Master Guide: How To Freeze Dry Mushrooms Easily at Home

Master Guide: How To Freeze Dry Mushrooms Easily at Home

If you’re a mushroom lover, you know how quickly they can spoil. But what if you could extend their shelf life and preserve their flavor without sacrificing their natural goodness? Enter freeze drying, a process that allows you to keep mushrooms fresh for months, if not years!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of freeze drying mushrooms in the comfort of your own home. Our easy instructions will ensure that you preserve the flavor and extend the shelf life of your favorite fungi with ease.

Key Takeaways

  • Freeze drying mushrooms is an easy and effective way to extend their shelf life.
  • With this guide, you’ll be able to preserve the flavor of your mushrooms for months or even years.
  • Freeze drying can enhance the flavor of mushrooms and make them more versatile in culinary applications.
  • Proper cleaning, blanching, and preparation of mushrooms are essential for successful freeze drying.
  • Once freeze dried, proper packaging and storage are necessary to maintain their quality over time.

Why Freeze Dry Mushrooms?

If you’re passionate about mushrooms, you know that preserving them is key to enjoying them all year round. Freeze drying is an excellent method that can enhance their flavor and extend their shelf life. Let’s explore some of the benefits of freeze drying mushrooms.

Enhanced Flavor

Freeze drying helps preserve the natural flavor and aroma of mushrooms. During the process, the moisture is removed from the mushrooms, and their cell structure is preserved in a way that maintains their flavor. As a result, freeze dried mushrooms can offer a more intense, earthy taste than mushrooms that have been dried or canned by other methods.

Prolonged Storage

Freeze dried mushrooms have an extended shelf life of up to 25 years, making them an excellent option for long-term storage. They are also lightweight and compact, which makes them easy to store in your pantry or kitchen cupboard. With freeze dried mushrooms, you can have your favorite fungi on hand whenever you need them.

Versatility in Culinary Applications

Freeze dried mushrooms can be used in a variety of culinary applications, from soups and stews to sauces and marinades. They rehydrate quickly and can be used just like fresh mushrooms, making them an excellent option for busy cooks. Additionally, their intense flavor can add depth to any dish, making them a valuable ingredient in any kitchen.

Gathering the Perfect Mushrooms

Before starting the freeze drying process, it’s essential to gather the right type of mushrooms. Not all mushrooms are equal, and some work better for freeze drying. Choose fresh, non-watery mushrooms to start with.

Here are some tips on gathering your mushrooms for freeze drying:

  1. Forage in the early morning when the mushrooms are still damp from the dew and easier to spot.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem of the mushroom close to the ground and to avoid disturbing the roots.
  3. Choose mushrooms that are firm and free of any blemishes or insect bites.
  4. Only gather mushrooms you are 100% sure are not poisonous. If you are unsure, consult with a local expert or avoid eating it altogether.

Some mushrooms that are rich in flavor and perfect for freeze drying include:

Mushroom Name

Other Names


Yellow Morel, Black Morel




Cep, Penny Bun, Porcino


Giroles, Girolles, Pfifferlinge

Remember to collect only enough mushrooms that you will be able to freeze dry within a reasonable time frame. Once you’ve gathered your mushrooms of choice, it’s time to move on to the next step – cleaning and preparing them for the freeze drying process.

Cleaning and Preparing the Mushrooms

Before freeze drying mushrooms, proper cleaning and preparation is crucial to ensure the best results. Here, we’ll walk you through the necessary steps.

Cleaning Mushrooms

First, rinse the mushrooms under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the caps and stems, taking care not to damage or bruise the mushrooms.

If the mushrooms have a lot of dirt, submerge them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Then, remove them from the water and pat them dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Preparing Mushrooms

After cleaning, slice the mushrooms into desired thickness or remove stems if necessary. For the best freeze drying results, make sure all the slices are uniform. This way, they will dry evenly and at the same rate.

Some mushrooms, such as Shiitake or Oyster mushrooms, have tough stems that are not suitable for freeze drying. In this case, remove the stems before slicing the caps.

Remember to discard any mushrooms that are bruised, discolored, or showing signs of decay. Only use fresh, high-quality mushrooms that are free of any defects.

Now that you’ve cleaned and prepared your mushrooms, you’re ready to move on to the next step: blanching.

Blanching the Mushrooms

Before freeze drying the mushrooms, it’s crucial to blanch them to preserve their quality and color. Blanching is a process of briefly boiling the mushrooms in water and then submerging them in cold water.

To blanch the mushrooms, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and trim any woody stems.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the boiling water and let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Drain the mushrooms and immediately submerge them in a bowl of ice water for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Drain the mushrooms again and pat them dry.

Note that blanching time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the mushrooms. Be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Properly blanched mushrooms should retain their texture and color after being freeze dried.

Blanching is a crucial step in the freeze drying process, as it helps preserve the natural qualities of the mushrooms. Skipping this step can result in mushy or discolored mushrooms that are unsuitable for storage and cooking.

“Don’t skip blanching when freeze drying mushrooms. It’s a crucial step that preserves the natural flavors and textures of the mushrooms. “

Preparing the Mushrooms for the Freeze Dryer

Once the mushrooms are blanched, they need to be prepared for the freeze dryer. This process involves arranging the mushrooms on trays and ensuring proper spacing for optimal results.

Before placing the mushrooms on the trays, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. This step will prevent excess moisture from accumulating on the trays and potentially affecting the freeze drying process.

Next, arrange the mushrooms on the trays in a single layer, ensuring that there is enough space between each piece to allow for even airflow. Avoid overcrowding the trays, as this can lead to uneven drying and potentially spoil the mushrooms.

If you have multiple trays, stack them on top of each other and place them in the freeze dryer. Be sure to load the trays according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as some machines may have specific stacking instructions.

Spacing Guidelines for Different Mushroom Types

Mushroom Type

Ideal Spacing

Button Mushrooms

1/2 inch apart

Crimini Mushrooms

1/4 inch apart

Shiitake Mushrooms

1 inch apart

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your mushrooms are evenly spaced and will dry properly in the freeze dryer.

Freeze Drying Process: How to Perfectly Preserve Mushrooms

Now that you have prepared the mushrooms, it is time to freeze dry them. Freeze drying mushrooms is a slow process that requires patience, precision, and attention to detail. Follow these steps to ensure successful preservation of your mushrooms:

  1. Freezing: Place the prepared mushrooms in the freezer for at least two hours. The freezing process helps to release moisture from the mushroom, making it easier to extract during the drying stage.
  2. Drying: Remove the mushrooms from the freezer and place them on the trays in the freeze dryer. Set the temperature and time according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. It typically takes around 24-48 hours to dry mushrooms completely.
  3. Sublimation: Once the drying process is complete, the freeze dryer will go into sublimation mode. During this phase, any leftover moisture is removed from the mushrooms by raising the temperature and pressure in the chamber.
  4. Monitoring: Monitoring the freeze drying process is essential to determine the right time to remove the mushrooms from the freeze dryer. Check the moisture level regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for turning off the machine when the mushrooms are ready.

While freeze drying mushrooms can be time-consuming, the end result is well worth it. The process preserves the natural flavor and texture of the mushrooms while extending their shelf life. Additionally, freeze drying mushrooms is a great way to reduce food waste by avoiding spoilage.

Next, we will discuss the best practices for monitoring the freeze drying progress to ensure perfectly preserved mushrooms.

Monitoring the Freeze Drying Progress

Once your mushrooms are in the freeze dryer, it’s important to monitor their progress regularly. Checking the moisture level of your mushrooms is crucial in ensuring you attain the desired results.

Checking the moisture level is easy since most freeze dryers come equipped with a vacuum gauge. You’ll want to keep an eye on the vacuum gauge to ensure it is continuously working throughout the process. The gauge measures the pressure inside the freeze dryer. If the vacuum gauge shows a reading higher than the recommended level, it’s important to take action to remove any moisture that may be present.

You can also use a moisture meter to measure the moisture level directly. Place a few mushrooms in the meter, and it will display the moisture content. Stop the freeze dryer when the mushrooms reach the desired moisture level.

Another way of checking the moisture level is by taking the freeze-dried mushrooms out of the dryer from time to time and weighing them. Once the weight stops changing, you’ve reached the desired moisture content.

Overall, the freeze drying process can take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours, depending on the quantity and type of mushrooms. Continue to monitor the progress of your mushrooms regularly to ensure that you don’t over-dry them. Over-drying will make them brittle, and they’ll lose their flavor and nutritional value.

Packaging and Storing Freeze Dried Mushrooms

After freeze drying your mushrooms, it’s crucial to follow proper packaging and storage techniques to maintain their quality and flavor. Here are some helpful tips for packaging and storing your freeze dried mushrooms:



Use high-quality vacuum-sealed bags or containers*

When storing your freeze dried mushrooms, use high-quality vacuum-sealed bags or containers to prevent moisture and air exposure. This will help keep your mushrooms fresh and flavorful for an extended period.

Label and date*

Be sure to label and date your bags or containers so that you can keep track of how long your mushrooms have been stored. It’s recommended to consume your freeze dried mushrooms within 18-24 months for optimal quality.

Store in a cool, dark place*

To maximize the shelf life of your freeze dried mushrooms, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight and keep them away from sources of heat or moisture.

Re-vacuum seal if necessary*

If you notice any air seeping into your bags or containers, re-vacuum seal them to ensure maximum freshness and shelf life.

*These tips are crucial for extending the shelf life and maintaining the quality of your freeze dried mushrooms.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your freeze dried mushrooms for an extended period and incorporate them into your favorite recipes without compromising their flavor and texture.

Rehydrating Freeze Dried Mushrooms

Now that you have successfully freeze dried your mushrooms, it’s time to rehydrate them for use in your favorite recipes.

There are a few methods for rehydrating freeze dried mushrooms, but the most common and simple one is to soak them in warm water. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the desired amount of freeze dried mushrooms in a bowl or container.
  2. Add warm water to cover the mushrooms completely.
  3. Let the mushrooms soak for about 20-30 minutes or until they become plump and tender.
  4. Once the mushrooms are rehydrated, drain the excess water and gently pat them dry with a paper towel before using.

Alternatively, you can also rehydrate mushrooms by adding them directly to soups, stews, and other dishes while they cook. This method works especially well for recipes that have a longer cooking time.

One great benefit of using freeze dried mushrooms is that they retain their flavor and texture even after rehydrating. This means that you can enjoy the same delicious taste and texture of fresh mushrooms in any recipe.

Tip: Don’t throw away the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms. It can be saved and used as a flavorful mushroom broth for soups, stews, and sauces.

Creative Ways to Use Freeze Dried Mushrooms

Freeze dried mushrooms are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of creative ways in your cooking endeavors. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Mushroom Powder

Grind your freeze dried mushrooms into a fine powder and add it to sauces, soups, and stews for an extra burst of umami flavor. Mushroom powder can also be used as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, and even popcorn!

Mushroom Broth

Simmer your freeze dried mushrooms in water with herbs and spices to create a flavorful broth. Use the broth as a base for soups, risottos, and other recipes that call for chicken or beef broth.


Add texture and flavor to your dishes by using freeze dried mushrooms as a garnish. The crispy texture of freeze dried mushrooms makes them a perfect topping for salads, pastas, and pizza.


Blend freeze dried mushrooms with olives, garlic, and olive oil to make a delicious tapenade. Spread it on crostini or use it as a sandwich spread for an elevated twist on a classic.

Mushroom Jerky

Combine your freeze dried mushrooms with soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices to make a savory jerky. It’s a healthy and delicious snack that will satisfy your savory cravings.

Mushroom Risotto

Add rehydrated freeze dried mushrooms to your risotto for a burst of earthy flavor. The rehydration process brings the mushrooms back to life and maintains their original texture.

Mushroom Gravy

Make a rich and flavorful gravy by adding rehydrated freeze dried mushrooms to your roux. It’s a great topping for mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and other comfort foods.

With these creative ideas, you can make the most of your freeze dried mushrooms and elevate your culinary skills to new heights!


There you have it! With this comprehensive guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to freeze dry mushrooms in the comfort of your own home. By freeze drying your mushrooms, you can preserve their flavor and extend their shelf life, allowing you to enjoy them for a longer period.

Experiment with Different Techniques

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and methods to find what works best for you. Freeze drying can be a fun and rewarding process, and with some practice, you can perfect the art of freeze drying mushrooms.

Explore the Versatility of Freeze Dried Mushrooms

Freeze dried mushrooms can be used in various culinary applications, from soups and stews to pasta dishes and omelets. Get creative in the kitchen and explore the versatility of freeze dried mushrooms in your cooking endeavors.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide has been helpful in your freeze drying journey!


Why should I freeze dry mushrooms?

Freeze drying mushrooms helps enhance their flavor, prolong their shelf life, and provides versatility in culinary applications.

What types of mushrooms are best for freeze drying?

It is recommended to choose mushrooms with a firm texture, such as button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms.

How do I clean and prepare mushrooms for freeze drying?

Start by gently brushing off any dirt or debris. Rinse the mushrooms under running water and pat them dry. Slice or chop the mushrooms as desired.

Why is blanching necessary before freeze drying mushrooms?

Blanching helps preserve the color and texture of the mushrooms during the freeze drying process. It also helps to remove any potential surface bacteria.

How do I prepare mushrooms for the freeze dryer?

Arrange the blanched mushrooms in a single layer on trays, leaving space between them for proper airflow. Ensure that the mushrooms are evenly spaced to allow for even freeze drying.

What is the freeze drying process for mushrooms?

Freeze drying involves freezing the mushrooms to a very low temperature and then removing the ice by sublimation, which converts it from a solid to a gas, leaving the mushrooms preserved.

How can I monitor the progress of freeze drying mushrooms?

You can check the moisture level by weighing a sample of mushrooms periodically. Once the weight remains consistent, it indicates that the mushrooms are dry and ready to be removed.

How should I package and store freeze dried mushrooms?

Use airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to store freeze dried mushrooms. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to maintain their quality and extend their shelf life.

How do I rehydrate freeze dried mushrooms?

To rehydrate freeze dried mushrooms, simply soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes or until they become plump and soft. They are then ready to be used in your favorite recipes.

What are some creative ways to use freeze dried mushrooms?

Freeze dried mushrooms can be used to add flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and stir-fries. They can also be ground into a powder to season dishes or rehydrated and used as a topping for pizzas or salads.