So, you managed to go and forage some delicious morel mushrooms! Awesome! Now that you have these mushrooms you need to preserve them properly.
Morel mushrooms have a very unique taste, almost as unique as the way they look. These sponge-like mushrooms have a very delicate flavor like no others and so they are highly sought after. It can be tricky to find only one mushroom, but sometimes you get lucky.
But, with how tricky it can be to find these tasty treats, you do not want them going to waste so you want to ensure you store them correctly!
What Is The Best Way To Preserve Morel Mushrooms?
There are several ways you could store Morel mushrooms, however, it is probably best to refrigerate them. First, let’s look at all the ways you could store them!
You could refrigerate them, it does not last as long as drying them, but it does enhance their lifespan a bit!
Drying morels is the most common way to store them in the long term, however, it can cause them to lose some of their aroma and flavor so they may not taste as great.
You could freeze-dry them, which is ideal for longevity, quality, and nutritional value.
You could also can them, which is great for long-term storage or selling!
We prefer refrigeration and drying. If you choose to do this, you should string them using dental floss and hang them hang near your refrigerator, and then store them in jars in the freezer.
You can use this method to crumble them for seasoning or rehydrate them with milk at any time. If you do this, it can actually make your morels last years!
Do You Store Morel Mushrooms In Water?
You should not really store morels in water, however, they should be soaked or washed before use. Any mushrooms that are wet will go bad fast when stored.
You can store your morels loosely in your refrigerator in a container that has ventilation. However, you should not seal them in a bag. Dirty morels should be soaked.
You can store them with a damp paper towel, but not a wet one.
Morels can have a bath before storage, however, this is just to wash them.
Should You Clean Morels Before Storing?
If you have a bunch of morel mushrooms that are really dirty, then yes, clean them. You should first rinse and drain your morels on paper towels, and then pat them dry.
Do not let your morels stay wet, water will deteriorate them faster. You should only really do this before you are going to use them, as it is best to cook your clean morels as soon as you have cleaned them, but you could keep them refrigerated for a day after this.
Guide To Refrigerating Morels
Do not cave into the urge to hoard your morels. Morels are best eaten within 4 days of having been picked.
If choosing to refrigerate them then you should keep them fresh in a brown bag, or in a bowl with a damp paper towel over them in your fridge. However, you only have 5 days to use them after this, any longer than 5 days and they will go off.
To clean them after refrigeration put them in some cold water and let them float, cook them immediately after.
- Pick your morels.
- Then put them in a brown bag or a bowl and place a damp paper towel over them. (Not wet!)
- Use within 5 days.
- Fill a bowl with cold water and let morels float to clean.
- Use Immediately.
Guide To Canning/Jarring Morels
Canning/Jarring morels is useful for keeping them long term, but be mindful to prevent spoilage or dehydration. You need to boil them in an airtight container to kill bacteria.
If you choose to can your Morels, then here is how to do this:
- First pick your mushrooms, only select ones that are worst off. Fresh morels should be refrigerated them. Trim discolored areas and the stems, then soak them in cold water for 10 minutes or so.
- Cut up some of the larger morels, leaving smaller ones whole.
- Cook the morels for 5 minutes, covering with water and boiling them for 5 minutes.
- Fill up your cans/ jars, and leave 2 inches at the top.
- Add some vitamin C and salt. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you wish. You can also add 1/8 teaspoon of the ascorbic acid powder of a 500mg tablet of vitamin C. This helps kill any bacteria and reduce spoiling. Otherwise, pressure cook to further sterilize the mushrooms.
- Top up with hot water, leaving 1 inch of space.
- Finally, seal the can/jar. Store in a dark, cool environment for up to 5 years!
Can Morels Be Left Out Overnight?
Morels can be left out overnight, just do not place them in a sealed container. Mushrooms need to breathe to stay good for more than just a few hours!
How Soon After Picking Morels Should You Freeze Them?
They needn’t be frozen immediately, but the sooner you freeze them the better.
Cut and wash your morels, dry them, lay them on a tray, and freeze them overnight, then pick them off the tray and store them in a freezer bag.