How Long Do Mushrooms Last | 7 Tips to Keep them Fresh | Green Thumb Gardener

mushroom growing

How Long Do Mushrooms Last | 7 Tips to Keep them Fresh

how long do mushrooms lastMushrooms are a delicious vegetable that does not last forever in storage.  Unfortunately, mother nature did not put a best by date, sell-by date, or use by date stamped on the tasty buttons.

You will learn about the shelf life of mushrooms, plus some tips on how to make mushroom last longer.

The shelf life of mushrooms is dependant on the different ways & methods that you store it.  Mushrooms that are freshly picked will last for 4-7 days in the fridge. Cooked ones will last for approximately 3-5 days in the fridge.

Frozen mushrooms will last for 2-12 months in the freezer.  Pickled mushroom lasts for about 4-6 months if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly.

There is more to just placing mushrooms in your fridge.  We will explore the many different ways to extend how long mushroom lasts.  Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is spoiled.  Let’s delve into the 7 tips to save your mushroom from spoiling too early.

1- Shelf Life of Mushrooms at Room Temperature | How Long Do Mushrooms Last at Room Temperature

Mushrooms that are freshly picked will last a maximum of 12 hours to 1 day outside at room temperature.  Check for browning or slimy spots to ensure that it is not spoiled.

Keeping fresh mushrooms out of a refrigerator isn’t the best option – temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit are very favorable for bacteria.

Mushrooms that have been left out at room temperature for several hours may become unsafe to eat.

Fortunately, there are some signs that can tell you whether the mushrooms are good or not, which we’ll have a look at shortly.

Unopened canned mushrooms can be stored at room temperature for a very long time – to be precise, 3-5 years.

The shelf life of canned mushrooms after opening shortens dramatically, and even a few hours at room temperature may make them unsafe to eat.

Dried mushrooms can last for a very long time at room temperature, given that they are properly stored in an airtight container or a sealed bag in a dark and not too humid place.

Dried mushrooms can last for a very long time at room temperature, given that they are properly...Click To Tweet

2 – Shelf Life of Mushrooms in the Fridge | How Long Do Mushrooms Last in the Fridge

Whole and raw ones can last in the fridge for approximately 4-7 days. After being chopped or sliced, mushrooms will last 1-2 days in the refrigerator, so you should not chop your mushrooms if you don’t intend to use them soon.

Canned mushrooms do not require refrigeration if unopened. But after you open them, you need to refrigerate them properly. In a fridge, opened canned mushrooms will last 3-4 days.

3 – Shelf Life of Mushrooms in the Freezer | How Long Do Mushrooms Last in the Freezer

Mushrooms can last a pretty long time in the freezer. Whether sliced or not, mushrooms can last 10-12 months in a freezer, though it’s usually recommended to freeze mushrooms when sliced and cooked.

Opened canned mushrooms can last 1-2 months in a freezer.

Keep in mind that if frozen at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, mushrooms should stay safe to eat for a much longer time, though their flavor properties may not be the same after a long period of freezing.

4 – Cooked Mushrooms Shelf Life | How Long Do Cooked Mushrooms Last

how long do mushrooms last

The shelf life of cooked mushrooms depends on where they are stored.

In a refrigerator, cooked mushrooms can last 3-5 days. If frozen, cooked mushrooms can stay safe for over a year, but they will retain their best flavor for 10-12 months.

Cooked mushrooms shouldn’t be stored at room temperature – if your cooked mushrooms have stayed out of the cold for more than 2 hours, you should discard them.

5 – How to Properly Store Mushrooms

You will only be able to achieve the shelf lifetimes listed above if you properly store the mushrooms, whether whole, sliced, cooked, or dried.

Below, let’s overview the most common storage of proper mushroom storage.

Refrigeration

If you don’t intend to store fresh mushrooms for a long time, then refrigerating them is the best option. This is fairly easy to do, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t store mushrooms in your fridge’s crisper drawer. This drawer is too humid for safe mushroom storage.
  • Do not wash the mushrooms before storage. Soaking the mushrooms will increase the humidity in their environment, which may make the mushrooms spoil faster.  Only wash your mushrooms immediately before use.
  • Do not place the mushrooms near foods with strong odors or flavors. The mushrooms will easily absorb them and become a mess of smells and tastes.
  • Do not put other food items on top of the mushrooms. Squished mushrooms won’t last as long as whole mushrooms, and they also won’t look as appetizing.
  • The mushrooms need to be placed in a breathable container that allows excess moisture to escape.

If you aren’t going to use the mushrooms immediately after buying, then you may use their original packaging.

Keep in mind that the packaging should have holes in it to allow the mushrooms to breathe and moisture to escape.

If the mushrooms’ original package isn’t perforated, then you may want to take them out and place in another container. You can use a simple paper bag as the new container for fresh mushrooms.

Leave the paper bag open so that the mushrooms can breathe and the moisture level stays balanced.

The rules for storing sliced mushrooms are the same, but remember that sliced mushrooms have a shorter shelf life than whole mushrooms.

The rules for storing sliced mushrooms are the same, but remember that sliced mushrooms have a shorter shelf life than whole mushrooms.Click To Tweet

6 – What Does a Bad Mushroom Look Like?

Spoiled mushrooms show significant changes in their appearance.

The first sign to keep an eye out for are dark spots. Mushrooms with dark spots may still be edible, but they are probably close to getting unsafe for consumption.

Spoiled mushrooms can also wrinkle or dry out. If you haven’t dry-stored your mushrooms, then upon spotting dehydrated mushrooms, discard them.

The smell of mushrooms also changes when they go bad. Fresh mushrooms have a light smell, while spoiled mushrooms have a strong and often unpleasant odor. It’s a good idea to smell your mushrooms while they are fresh so that you have a point of reference for comparison.

Finally, check whether the mushrooms are slimy or not. If they are, then don’t eat them and immediately throw them away.

7 – How to Store Mushrooms Long Term

Freezing Mushrooms

mushroomsFreezing may be the way to go if you are after that long-term storage.

You may freeze mushrooms either cooked or raw, but it’s a bit trickier to freeze raw them because of their high water content.

Storage in a freeze-safe airtight bag may be able to make storing raw ones easier.

But unless you have a very specific reason not to cook your mushrooms before freezing, you should cook them.

To cook and freeze mushrooms, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash the mushrooms in cold water.
  2. If the mushrooms are larger than 1 inch, slice or cut them into quarters.
  3. Decide between steaming and frying the mushrooms. This is somewhat a taste preference, but steamed mushrooms can last about 3 months longer, which may matter to you.
  4. After cooking the mushrooms, drain them so that moisture doesn’t make them go bad quicker while in storage.
  5. Place the mushrooms in sealable containers. Leave some headroom for the mushrooms. About half an inch should be enough.
  6. Place the container into the freezer.

Storing Cooked Mushrooms

Cooked mushrooms need to be stored in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. The process is the same as outlined in the freezing section.

You may choose to refrigerate or freeze your mushrooms, but remember that when refrigerated, cooked mushrooms last much shorter than when frozen – 3-5 days versus 10-12 months.

Drying Mushrooms

You can opt for drying your mushrooms if you don’t have enough freezer space. To dry mushrooms, follow the steps below.

We are going to overview drying mushrooms naturally, but you can do it in a microwave or a food dehydrator as well.

  1. Choose a sunny day with low humidity. If the humidity is high, it will take much longer for the mushrooms to dry. If left out for a long time, mushrooms may get covered in mold.
  2. Clean the mushrooms. Avoid using water and instead, use a brush or paper towel to keep the mushrooms as moisture-free as possible.
  3. Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  4. Pick a sunny location with good air circulation and low humidity. Make sure that the area isn’t accessible to birds, pests, or bugs.
  5. Place the mushrooms flat on a drying rack.  Make sure that they are arranged in one layer and none are overlapping.
  6. Cover them with a net tent. You should be able to get a net tent at a kitchen supply store.
  7. Place the mushrooms in the selected area for drying.
  8. After the mushrooms have dried, place them in an air-tight container. You may store dried mushrooms in a not too warm area that is away from light and moisture, or you may place them in the fridge.

Pickling Mushrooms to Make Them Last

This method involves utilizing a pickling liquid to add flavor and possibly help extend its shelf life.  Most pickling liquid involve using a combination of salt and an acidic liquid such as vinegar.

how long do mushrooms last

The pickling recipes you may find to preserve mushrooms will help to make them last a little longer in the fridge.  Many find pickled mushrooms really tasty as well.  Pickled mushrooms will last 7-10 days in the fridge.

Canning Mushrooms

The type of mushroom that we refer to with our canning recommendations are the button type mushrooms such as champignons de Paris.

There are 2 methods of canning that we must differentiate.  There is the water bath canning and there is pressure cooking canning.  These types of mushrooms require the pressure cooking canning method.

Pressure cooking canning methods will ensure that the temperature it is processed or boiled in is well above the temperature to kill off any bacterial spores that can cause botulism.  The temperature in a pressure cooker is 250°F or more.

Water bath canning will never reach this temperature is not recommended to process mushrooms unless they are pickled  Botulism spores can actually survive normal boiling temperatures so are not quite killed off using this method.

The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  You can find this book here

Other Methods

You may also dehydrate mushrooms and make it into a powder, but that is something we don’t have much experience with.  You would need to use some type of food dehydrate it or cook it at 125°F for about 8-9 hours.

Dehydrating basically dries the mushroom water content of 90-95%.  This slows down the rate at which it spoils. You still need to store it in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

Another method to extend mushroom’s shelf life is by using a type of product that you place in the fridge.  You simply place them in a produce saver storage container. It helps by regulating the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

We did a quick search on the reviews on Amazon.  It has a good number of reviews with a 4.5-star rating.  We searched for mushrooms and came up with at least 10 positive 5-star reviews specifically mentioning mushrooms.  Check it out here.

Our canning recommendations are the button type mushrooms such as champignons de Paris.Click To Tweet

More info

Keep in mind that the information that we provided is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.  Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

  • Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
  • Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
  • Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our broccoli shelf life guide here if you are adding to your stir fry.

Related Questions

  • Can you freeze mushrooms? – Mushrooms can be frozen.  It is best to cook them first prior to freezing them
  • How to store mushrooms? – Mushrooms are best dehydrated, sealed and then frozen for the longest storage method.
  • Can old mushrooms make you sick? – Yes, it is not suggested to eat old mushrooms.

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