How To Clean Mushrooms In Right Way?

clean mushroom

What is the ideal method for cleaning mushrooms? If you’re like us, you might have heard the old adage: never wash mushrooms. Mushrooms are 90% water, so the reasoning went, so if they were exposed to water, they would absorb it and swell up. But it takes far too long to use a small brush or paper towel to remove each mushroom.

You might hear conflicting advice about how to prepare particular foods, depending on which TV chef you watch, which magazines you read, or at whose knee you first learned. And for some people, those contradictory messages can make cooking an anxious experience. Not another source of self-doubt, cooking should be enjoyable.

The Right Way To Clean Mushrooms

Here is a quick and easy method for cleaning mushrooms properly. There’s a best case method, and a cheater method in case you’re feeling lazy:

  • Bowl method: Water should be put in a big bowl. When most of the dirt has settled to the bottom, add the mushrooms and toss them in the water for about a minute. Remove from the bowl and pat dry.
  • Strainer method: Alternatively, if you want to cheat, you can just put the mushrooms in a colander and spritz them with water until the dirt is removed. Pat the mushrooms dry after that.

How To Clean Mushrooms In Water

Because mushrooms are tiny sponges, it is important to keep in mind that some chefs are against using water to clean them because doing so will affect how well the mushrooms cook. As a result, you shouldn’t let them soak for an extended period of time when washing them with water. Have a clean, lint-free towel available and a big bowl of cold water ready. A few mushrooms should be added to the water at a time, about as many as you can comfortably hold in your cupped hands. Swirl the mushrooms around in the water to remove any dirt; this should take no longer than ten seconds. Then, right away, remove them to the towel, patting them as dry as you can, and lay them out (caps up) to finish air drying before washing the following batch. After washing them all in this manner, check the mushrooms to make sure no dirt is present. If you come across any recalcitrant particles, wipe them off with a damp paper towel.

How To Clean Mushrooms With A Brush

While they make all sorts of “mushroom brushes” that you can find at kitchen supply stores, my favorite brushes for mushrooms are in the hygiene aisle. My go-to tools for delicately and successfully cleaning dirt off of mushrooms are baby brushes and extra-soft toothbrushes. To carefully clean the gills or any smaller cavities, use the toothbrush instead of the baby brush for larger surfaces. I frequently follow with a damp cloth to give them one last thorough cleaning.

clean mushroom

The Fundamentals: Should You Wash Mushrooms?

Let’s begin with the most important lesson for those of you who are just beginning to cook mushrooms: too much moisture is the enemy. It’s possible that adding too much liquid too early on caused your disappointing mushrooms to become slimy, mushy, or gray. Mushrooms have pores that allow them to absorb liquid like a sponge. And once they reach this point, it’s difficult to make them crispy or flavorful because they are simply too soggy with water.

How should mushrooms be cleaned, though, if they must be kept out of water? The emphasis is on “clean”—which isn’t the same as “wash.” Before approaching the faucet, we advise performing a quick inspection first. You will almost certainly receive a spotless box if you purchase boxed mushrooms from the grocery store. After all, rather than being gathered from the wild, the majority of mushrooms are grown in indoor farms. If there are no obvious stains, you are prepared to start cooking.

If you do happen to come across any with specks of dirt and grime, use a dry cloth, paper towel, or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, a pastry brush to clean off any gross bits. When they’re thoroughly cleaned, put them in a brown paper bag and put them in the refrigerator. Paper is advised because plastic causes condensation, which results in slime. If a plastic bag is the only option available to you, make sure to leave it partially open to promote circulation.

Give them a quick swish-swish in lukewarm water in the worst of situations—you know, the horrors fit for an A&E primetime special—then drain in a colander and immediately blot with a towel. Since washed mushrooms don’t keep well, you should cook them right away. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: It’s a good reason to make mushroom carbonara tonight.

Lucky Wong

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