How do You Store Mushrooms?

Brendan McGuigan

Mushrooms are the fruit formed from underground fungi, many of which are edible. Chefs prize mushrooms for their unique flavors, rich textures, and versatility. If you don’t store mushrooms correctly, however, they can rot and become unappetizing.

Mushrooms should usually be stored in a refrigerator.
Mushrooms should usually be stored in a refrigerator.

How you want to store mushrooms depends largely on how you received the mushrooms. To some extent it can also depend on the actual type of mushroom as well, but most species of mushroom are stored roughly the same way.

Loose mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag.
Loose mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag.

Many mushrooms purchased in a store will be packaged when you receive them. They are often in a Styrofoam tray, covered with some sort of plastic wrap. You can just leave them in their store-bought packaging, which is designed to store mushrooms. Place them in your refrigerator, somewhere outside of the crisper, and you should be fine. Mushrooms that are prepackaged can last for a week or so without being damaged at all, so long as they’re unopened. Once opened, follow the instructions to store mushrooms bought loose, if you don’t use them all at once.


If you are looking to store mushrooms you’ve bought new, you’ll want to put them in a paper bag. The paper bag will absorb excess moisture from the mushrooms, rather than letting it build up inside to rot the mushrooms, which will happen with a plastic bag. Since the bag can become wet, some people prefer to use a two-bag technique to store mushrooms. First place the loose mushrooms in a paper bag, fold over the top, and then store that paper bag inside a lightly perforated plastic bag.

Enoki mushrooms can be kept in plastic in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Enoki mushrooms can be kept in plastic in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Store the entire bag in the refrigerator, but don’t store it in the crisper drawer. You want the mushrooms to be kept cold, but you always want moisture to flow out from them, not to build up in the bag with them. Store mushrooms far from any foods in your fridge that let off strong odors. Mushrooms are incredibly odor absorbent, and if you place them near fragrant foods, they will tend to absorb some of that odor.

If you store mushrooms properly, they will last a few days. Try to use them as soon as possible, since their freshness can go fairly quickly. Most lighter tan mushrooms get darker as they age, so it is a good idea to try to use the darkest mushrooms in the bunch first, to use them up before they go bad. Mushrooms should also be stored whole. It’s a bad idea to cut them or prep them in any way before storing them, as this will reduce their shelf life. You can pickle or can mushrooms, in which case they will last almost indefinitely. Mushrooms can also be dried, which will allow them to last forever if protected from moisture.

Typically, scotch bonnet mushroom caps are threaded onto a string and dried.
Typically, scotch bonnet mushroom caps are threaded onto a string and dried.

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Discussion Comments


Thanks so much for this article -- I was trying to find the best way to store mushrooms, lo and behold, here it is!

Thanks for the information.


I really like using mushroom kits for this very reason. I think dried ones tend to taste like sawdust, but it's hard to store regular ones in the fridge without them getting nasty.

It's really worth trying if you've got the room and you use mushrooms a lot when cooking -- and you can actually save a lot of money too.


That's why I usually buy dry mushrooms -- it's so much easier to store them and keep them good. If I do end up buying non-dried mushrooms, then I store them in the fridge for as short a time as possible, because nothing is worse than soggy mushrooms.

As hard as I try, I can never seem to keep them from getting slimy. I mean, I know that mushrooms are fungi and they're going to be a little soft, but still, I can't stand that slimy feel -- or the taste they get after they start to turn.

So that's why I stick with dry mushrooms -- they take a little more time to prepare, but I don't have to worry about them getting soggy.


When it really comes down to it, the best way is to use them as soon as possible, like the same day or the next day they are bought. When fresh they seem to be more meaty and have a nice color.

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