Should You Wash Mushrooms Before You Cook Them?

Should you wash mushrooms before you cook them? There are a lot of contrasting ideas about washing mushrooms. According to some, rinsing mushrooms is perfectly fine while others only recommend cleaning them with a damp cloth. Which of these methods you are going to use depends on how dirty the mushrooms are.

Should You Wash Mushrooms?

You should not wash mushrooms if you believe the old kitchen myth. Mushrooms are already 90% water besides being highly porous. Cleaning them with water means they absorb a lot more water and become soggy and mushy instead of crispy. But – it also takes ages to clean each mushroom with a paper towel.

In fact, you can wash mushrooms albeit carefully according to Martha Stewart and the Kitchen. Mushrooms just need a little ‘shower’ instead of a full bath. Most types of mushrooms available at grocery stores are already quite clean. Therefore, this method works well with them.

But – what if the mushrooms are very dirty? You still don’t need to thoroughly wash them. You can use a combination of water shower and paper towel or a small brush to clean them.

You don’t need to be afraid of the dirt on the mushrooms at all. It usually does not have any harmful microorganisms. It is mandatory to sterilize or pasteurize all commercially produced mushrooms. The idea to consume all that dirt along with the mushrooms is appalling though. However, you are not going to ingest anything worrisome.

The Best Way to Clean Mushrooms

The following are the two best methods to clean mushrooms before cooking. Keep in mind that these tips cover all the common varieties such as baby bella, white button mushrooms, Portobello mushroom caps, and shiitake.

Pro Tip: Don’t wait to cook mushrooms after cleaning them otherwise they will become a little slimy and soft. Cook them immediately after the mushrooms have dried.

Read More: Can You Cook Frozen Chicken In A Pan

The Bowl Method

Throw all the mushrooms in a bowl full of water. Let the dirt settle to the bottom. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl after a minute and pat dry with a paper towel.

Strainer Method

Instead of soaking mushrooms in the water, you can place them in a colander and gently shower them. It will wash away the dirt without making your mushrooms soggy. Once all the dirt washes away, pat the mushrooms dry.

Never soak the mushrooms regardless of the cleaning technique you are employing. Similarly, don’t keep the mushrooms in the water for more than a minute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to wash mushrooms before cooking?

You are supposed to wash wild mushrooms. It is also necessary to dry them before cooking. You only need to use a paper towel or damp cloth to clean cultivated mushrooms such as portobellos or white mushrooms.

Can you eat portobello mushroom gills?

Yes, you can eat portobello mushroom gills. However, they taste really bad and often get in the way. Therefore, they are normally removed.

Do store bought mushrooms need to be washed?

On most occasions, no. Such mushrooms are usually not very dirty. You can brush off whatever dirt they have using a damp cloth or paper towel.

You can cook baby bella and button mushrooms with their stems. But – it is better to trim them shorter otherwise the end will feel a little tough. Remove stems of shiitake and portobello before cooking or eating because they are too hard to eat.

Can eating unwashed mushrooms make you sick?

Fresh mushrooms don’t have harmful bacteria and therefore eating them will not make you sick. However, mushrooms growing on unsterilized compost may contain harmful bacteria. Therefore, it is better to clean the mushroom before eating it.

Final Thoughts

You must know how to wash mushrooms before cooking. Cleaning the mushrooms the right way will keep them crispy and extremely delicious. However, soaking them for a long will only make them slimy and mushy. Therefore, you need to be very careful while cleaning mushrooms if you want to fully enjoy this delicious food.

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