How Long Does It Take To Dehydrate Mushrooms?

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So many oyster mushrooms. Not enough time to eat them? Dehydrate!

So many oyster mushrooms. Not enough time to eat them? Dehydrate!

So you want to dehydrate some mushrooms but are wondering how big a chunk that’s going to take out of your day. Don’t worry, I’ve got the answer.

But it’s one of those answers people hate:

The answer is… it depends. But there are a few general rules. Mushrooms sliced thin and put in a dehydrator will take between 4 and 6 hours to dehydrate. Thicker slices will take closer to 8 hours.

If you’re dehydrating mushrooms in an oven, the answer is even more variable. It will take 2 hours for your initial dehydration. Then you need to check them and put them back in the oven – in half hour increments – until they’re done. So it could take up to 6 hours or more.

I show you how to dehydrate mushrooms – both in a dehydrator and in the oven – in the steps below.

2 kinds of dehydration

There are two ways to dehydrate mushrooms (and most other fruit and dehydrate-able produce). You can use an oven, or a dehydrator.

Now, obviously the dehydrator is ideal, as it’s built specifically for dehydrating produce. However, these can be pretty pricey. They’re a great investment if you know you love dehydrating fruits and veggies. If this is your first time trying something like this, you may want to stick with using the oven until you’re sure you want to make a big investment in your dehydrated snacks.

Dehydrating in a dehydrator

If you are someone who owns a dehydrator, here’s a step by step guide on how to dehydrate your mushrooms:

1. Clean

Give your mushrooms a good wash in water. You don’t want to dehydrate them with dirt still stuck on them. Remember, mushrooms grow in dirt and fertilizer. It’s important to thoroughly wash them before eating or dehydrating them.

2. Slice

Next you’re going to want to slice the mushrooms into small enough slices that they can be dehydrated. Try for ¼ to ½ inch thick. You don’t want them so thick that they take forever to dehydrate (or never do!) but you want them thick enough that they still have a nice texture and taste.

Read up on the best chef knives under $100 in my knife review. 

3. Spread them out

Then you’ll want to spread them evenly over the dehydrator trays. Make sure they aren’t on top of each other, or they’ll be unevenly dried.

4. Dehydrate!

Some dehydrators will give you specific instructions for various produce, and you should follow those instructions if you have them. If not, 110 F is a good temperature to try, it should take about 4-6 hours for the thinner (¼ inch) slices, and up to 8 hours for thicker slices.

Here’s a Presto dehydrator at a good price on Amazon. 

5. Cool 

Let them cool before you try to pick them up or store them.

6. Store

Try storing your dehydrated mushrooms in airtight glass jars, this is the perfect container for them. It’ll help them maintain their freshness and flavor.

These glass jars are the best for storing
dehydrated mushrooms. Or anything else!

Enjoy! Now you have dehydrated mushrooms!

Dehydrating in the oven

If you don’t own a dehydrator, no worries. You can still dry your mushrooms in the oven, though they won’t be quite as effectively done as with a dehydrator. Here is your guide for effective mushroom-drying in your kitchen oven:

1. Preheat

Turn your oven on to 150F/65C.

2. Clean 

Just like when you’re using a dehydrator, make sure to thoroughly wash your mushrooms.

A good colander makes cleaning easy. This one goes over the sink. 

3. Slice 

Slice your mushrooms into dry-able slices. In an oven, that means thinner than for a dehydrator. Try to aim for ⅛-¼ of an inch thick.

4. Spread them out

Arrange your mushrooms across a baking sheet, making sure none of them overlap so that they’ll dry evenly.

I talk about my favorite baking sheets here.

5. Dry 

Put your baking sheet of mushrooms in the oven for an hour. Then take it out, flip each of them, and bake them for another hour.

6. Check 

After those first two hours of baking (one hour on each side) take them out and allow them to cool, then check to see if they’re dry and crispy. (Note: it’s important to let them fully cool, they’ll be very different after they’ve cooled off than when they first come out of the oven).

You might like this post on oven mitts for small hands. 

7. Repeat

If needed, return them to the oven for 30 minutes, then remove, let cool, and check how crispy they are. If they need more time, flip them and return them for another 30 minutes. Repeat until they are dry and crispy!

8. Store

Just like mushrooms dehydrated in a dehydrator, mushrooms dried in the oven will love being stored in airtight glass jars.

Enjoy! You’ve made dried mushrooms in the oven!

Fresh or dehydrated mushroom pizza? All that matters is: It's pizza.

Fresh or rehydrated mushroom pizza? All that matters is: It’s pizza.

Here’s my recipe for pizza in a cast iron skillet. 

Rehydrating mushrooms

Your dehydrated mushrooms will be good for about a year. Keep them in their airtight jars, and make sure to keep the jars in a cool, dry cupboard away from direct sun.

When you’re ready to use them, it’s very easy to rehydrate your mushrooms.

Place the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl (ceramic works great) and pour boiling water over them. Let them sit in the hot water for about 20-30 minutes, until it has cooled and they have absorbed a lot of the water.

Make mushroom soup with healthy bone broth. Here are my favorite slow cookers for making bone broth. 

Using dried mushrooms

After dehydrating, your mushrooms should be ready to use! You can use them very similarly to fresh mushrooms. One of the best things about mushrooms is they’re very good about maintaining their flavor and even their texture after being dehydrated and then rehydrated. Some people even prefer rehydrated mushrooms, and can find new tasty flavors in them.

There will likely be some mushroom broth leftover from rehydrating the mushrooms in the bowl, try adding that to your next sauce or soup, it’s guaranteed to add amazing flavor and richness to your next recipe.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are one of the best kinds of produce to dehydrate, as they maintain so much of their fresh deliciousness when rehydrated. So the next time you over-buy mushrooms, you can have a game plan. Happy dehydrating!

Now that you’ve mastered dehydrating mushrooms…
Learn how to pickle eggs – fast!

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Jo D. and Joe H

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