Dehydrated mushrooms can add a delicious, meaty flavor to a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to sauces and stir-fries. Not only that, but they also have a long shelf life, making them a great addition to any prepper pantry. It’s easy to dehydrate mushrooms with a food dehydrator, and this blog post will provide all the information you need on how to dehydrate mushrooms.

This article includes affiliate links.

Key Takeaways:

  • Give mushrooms a “shower” rather than a bath. Alternatively, you can clean them with a wet paper towel.
  • Cut off the bottom of the stem, and slice about 1/4″ thick.
  • If you want to dehydrate whole mushrooms, a cabinet style dehydrator, such as the Cosori is better than a stackable dehydrator like this Nesco. Both are available on Amazon.
  • Dehydrate mushrooms at a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit, for 8 – 14 hours.

Preparing Mushrooms for Dehydrating

Now we’ll get into step-by-step instructions on how to dehydrate mushrooms.

Cleaning Mushrooms Before Dehydrating Them

Watch the above video to see how to properly clean mushrooms before dehydrating them.

The first time that I dehydrated mushrooms, I didn’t clean them ahead of time. The reason for that is that I was told that you don’t want to get mushrooms wet before dehydrating them. The thinking on that was that if you wash mushrooms, they’ll absorb the water, and they’ll turn a dark, ugly color.

Thankfully, since that first experience with dehydrating mushrooms, I’ve learned a lot and now know the proper way to clean mushrooms before dehydrating them. The good news is that there are two simple ways to clean mushrooms before dehydrating them.

Give Your Mushrooms a Shower

Give the mushrooms a shower before dehydrating them. Use your hands to clean them as the water runs over them.

The first way is to give your mushrooms a shower. One way that I heard it expressed that makes it really clear is to give them a shower, not a bath. With a shower, you rinse them under a stream of water, and while doing so, use your fingers to wipe off the substrate.

In contrast, a bath would be filling a bowl or sink full of water, and dumping the mushrooms into the water. Some even recommend soaking them, and then washing off the substrate. While giving your mushrooms a “bath” before canning is fine, it’s best to avoid that process when dehydrating.

Use a Wet Paper Towel

I put the washed mushrooms on a flour sack towel.
Use the flour sack towels to pat the mushrooms dry

The next option for cleaning mushrooms before dehydrating them is to use a wet paper towel or lint free cloth to wipe off the substrate. If you decide to use a lint-free cloth, I recommend flour sack towels, such as these that you can get on Amazon.

In the images above, you can see what the mushroom looked like both before and after I wiped it clean using a wet paper towel.

My Preferred Method for Cleaning Mushrooms Before Dehydrating

Having used both the shower method and paper towel method of cleaning the mushrooms, I have to say that I prefer the shower method. It is true that I used more water. with the shower method, but since I wasn’t soaking the mushrooms, it still worked fine.

Slicing Mushrooms for Dehydrating

to dehydrate mushrooms, cut off the bottom of the stem, and slice them.
Cut off the tip of the stem
Slice the mushrooms about 1/4″ thick.

While drying mushrooms whole is possible, I decided to slice the mushrooms before dehydrating them. I cut off the very end of the stem of each mushroom. I then sliced them about 1/4″ thick, using a knife.

This was by far the most time consuming part of preparing the mushrooms for dehydrating. If you plan to dehydrate a lot of mushrooms, you may want to invest in a mushroom slicer, such as this one, on Amazon.

Dehydrating Whole Mushrooms

If you want to dehydrate whole mushrooms, here are the steps.

For whole mushrooms (except for shitake or portobello), cut off the edge of the stem before placing the mushrooms on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 – 14 hours.

For whole shitake and portobello mushrooms, remove the stems entirely. Dehydrate at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 14 hours.

Note that I got this information from The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff (Amazon).

Pro Tip: this article, I’m using my Nesco Dehydrator (Amazon). It works great for sliced mushrooms, and for smaller whole mushrooms. If you want to dehydrate larger whole mushrooms, I recommend my other dehydrator, which is this Cosori (Amazon). The reason is that in the Cosori, you can remove some of the dehydrator trays. This allows you to dehydrate food that is thicker.

Placing Mushrooms on Dehydrator Trays

Sliced mushrooms in a single layer on a dehydrator tray

Once you’ve washed and sliced your mushrooms, it’s time to put them on dehydrator trays.

I started off by placing them in a single layer on each dehydrator tray, without overlapping. As I typically do, I used these mesh dehydrator screens (Amazon). The screens keep small pieces from falling through. They are also easy to clean.

The top 2 dehydrator trays had mushrooms overlapping. Since they were more fully loaded, I put those trays on the top so they would be closer to the heat source and fan.

But after filling up five dehydrator trays, I still had almost half of the mushrooms, and was out of the mesh screens. Thankfully, my Nesco dehydrator (Amazon) allows the use of up to 12 dehydrator trays. So I used two additional trays, without liners. I piled the mushrooms thicker (two to three layers).

I put those two trays that were more piled up on top, so they’d be closer to the heat source. Also, since I didn’t use the mesh liners, the heat could flow through the trays better.

Note that as the mushrooms shrunk during the dehydrating process, some may fall through the gaps in the tray. That’s no problem, because they’ll simply fall through to the trays below them.

How Long to Dehydrate Mushrooms

The amount of time it takes to dehydrate mushrooms depends on various factors. For instance, the humidity level in your home, the temperature you use to dehydrate the mushrooms, and the type of mushroom and the thickness of the slices all impact dehydration time.

Here are some ball park figures for the length of time it takes to dehydrate mushrooms:

  • Whole mushrooms (other than shitake and portobello): 10 – 14 hours
  • Whole shitake or portobello mushrooms: 12 – 14 hours
  • Slice mushrooms: 8 hours

Note that all of those estimated times for dehydrating mushrooms are based on dehydrating the mushrooms at 125 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what I’ll demonstrate below.

Mushrooms after 2 Hours in the Dehydrator

This is the top tray of mushrooms, after 2 hours of being in the dehydrator.
This was the first tray of mushrooms that were in a single layer, after 2 hours in the dehydrator.

After 2 hours, there was very little change in the mushrooms.

When you use a stackable dehydrator, it helps to rotate the trays every few hours. I did that. However, since the top two trays were piled high with mushrooms, I kept them on top, moving the top tray to the number two position, and what had been the bottom tray to the top.

I then rotated the bottom five trays.

Mushrooms after 4 Hours in the Dehydrator

This was the top tray of mushrooms, after 4 hours in the dehydrator. You can see that the mushrooms were starting to shrink up.
The mushrooms on the middle tray were also showing more signs of being dehydrated after 4 hours in the dehydrator.

After 4 hours, the mushrooms were beginning to shrink up. The top 2 trays still had some overlapping, but not much. I again rotated all the trays in the same way as before.

Mushrooms after 8 Hours in the Dehydrator

Top tray of mushrooms after 8 hours in the dehydrator

All of the mushrooms, including the ones on the top trays that were piled up, were completely dehydrated in eight hours.

One thing I noticed was that the mushrooms on the top two trays were darker than the ones on the lower trays. I suspect that is because they were closer to the heat source the entire time. But they dehydrated up beautifully, and taste great!

Completely dehydrated mushrooms after 8 hours in the dehydrator.
Fully dehydrated mushrooms

The mushrooms on the lower trays were also completely dehydrated after eight hours in the dehydrator. While they had discolored a bit, they were lighter in color than the mushrooms on the top trays.

How to Test Mushrooms for Dryness

When the mushrooms are fully dry, they will feel dry to the touch, be brittle, and break in half easily.

Yield Comparison from Fresh to Dry

40 ounces of fresh mushrooms yielded 6 cups of dehydrated mushrooms.
40 ounces of fresh mushrooms, dehydrated down to 2.82 ounces.

I didn’t check to see how many cups of sliced mushrooms I had when I first started, in part because as I sliced them, I put them directly onto the dehydrator trays.

However, I started with five eight-ounce packages of mushrooms, and in the end, the dehydrated mushrooms weighed just 2.82 ounces, compared to the original weight of approximately 40 ounces.

When it comes to planning purposes, expect to need about one pint jar for every 13 ounces of fresh mushrooms.

Note: In the image below, you’ll see that there are four pint jars filled with dehydrated mushrooms. The reason for that is that I’m not completely packing the jars until they’ve had a chance to “condition.” Once they’ve conditioned, I can fill the jars fuller, and should be able to fit them into three pint jars.

How to Store Dried Mushrooms

dehydrated mushrooms in mason jars.
Dehydrated mushrooms in mason jars. Once I finish conditioning them, I’ll pack them more tightly, and they should all fit in 3 one-pint jars.

When it comes to how to store dehydrated mushrooms, I recommend storing them in an airtight container, such as mason jars.

While it’s not 100% necessary to vacuum seal mushrooms, I vacuum seal all of my dehydrated food to increase the shelf life. To vacuum seal them, I use a vacuum sealer like these, together with these attachments. If I’m only vacuum sealing a jar or two, I use this handheld vacuum sealer with the jar attachments. You can get all of them on Amazon.

Reconstituting Dried Mushrooms

dehydrated mushrooms in water, to rehydrate them.
Dehydrated mushrooms when I first put them into the water.
dehydrated mushrooms that have been rehydrated.
Mushrooms after rehydrating for 10 minutes.

Thankfully, mushrooms rehydrate really easily. To rehydrate mushrooms, put them into a bowl with hot water, and soak for about 15 minutes. You can also put them in cold water and refrigerate overnight.

If I plan to use dehydrated food the next day, I often put it in a mason jar, cover with water, and put it in the fridge. That way, it’s ready when I need it, and I don’t have to worry about rehydrating it at the last minute.

Using Dehydrated Mushrooms

One of the best ways to use dehydrated mushrooms is to put them into a soup or stew. If you do that, you don’t even need to rehydrate them ahead of time. Just toss them in dry, and they will rehydrate as you simmer whatever it is you’re cooking.

One of my favorite ways to use dehydrated mushrooms is to rehydrate them, and then simmer them in butter and garlic. I love garlic mushrooms on top of mashed potatoes, noodles, or meat. I also like to rehydrate them and then stir fry them with other vegetables.

Related Articles

If you enjoyed this article, you will also enjoy these related articles:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *