However you plan to eat them—whether sautéed, stuffed, in a risotto, or even raw—there's one thing that can condemn any mushroom method in the making: slimy shrooms. In an effort to avoid the slippery inevitably of a clammy mushroom as long as possible, you might have been told to wrap the shrooms in a damp paper towel, transfer them to an airtight container, dump them into a brown paper bag, store them in the crisper drawer, don’t store them in the crisper drawer, lay them out in an even layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet, et cetera, et cetera.
While there are lots of methods out there that might have you scrambling to make room in your fridge or run to the store for more paper bags, the simplest option is often the best.
Keep reading for the only method you need to know to store mushrooms properly and help them last longer.
How to Store Mushrooms Properly
The best way to store mushrooms is simply to keep them in their original shrink wrapped package in the main compartment (not the crisper drawer!) of your refrigerator. Unopened, they’ll last for up to a week.
If you plan to use a few here and there, open the package, take what you need, and wrap the container back up as best you can. It’s okay if there are a few holes here and there.
If you buy your mushrooms loose, obviously it’s not possible to store them using the above method, so here’s what you should do instead: Transfer the mushrooms to a brown paper bag and gently fold the top shut. Keep the bag in the main compartment of your fridge for up to a week. The paper bag helps absorb any excess moisture from the mushrooms, keeping them slime-free until you’re ready to use them.
A Few Mushroom Storing Best Practices
While the best method is, as mentioned previously, the simplest, there are some additional mushroom storing tips that will prove equally helpful in keeping your previous fungi fresh.
- As is often the case with storing food (from coffee to fresh herbs to heads of garlic), moisture is a main adversary to freshness. So it’s no surprise that moisture and mushrooms also don’t mix. Even if your crisper drawer has a vent for a low-humidity option, keeping your mushrooms in the main compartment of the fridge is always best, as it greatly reduces the chances your mushrooms will be exposed to too much moisture.
- Never wash mushrooms before (or after) storing. If you don’t know, now you know: Mushrooms do not need to be washed. Simply brush any dirt off the shrooms with a paper towel or soft vegetable brush. Submerging or rinsing mushrooms will cause them to absorb excess water, diluting their flavor and not allowing them to brown up nicely when they’re cooked.
- Don’t squish or store other foods on top of your mushrooms, whether in the original package or in a paper bag. Squishing the mushrooms will bruise them, turning them brown. This also allows for less air flow, and can trap moisture in and around the mushrooms.
- Don’t attempt to freeze fresh mushrooms to make them last longer. If you bought mushrooms but forgot to use them, freezing is not an option straight from the fridge. If you want to freeze mushrooms to use later, sauté them first. They’ll stay for up to one month in the freezer.