Like a lot of produce bought at the grocery store, mushrooms have an expiration date. They aren’t pleasant to eat after they’ve started to turn bad. How long are mushrooms good for? Do mushrooms go bad at all?
These questions don’t have the most straightforward answers. Mushrooms are one of the few foods humans eat that aren’t either plants or animal products. Mushrooms are a fungus that spread from spores, which are like little seeds.
The top part we eat is the fruit of the fungus, and the entire mushroom body is microscopic and spreads out over a large area. Mushrooms survive by breaking down dead animals and plants that are lying on the forest floor.
- About Mushrooms
- Do Mushrooms Go Bad at the Store?
- How Long are Mushrooms Good for?
- When Do Mushrooms Go Bad and How to Store Them Properly
Their cell walls are made of chitin, and rather than having a mouth and stomach, they absorb their food through the cell walls. No matter how much you may love mushrooms, there is someone out there who hates them based on one bad experience with them.
So, when do mushrooms go bad? This article is full of knowledge on how to tell when mushrooms are gone bad and how to keep mushrooms fresh longer.
What are mushrooms? This edible fungus comes in different shapes, colors, and sizes. They add flavor and texture to dishes that people love, and it’s fun to taste them all and find your favorite kind.
We don’t recommend going foraging in the woods for wild mushrooms, however. Although it may seem tempting, it’s hard to identify which are poisonous and the ones that are safe to consume.
Some look so similar that you’d have to be a mycologist to tell them apart. When eating mushrooms, it’s safest to stick with the ones found at the grocery store or grow your own mushrooms indoors. Edible varieties include shiitake, portabella, oyster, button, and beech mushrooms.
Raw mushrooms are one of the healthiest foods we eat. They are free of fat and cholesterol and low in sodium and calories. They’re also full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. On top of that, mushrooms contain antioxidants, copper, and potassium.
Although not technically a vegetable, mushrooms are some of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. Often, you can purchase a mushroom growing kit and never have to worry about purchasing mushrooms again.
Of course, if you grow your own mushrooms, you will need to learn when to harvest mushrooms so that you always have the freshest fungi for your favorite recipes.
Do Mushrooms Go Bad at the Store?
Unfortunately, we may not be purchasing fresh mushrooms just because we picked them up at the store. Most mushrooms don’t have a shelf life date posted.
Whole mushrooms often last longer than sliced mushrooms. It’s usually safe to tell you have bad mushrooms if they are covered in slime and mushy.
Fresh mushrooms are free from dark spots and bad smells. If you’ve noticed any of these, you’ve spotted early signs of spoilage.
How Long are Mushrooms Good for?
We’re finally at the answer you’ve been waiting for. So, how long do mushrooms last on the counter and in the fridge and freezer?
Never store your mushrooms at room temperature. They only last a maximum of one day, and most often, they won’t make it past 12 hours.
Fresh, whole mushrooms usually make it up to ten days in the fridge when stored properly.
Fresh, sliced mushrooms have seven days of freshness in the refrigerator. Lastly, cooked mushrooms stay good for about ten days maximum.
When Do Mushrooms Go Bad and How to Store Them Properly
There are several ways to store mushrooms, and the way you choose to do so is dependent on your preferences and lifestyle. Be sure to try more than one method because you never know what might stick with you.
We often wonder what happens if you eat a bad onion, mushroom, or other food? If you get off lightly, it will not taste right and you can spit it out. If you consume it, you can end up with a stomachache or worse.
The same applies to virtually any other produce. Luckily, it’s usually easy to tell if what you want to eat is bad by using your senses. Food that has spoiled has an unpleasant smell and taste, looks wrong, and is squishy.
How to Store Mushrooms in the Fridge
Do not wash your mushrooms once you bring them home from the grocery store. Place the mushrooms in a paper bag and store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
If you don’t have a paper bag, put a paper towel in a plastic bag and poke a few holes in the plastic to allow the mushrooms to breathe. The paper absorbs excess moisture and keeps them from turning slimy.
Along with mushrooms, you may wonder how long is basil good for if you store it in the refrigerator. Wrapping fresh basil in paper towels and putting it in the crisper lets you have it for up to a week or so before it begins to wilt and lose flavor.
How to Freeze Cooked Mushrooms
Can you freeze portobello mushrooms and other mushroom types? Cooking mushrooms in advance and freezing them helps save future cooking time and keeps them fresh for up to a year. Take your stored mushrooms out of the fridge and place them in a colander.
Run cold water over the mushrooms and use your fingers to massage the dirt off each one. Pat the washed mushrooms dry with paper towels and slice the hard end of the stem off.
Squeeze some lemon juice into a large bowl of cold water and soak the mushrooms for five minutes. The fluid helps them maintain their color in the freezer.
Steam or saute your mushrooms, either whole or sliced, as long as they get cooked through. Once cooked, allow the fungi to cool to room temperature.
Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet in a single layer and put in the freezer until completely frozen. Transfer the mushrooms to an airtight container or freezer bags and store them in the freezer for six months up to a year.
How to Pickle Mushrooms
Pickling mushrooms is a simple method that prevents them from going bad too quickly. Pickling fruits, veggies, and fungi is tasty and makes a simple side dish or garnish.
Boil the water, vinegar, garlic, pickling spice, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large pot. Once the liquid boils, add the drained mushrooms and cook for two minutes or until softened.
Pour the mushrooms into a large jar or glass container and cover it. Chill for at least ten hours before serving them. Pickled mushrooms can be stored for up to three weeks.
Dehydrated mushrooms are one of the longest-lasting ways to store mushrooms. They last up to two years in an airtight container kept in a cool and dry place.
Toss them into soups or stews, blend them into a powder and throw them on top of any home cooked meal for added nutrients.
Preheat your dehydrating machine to 110°F. Once the mushrooms are washed and sliced, lay them on the dehydrator trays so that they don’t touch. Allow them to dehydrate for three hours before you check on them.
You’ll know the dehydrated mushrooms are done when they are crisp and snap with ease. Once you reach the desired crispness, remove the mushrooms from the trays and allow them to come to room temperature before storing them.
Make sure to keep the mushrooms away from areas of high moisture so they don’t go bad faster than you’d like.
How to Can Mushrooms
If you’re unsure about keeping your mushroom fresh for as long as possible, canning is a great way to keep them in your home without having to worry about spoiling.
It may seem more straightforward to buy canned mushrooms at the store, but learning how to can mushrooms on your own allows you to create different flavors that you enjoy in your cooking.
Wash the mushrooms and trim the stems. Boil the water and lemon juice, then add the mushrooms and allow them to cook for five minutes, and drain them.
Add the oil, vinegar, oregano, basil, salt, onions, and pimiento to the pot and let boil for two minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Use sterilized pint jars and evenly divide the garlic, peppercorns, and mushrooms between them.
Wipe the rims of the jars clean and put on the seals and lids. Process each jar in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Use a jar lifter to remove them from the water and let them cool on the counter for 24 hours.
Check to ensure all the lids are sealed properly before storing it in a cool, dry place. Allow the canned mushrooms to marinate for at least six weeks before opening and enjoying.
Use these marinated mushrooms on top of meats or marinate them in the juice before cooking. You can also pop open the jar and serve them as a simple side.
Freeze Mushrooms into Your Favorite Casserole Dish
Casseroles are great because they can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Once you’re ready for dinner, all you have to do is pop them in the oven, and you have an entire meal full of nutritious mushrooms that don’t go bad.
If you don’t know where to start, try adding mushrooms to green bean casseroles or tuna noodle casseroles.
Although many people are divided on their feelings about mushrooms, these small fungi are fantastic and savory bites that soak up cooking flavors. There are multiple options for storing mushrooms, and we no longer have to ask, when do mushrooms go bad?
If this information on how long are mushrooms good for helped you store them in a new way, share these mushroom storage tips on Facebook and Pinterest.