the wild. Because of this, you can only get fresh morel mushrooms in spring. Throughout the year, if you’re buying morels, they’re going to be dried. However, one of the best things you can do is buy morel mushrooms early in spring, and find a way to prepare them for storage yourself.
Morel mushrooms typically grow near decomposed elm trees and tend to grow best in warmer climates. Drastic changes in temperature can impact the number of mushrooms that sprout and that may be why they were harder to spot this year. Local markets often buy morels from pickers at a high price to be re-sold at peak freshness. Some local markets saw a decrease in the number of morels found and sold.
A morel is a mushroom, part of the genus morchella. No one actually knows how many varieties of morel mushrooms there are, because every year sees new discoveries and different varieties crop up. Because there are such a wide amount of morel mushroom variants, morels can actually differ a huge amount in appearance, so don’t be perturbed if the morels you buy from one place differ from the morels you buy in another.
Storing Morel mushrooms fresh
I’ve tried all the methods of storing fresh morel mushrooms, and I can easily say that blanching is the best way. When you partially boil the mushrooms, it’s safe to store them for a longer period. Just add clean mushrooms to a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and let them dry. Pat them to make sure they’re completely dry before placing them in an airtight container and storing it in the freezer.
Freeze drying Morel mushrooms
If you’re lucky enough to have a freeze dryer, then freeze-drying your morels is a fantastic option. A freeze-dried morel will last at least 20 years and retain over 95% of its nutritional value. Even better, when they’re rehydrated, a freeze-dried morel will be basically indistinguishable from a freshly picked one. A freeze-drying machine isn’t a small investment, but there’s no better way to preserve mushrooms.
Morels are edible wild mushrooms that are related to the truffle and prized by chefs and foodies alike. The earthy, nutty, and smokey flavor and unique honeycomb texture and shape make these wild mushrooms the star of any dish, especially since they need very little embellishment when cooked. Unfortunately, morels have a short season, often just a few weeks in some areas—and some years there isn’t even a harvest. This is even more reason to preserve these favored fungi by drying them, so you can enjoy at any time. Luckily, it’s easy to dry morels at home and can be stored in air-tight containers at room temperature for up to 6 months.
Yes. If you don’t have space in your freezer, or simply don’t want to freeze them, you can easily dry morel mushrooms in your own home. There are three methods you can use to dry your morels. Air drying, oven drying, or using a food dryer. Firstly, soak the mushrooms in salted water, occasionally stirring them. Do this for 1-2 minutes to allow any dirt or grit caught in the mushroom to come free.
How do I store dried Morel mushrooms?
The first thing to know is that dried morel mushrooms are much easier to store. You can store dried morel mushrooms in airtight containers at room temperature. Alternatively, you can store freeze-dried morel mushrooms for up to a year.
You can dehydrate morels in a dehydrator and then add them to soups, pastas, stews at a later time. I have also seen dehydrated morels going for $20 an ounce, in stores that carry dried fruits, nuts, and mushrooms, so there is an option to sell them dried also.
How do I rehydrate my Morel mushrooms?
To rehydrate your morels, simply put them in a bowl of cool water. After 15 to 20 minutes, they will go back to normal, retaining their fresh shape and texture. This method works better if you can keep the mushrooms underwater. Once done, the water will retain a good amount of flavor, and we recommend using it in your cooking.
Cooking morel mushrooms is easy when they’re already dried. You just need to rehydrate them first. Your mileage may vary, but 3 oz of dried morels is equal to roughly a pound of fresh ones. Keep this in mind while dehydrating. You may want to cut your dried mushrooms before you rehydrate. They will rehydrate quicker in smaller pieces. It’s up to you.
Here’s my recommendation for rehydrating. Place the mushrooms in half and half or milk of your choice. Once rehydrated, fry the morels in a skillet with coconut oil or butter (save the milk) and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Instead of straining the excess liquid in the skillet, I would suggest keeping it for flavoring. Also, now add back the milk used for soaking and make a creamy sauce with your favorite thickener (flour, arrowroot, etc. ).
Can You Freeze Morel Mushrooms Or Not?
Many people ask, ‘can you freeze morel mushrooms or not?’ to answer their question, yes, you can. You have the choice to either slice them or freeze them whole. I like to just clean them and freeze them whole because slicing them and then freezing them takes the flavor away. Many people do store slices, but I prefer freezing whole morel mushrooms.
The tried and true space saver for the freezer is a classic mushroom duxelles. If i do freeze wild mushrooms, 99% of the time this is how I do it. Freezing is probably the best way to preserve these for the long haul, since there isn’t any vinegar or high amounts of salt, and they’ll go bad relatively fast in the fridge. With freezing duxelles, you also don’t have to worry about any loss of texture, since the mushrooms have been cooked, and finely chopped. This is also a decent way to freeze puffballs, but prepare yourself for lots of dicing.
Storing Morel Mushrooms Long Term
So you may be asking yourself, ‘can you freeze morel mushrooms?’ and the answer is yes, you can freeze morel mushrooms. It’s important to not freeze raw morel mushrooms because they won’t maintain their flavor or texture when you reheat them. Boiling or sauteing the mushroom before freezing is the best way to prepare them. I hope the step by step methods in this article help you when preparing morels for freezing.
Maybe you found a cluster of morels. Perhaps a friend gave you a bunch of fresh chanterelles. Or the supermarket is having a sale on fresh maitake. Great! but such an opportunity brings up some questions. How do I store my mushrooms long term? can I freeze morels? how long do mushrooms last in the fridge? I hope these questions and answers about how to store mushrooms long term has been helpful.