You made it! The part we’ve been waiting for!
Harvesting mushrooms is possibly the simplest part of this entire exercise. Simply gently twist your mushrooms at the base to remove them from the colony.
Fresh mushrooms will last in your refrigerator for 4-7 days. Most grow kits will grow more mushrooms than you can (or might want) to eat within a week, and your grow kit should produce multiple flushes. Because of this, we recommend drying your mushrooms to get the most out of them.
Common drying methods, from least technical to most are as follows:
- Air Drying: procure a couple of bamboo sushi mats. Slice your mushrooms into pieces of even thickness and set on the mats in a dark, cool room with good air flow. Add a fan if necessary to circulate enough air to dry your shrooms. Check periodically to ensure there is no mold growth.
- Food Dehydrator or Oven/Air Fryer: low tech food dehydrators are available from a variety of manufacturers and usually come with multiple racks. We recommend a machine with a timer if you opt to go this route, as machine dehydrators can turn your mushrooms into dehydrated powder if you aren’t careful.
Regardless of which method you choose, you are looking for your shrooms to be cracker dry and snap when broken – think of the sensation of breaking a saltine cracker in half. If your mushrooms bend, they need more drying time. Drying time is going to depend a lot on the humidity in your region. Keep an eye on your mushrooms and adjust your drying times as necessary.
Once your mushrooms are sufficiently dry, store them in glass jars with a desiccant to preserve them for months. Silica packets can be bought wholesale for just such uses. Store in a cool, dry place, like your pantry, and enjoy whenever you like. Dehydrated mushrooms can be added directly to dishes or rehydrated to use like fresh.