LifestylePreparing mushrooms for freezing: essential tips for food preservation

Preparing mushrooms for freezing: essential tips for food preservation

How to freeze mushrooms?
How to freeze mushrooms?
Images source: © Adobe Stock

8:06 AM EST, November 30, 2023

Mushroom season presents the perfect opportunity to stockpile mushrooms for winter. A common method is freezing mushrooms to relish them during holidays or at a later time. Yet, not everyone knows the correct way to do this. This article shall clarify whether it's advisable to freeze raw mushrooms or if applied heat treatment before freezing is a preferable choice.

Freezing inherently prolongs the freshness of the products. However, the correct method to freeze mushrooms in order to preserve their distinct taste and aroma isn't well known by all. Furthermore, ignoring one critical aspect might lead to unpleasant digestive issues.

Is it safe to freeze raw mushrooms?

Freezing mushrooms does not diminish their nutritional value or flavor. Thanks to refrigeration, their shelf life is significantly extended, providing the option to use them for culinary creations even out of season. However, is it safe to freeze all mushrooms in their raw state? Are there particular types of mushrooms more suited for freezing?

You can safely freeze mushrooms such as porcini, russula, death caps, chanterelles, leccinum, boletus, and butter mushrooms. But there's a principle to adhere to. Only mushrooms without gills are appropriate for freezing raw. Once these have been adequately cleaned and dried, they are ready to be placed directly into the freezer. However, mushrooms that possess gills must be either boiled or blanched beforehand.

What is the correct method to freeze mushrooms?

The process varies slightly depending on whether the mushrooms have gills or not. Mushrooms without gills require no special preparation before freezing, whereas mushrooms with gills demand a little extra effort. Prior to being frozen, they must be boiled for roughly 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, they can be blanched by immersing them into boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, then rinsed with cold water. Once dried, these mushrooms are ready for the freezer.

Some mushrooms should be boiled before freezing.
Some mushrooms should be boiled before freezing.© Pixabay

Boiling or blanching mushrooms before freezing helps maintain their taste and texture. Mushrooms with gills often become bitter after freezing. Frozen gilled mushrooms also lose their elasticity due to potential ice crystal formation between the gills, which can damage the mushroom's structure.

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