The best way to dry oyster mushrooms is to dehydrate them in a food dehydrator at 110°-125°F for 3-8 hours until crispy. You can use dried oyster mushrooms in pasta dishes, stir-fries, chowders, and light soups.
Table of Contents
What is the Best Way to Dry Oyster Mushrooms?
The best way to dry oyster mushrooms is to use a food dehydrator. Oyster mushrooms are delicate, and a dehydrator provides the best control over drying time and temperature to preserve their nutritional value.
Here’s how to dehydrate oyster mushrooms in an electric dehydrator:
- Select only fresh oyster mushrooms. Discard discolored or slimy mushrooms.
- Use damp paper towels to gently pat the mushrooms free of dirt. Avoid rinsing them as they are porous and will absorb water.
- Use a paring knife to remove the stems since they are tough.
- Use a sharp knife or egg slicer to slice the mushrooms into 1/8” or 1/4” pieces. Smaller diced pieces are better if you plan to grind them into mushroom powder.
- Arrange the pieces on dehydrator trays. Leave enough spaces between them for optimal air and heat circulation.
- Dry the oyster mushrooms at 110°F to 125°F for 3-8 hours until they become brittle and crispy. The drying time depends on the size of the pieces.
- Rotate the trays after the first three hours to promote even drying.
- Once fully dehydrated, remove the dried oyster mushrooms from the dehydrator and cool them to room temperature.
- Place the dried mushrooms in sealable glass jars and condition them for seven days and ensure no condensation forms on the interior of the container. If condensation forms, they will need to be dried again.
- Store the dry oyster mushrooms in a cool, dry, dark place.
How Do You Dry Oyster Mushrooms without a Dehydrator?
If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can dry oyster mushrooms in a kitchen oven:
- Select the best mushrooms and clean them gently with damp paper towels.
- Cut off any stems and slice the mushrooms into 1/8” or 1/4″ pieces.
- Arrange the pieces in single layers on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 150°F or its lowest temperature.
- Dehydrate the mushrooms at 150°F or the lowest temperature for 1-3 hours. Leave the oven door slightly open to allow humidity to escape and promote air circulation.
- Turn the mushrooms after the first hour and every hour after that until they are brittle and crispy.
- Take out the dried mushrooms and cool them to room temperature before conditioning them for a week and storing them long-term in glass containers.
Are Oyster Mushrooms Good When Dried?
Oyster mushrooms are fantastic when dried. Drying them concentrates their flavor and makes them have a meaty texture.
While raw oyster mushrooms have a slightly metallic flavor, dried oyster mushrooms are mild, woodsy, earthy, slightly sweet, and have delicate hints of anise, chicken, and umami.
The Nutritional Benefits of Dried Oyster Mushrooms
Dried oyster mushrooms are a nutrient-dense superfood rich in calcium, iron, dietary fiber, prebiotics, niacin, zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B6, B9, and D.
Oyster mushrooms also have many reported health benefits:
- According to a 2015 study, oyster mushrooms may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Oyster mushrooms have antioxidants, such as ergothioneine, which may reduce inflammation.
- Oyster mushrooms may also help regulate metabolic activities.
- The fiber in oyster mushrooms helps reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Can You Cook with Dried Oyster Mushrooms?
You can cook with dried oyster mushrooms to add an earthy flavor and meaty texture to various dishes.
- Use dry oyster mushrooms in casseroles, soups, chowders, and stir-fries
- Dried mushrooms are an excellent substitute for seafood and meat
- Use dry oyster mushrooms as a topping for pizza and salads
- Mix with shiitake, chanterelle, morel, wood ear, and porcini mushrooms as a side dish
- Use the soaking water in stocks, broths, risotto, sauces, and stews
How Long Does it Take to Rehydrate Dried Oyster Mushrooms?
To reconstitute dried oyster mushrooms, soak them in warm water for up to 30 minutes or boiling water for 15-20 minutes and then drain them. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess rehydrating liquid before cooking them.
What is the Shelf Life of Dry Oyster Mushrooms?
Dried oyster mushrooms have a shelf-life of 1-2 years when stored in glass containers in a cool, dry, dark place.
To extend their shelf-life, store your dried oyster mushrooms in vacuum-sealed glass containers. Place a desiccant packet inside the container if you open it regularly.