Given the rise in prices for our fungi friends, we all want to understand how to store mushrooms to keep them fresh. Mushrooms are the umami bomb of the produce department, enhancing almost any dish, and deepening the flavor. Mushrooms provide a meaty base for vegetarian and vegan recipes and are versatile enough to be used sliced, diced, or whole. Nothing is more frustrating in the kitchen than mushrooms going dry or slimy before being used—keeping them fresh and supple is easy when you know the right steps.

How Long Do Mushrooms Stay Fresh?

Traditional button mushrooms are usually a safe bet for 7 to 10 if they are unwashed and whole. Sliced mushrooms have a shorter half-life of 3 to 4 days, and more fragile mushrooms like chanterelles really only have a day or so before they aren’t good for fresh cooking. Remember, that mushrooms that have gone stale from too much air still make wonderful additions to a stock pot.

Should Mushrooms Be Kept in the Fridge?

To keep mushrooms fresh, keep them cold. The chill of a refrigerator helps suspend the decomposition of these capped friends, which is why you’ll find all kinds of fungi in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Once home, your shrooms should make a swift trip to the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

What Is the Best Container to Store Mushrooms?

The plastic wrap at the market is murderous to your mushies. The thin plastic clings to the shrooms, which doesn’t allow air to circulate around them, and the paper bags some stores offer allow them to dry out too quickly.

Once home from the market, you can transfer your unwashed shrooms to a zip-top bag, with a folded paper towel in the bag to capture moisture or a covered storage container with a drainage tray. While mushrooms, as fungi, benefit from a small amount of moisture, too much will cause the mushrooms to go bad quickly. Whether you use a bag or a container, it’s still helpful to open them every day or two, so allow Co2 out, and fresh air in.

When Should You Wash Mushrooms?

When you get your mushrooms home, you should resist the urge to immediately wash them. Mushrooms stay fresher, and longer, when dry. For that reason, shroom hunters do not wash the fungi before they go to market, but instead just brush them off. Moisture will immediately begin to speed up the decomposition of the shroom.

Instead, just before you use a mushroom, you can dust off the shroom with a mushroom brush or dry paintbrush, or peel the mushroom. Mushrooms rarely benefit from being soaked.

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