The answer is a resounding yes. Mushrooms will keep their organoleptic properties as long as the temperature does not rise above -0.4F (-18C) for a couple of months.
Depending on how soon you use the frozen mushroom, preparation may vary. In fact, you might want to keep the mushrooms clean and brush any dirt off them if you plan to store them for just a few days. But if you need to store them for long periods, then it would be better to clean and briefly boil them for a couple of minutes to neutralize their enzymes.
After you boil them, cut the mushrooms into small slices and let them dry well on a paper towel before freezing them.
Can you freeze mushrooms whole?
Freezing the mushrooms whole is not recommended because they will be hard to slice once frozen.
The only mushroom type that would not cause any issue if frozen whole would be the porcini mushroom. Like most small mushrooms, porcini mushrooms pack a lot of flavor in a compact space. So, it does not matter if you slice them up or freeze them whole.
On the other hand, freezing large mushrooms would prove to be a hassle because once you take them out from the bag, they would have to defrost first. The cap would become all mushy. Even the stalk would remain frozen inside, making it harder to cut it well.
Slicing the mushroom before you freeze them is just more practical. And in most recipes, you can throw the frozen mushroom right into the pan.
Can you freeze dried mushrooms?
Dehydrating the mushrooms before freezing them is a widespread commercial method to prolong the expiration date of frozen mushrooms. So, yes, it is a viable way that requires to:
- Clean and cut your mushrooms into 1/4-inch slices.
- Steam blanch the slices for three minutes by putting them in a steel blanching basket over a pot with boiling water.
- Let the drippy slices dry and cool off on absorbent paper. Spread them well to speed up the process.
- In the meantime, set the dehydrator to 158F (70C). Leave the timer set as high as it can go-usually, ten hours are enough.
- Load a tray and put the slices into a dehydrator.
You can now bag and store the dehydrated slices in the freezer.
Can you freeze fresh mushrooms without cooking them first?
While you can freeze fresh mushrooms, it is not recommendable if you want to store them long-term. Boiling or blanching the mushrooms for three minutes only serves to kill harmful bacteria like Listeria.
Listeria monocytogenes can infect even commercially grown mushrooms like button, oyster, and shitake mushrooms. No matter how it happens, the public health authorities keep detecting infected goods nationwide. So, please consider steam-blanching or sauteing.
If you want to freeze your mushroom for a few days before using them, cutting them in half before you freeze them is fine. You can also put them on a tray and freeze them overnight. Then, use a ziplock bag to store and use them more conveniently.
How to saute mushrooms for freezing?
The first step is to get a large skillet or frying pan. You need as much space as possible to lay the mushroom slices and achieve the right textures without overlapping them.
Clean and rinse the mushrooms. After that, remove the hard bottom part. Cut the rest into thin slices. Above all, start with a cold pan and then crowd it with the mushrooms. Add a 1/4 cup of water and crank the stovetop to high.
Mushrooms have little pockets that absorb oil. So, you had better let the water flatten them before adding olive oil. All it takes is two minutes. But do not add the oil until the pan is almost dry, even if it takes eight to ten minutes.
Once the mushroom has collapsed and formed a single layer, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Lastly, let the oil coat the mushrooms by turning the slices over and around with a wooden spoon.
Saute; the slices for about three minutes. Then, remove them with a slotted spatula and let them dry and cool off on a paper towel.
You are now ready to freeze them in a ziplock bag or a hermetic container.
Find other ingredients you can freeze at https://youcanfreezethis.com/
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