Full of B vitamins and copper, mushrooms make for a healthy addition to your dinner.
But you’ve fished out a pack of mushrooms from the back of your fridge, and you’re here wondering: are my mushrooms bad? How long do they last?
What’s the bottom line?
Whole mushrooms can stay fresh in the fridge for just over a week, that’s where you should store them. If the mushrooms are slimy, it means they’re no longer fresh.
How To Tell If Your Mushrooms Are Off
Mushrooms exhibit a couple of key indications that they’ve started to go bad:
- Slime: One of the first signs of aging. If you catch your mushrooms with only a little slime on, you’re probably good to fry them up now. Any more than a subtle hint of slime, and you should chuck the whole pack.
- Wrinkles: Sometimes, your mushrooms won’t get slimy. Instead, they’ll dry up. A little crease in the skin is fine, but when your mushrooms look like prunes, you’re better off tossing them.
- Dark spots: When your mushrooms show dark spots, it’s not long until the whole vegetable starts getting darker. This is a surefire sign your mushrooms are too old to eat.
- Smell: Any weird smells, especially ones like licorice, and your mushrooms should get thrown out!
How To Store Mushrooms
For fresh mushrooms, you want to go for lower temperatures.
Therefore, the deepest corner of the refrigerator is a good option for storing your unopened mushrooms. However, avoid this if you tend to get lots of condensation at the back of your fridge.
Once your pack of mushrooms is opened, lay a paper towel over the top. This has a dual purpose: to stop your mushrooms from drying out and to stop moisture from coming in. This will help prevent wrinkles and slime.
Already sliced and/or cooked your onions? That means they’re ready to go in an airtight container, which should be stored in the fridge.
You can also freeze your mushrooms, a great option if you know you’re going to want your mushrooms to keep for ages.
Before you freeze your mushrooms, you should slice them and then steam them for a few minutes, just enough for them to wilt. Make sure you let the mushrooms cool.
Then, you can take the optional step of flash-freezing them by laying your mushrooms out on a baking tray, covering them with cling film, and letting them freeze for 2 hours. After that, transfer them to an airtight container, as you would if you skipped the flash-freeze step.
Should you flash freeze?
Well, it depends.
If you’re planning to use the mushrooms over a few different cooking sessions, flash freeze beforehand to keep the sliced mushrooms separate. This means you can just tip however much you want straight into your frying pan.
If you’re short on time now, and you know you’re going to be using the frozen mushrooms all in one go, then you’re fine to skip the flash freezing.
Now: if you skip flash freezing, be sure to thaw your mushrooms overnight in the fridge, otherwise, the big clump of frozen mushrooms will be impossible to cook!
Canned mushrooms work like any other canned food. Store the can in a dark, cool pantry, and go by the use-by, sell-by, and best-before dates on the tin.
How Long Mushrooms Last
Mushrooms don’t last long, but they do stay fresh for longer than a lot of vegetables, like asparagus.
You can expect your fresh, whole mushrooms to last in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Once you’ve sliced your mushrooms (but they’re still uncooked), you can store them in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Got some mushrooms that have just started to go slimy?
Even if you don’t want them right now, you should fry them up, as this can give you an extra two days, when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Fresh mushrooms that haven’t started to show the signs of aging yet will last 7-10 days once cooked. That’s only if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
One last thing: if you have a bag of dried mushrooms, they’ll be fine on your counter for up to 2-3 years.
Mushrooms last longer than a lot of other vegetables. About a week in, you’ll start to notice slime, and that’s a sign you should use them or lose them!
With niacin, good for the digestive system, and riboflavin, essential for the formation of red blood cells, you should definitely eat your mushrooms before they go bad!