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How to Dry Mushrooms (a Helpful Guide)

How to dry mushrooms

Drying is the most popular way to preserve mushrooms for longer periods of time.  Let’s go through everything you need to know about drying mushrooms as a mushroom fan: Why dry them, how to dry them, and what to look for when doing so.


  • Slice the mushrooms thin.
  • Spread the slices on baking paper or a flat sifter in a single layer.
  • Leave the mushrooms in a ventilated place, in the sun if possible.
  • The process will take 2 days.
  • The mushrooms are ready when they lose elasticity and break easily.
  • Seal them in a jar and store them in a cold dark place.

If at any time during the process you find any pieces that have larvae in them, make sure to throw them away along with all pieces of the same mushroom. You need to do this to avoid contamination of the entire batch.

While drying, mushrooms will stick to most surfaces
While drying, mushrooms will stick to most surfaces

Drying mushrooms naturally is the best way to dehydrate them. Just beware of wind; you wouldn’t want to have it take your mushrooms away!

If you would like to speed up the process or if the weather isn’t favorable, you can dry mushrooms in an oven or a food dehydrator. The process is faster but trickier.


  • Slice the mushrooms thin.
  • Spread the slices in the dehydrator in a single layer.
  • Set the device to 120° F (50°C).
  • The process should take 3 to 4 hours.
  • Take the mushrooms out when they are crispy and break easily.
  • Let them cool down, seal them in a jar, and store them in a cold dark place.

Don’t set the temperature higher than the recommended 120° F. Yes, you would speed up the process, but your mushrooms could go bitter. The last thing you would want is to find out that the treasure you were about to enjoy actually spoiled your meal.


  • Slice the mushrooms thin.
  • Spread the slices on baking paper in a single layer.
  • Set the oven to 120° F (50°C).
  • Put the mushrooms in for 1 hour, then turn them over and continue baking.
  • Take them out when they are crispy and break easily.
  • Let them cool down, seal them in a jar, and store them in a cold dark place.


  • Slice the mushrooms thick.
  • Spread them on a plate so that they don’t touch.
  • Set the power to 150 W and the timer to 15 minutes.
  • Check if the mushrooms are crunchy. If not, put them back in for 1 more minute and check again.
  • Seal the mushrooms in a jar and store them in a cold dark place.

I used to be very skeptical about drying in a microwave, but I found instructions on how to do it. I tried them and have to admit they work. I would still recommend using other means of drying your mushrooms and only resort to a microwave if you can’t use any of the other methods.


It is possible to dry mushrooms in a fridge by using chemical desiccants and keeping the environment dry. However, this process is complicated and time-intensive. Other methods of drying are superior.


  • To prevent moisture from getting to your dried mushrooms, seal them in a box or a jar. 
  • Store them in a cold dark place.
  • If you did everything right, they could keep indefinitely.

Mark the jar with the time of drying and the type(s) of mushrooms dried. For example, “White parasols 2019” or “porcini fall 2020”. That’s something all experienced cooks would do. Not only will you know what mushrooms are inside and when to toss them. You will know which mushrooms to use first.

When you are about to use the mushrooms, check them for signs of deterioration like mold or black spots. Trust me; you wouldn’t want to eat mushrooms then went putrid!

Another reason to toss the contents of a jar would be if you found web-like structures in it. Those are a sign that the jar wasn’t properly sealed and a female grain moth got inside! Its larvae have feasted on your mushrooms before you could.

However, if the mushrooms seem fine, you can use them even way past their best before date. If dried mushrooms are stored properly, there is no way for them to go bad – they can last indefinitely!

sealed and stored mushrooms
Properly sealed and stored mushrooms can keep way past their best before date


  • Without water, all undesirable processes in mushrooms stop.
  • If stored in dark and cold, dried mushrooms keep for a year or more.
  • Their taste is more intensive than that of fresh mushrooms.
  • Drying leaves vitamins and minerals intact.

(You can learn about vitamins and minerals in mushrooms from the post Are mushrooms good for you?)


You shouldn’t eat dried mushrooms raw. Dried mushrooms may look inviting, having similar looks and texture as vegetable chips, but they still need heat preparation. The same is true for mushroom powder. Cook them for as long as you would if they were fresh.

This means 10 to 15 minutes of cooking for most mushrooms, 5 minutes for enoki, and about 30 minutes for mushrooms that require prolonged heat preparation, for example, wood blewits.


By drying, mushrooms lose over 90% of volume and weight. To rehydrate them, put them in cold water 20 minutes before you cook them. They will soak it in, rehydrate and regain most of their volume. You can then cook them as if they were fresh.

Giving the mushrooms enough time to soak the water ensures that they have the best taste and texture. Don’t try to shortcut this process.

If you put mushrooms in boiling water they would go bitter and become difficult to chew. Don’t put the mushrooms directly in a boiling soup without rehydration!


You can mill the dried mushrooms into powder, which will serve as a potent mushroom spice for your meals, especially sauces, providing them with a mushroom aroma. You can experiment and mix various mushroom species to create interesting tastes. Plain porcini powder is the most popular due to its nutty umami taste.

Some mushrooms, like the sheep polypore, are edible and delicious but too tough to chew on. For those, drying and milling them to powder is the best way of processing them.

White umbrella mushrooms dry very well but tend to crumble, which makes them great for mushroom powder as well. You will often find them in large numbers, which could mean a lot of powder as well.

I made this powder (well, almost powder) from boletes and chanterelles


For drying, you should pick mushrooms that look healthy, didn’t have any larvae in any part, and didn’t soak too much water. 

Nine out of ten edible species are well suited to be dried. You shouldn’t dry milk caps and red cracking boletes, as they are susceptible to mold and could spoil the whole batch.

The most popular choice for drying is porcini. Most other boletes are great too, as long as they are firm.

Among chanterelle species, black trumpets and winter chanterelles are the best candidates. Thanks to their size and subtlety, you can dry and cook them in their full form. They have a unique taste and aroma, which you will appreciate when you open the jar in winter.

With other chanterelle species, like golden, amethyst, or pale chanterelle, you need to be very careful while drying them. They tend to go bitter easily, especially if you dry them artificially. An extra minute or degree might spoil your entire batch.

Aromatic mushrooms are great choices in general, as drying emphasizes the aroma. Consider that when you select mushrooms you will dry. You could make batches from mixtures of mushrooms to achieve the taste that you want. Personally, I prefer to keep the different species in separate jars and mix them just before cooking, depending on what meal I want to make.

There are other ways to preserve mushrooms too. You would probably be interested in the article How to store mushrooms, most importantly, its sections on freezing cooked mushrooms and canning mushrooms in saltwater. Both of those methods are great alternatives to drying mushrooms.

Was this post helpful for you? What is your experience with drying mushrooms? Let me know in the comments.

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Carlos Warren

Growing up in Texas, I was fascinated by the world of science and invention, thanks in large part to my father's work at Dow Chemical Company. However, my true passion lay in the natural world, and I became an expert in organic gardening and composting at a young age. I spent hours studying the microbiological communities in our family garden, using a microscope to define the quality of the soil. My love for farming and gardening led me to explore new techniques and methods, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible.