Freezing Morels

Just landed your first batch of morel mushrooms and wondering how to go about freezing morels? In this article we’ll cover how to preserve and store morels through freezing, freeze drying, and drying using step by step methods.

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How To Freeze Morel Mushrooms

  1. Clean your mushrooms. Store them in salted water overnight to get rid of any bugs or creepy crawlies. A small amount of salt is all you need.
  2. Cook your morels. You can saute them in butter, use the boiling method and boil them for 5-7 minutes, or batter and fry them as in the example video below. We have a full article on frying morels using multiple methods like the sauté method or egg wash here. You always want to cook delicate mushrooms like morels (or any vegetables) to lock in their delicate flavor.
  3. Drain on a paper towel on the countertop. Cool mushrooms prior to adding to the freezer.
  4. Place mushrooms out on a cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. You may need parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to the sheet.
  5. Bag them up in a freezer bags or food grade containers. Then place the filled freezer bags in the freezer.
  6. Eat within 6-12 months.

How To Dry Morel Mushrooms

You can also dry your morels. In many ways this is the easiest method.

There’s no need to pre-cook.

Expect the texture to change. You may want to test all three methods (freezing, drying, and freeze drying) to see which finished texture you like best.

  1. Clean your mushrooms. Again, use saltwater to remove bugs.
  2. Don’t cook them before drying. There’s no way to “keep” the taste and texture when drying so don’t try.
  3. Cut them into halves or quarters (if very large). Whole mushrooms take too long to dry.
  4. Choose your drying method.
  • Hang Dry – You can use a needle with string to chain them together. Make sure they aren’t touching. Hang them indoors or outside (away from the rain) until dry. Indoor drying can take up to 2-3 weeks. Outdoor drying in the sun is a bit faster (1-2 days).
  • Oven Dry – Lay them flat on cookie sheets. DO NOT add oil. Make sure they aren’t touching. Dry in an oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Take out, flip them over, then place back in the oven. Check every 30 minutes till they are dry like a cracker.
  • Food Dehydrator – Use a commercial food dehydrator. Like an oven this uses a constant temperature of about 100 degrees F. In addition it usually provides forced air. Slice and lay out mushrooms as with oven drying. Make sure they don’t touch. Follow your dehydrators instructions.
Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator, Standard
  • Net dry – Lay them out in a single layer on a net outside or inside. If outside, again, make sure they are kept out of the rain. If you can use a sunny location expect it to take 1-2 days. Indoors can take up to 3 weeks.

How To Freeze Dry Morels

Freeze drying food requires a real freeze dryer. These machines range in cost from $2,000 – $3,500. They use a vacuum to dehydrate your morels. This pulls the water out without heat which preserves both their texture and their taste.

A freeze dried morel looks exactly like a fresh morel whereas a morel dried in a food dehydrator will look tough and shriveled.

The vacuum method is why freeze drying is the only way to dehydrate ice cream while maintaining it’s original fluff and taste.

Example Freeze Dried Ice Cream – Note The Texture and Taste are Fully Preserved

No need to cook your morels first if you plan to freeze dry. You can clean them then put them in the freeze dryer immediately.

Another benefit – they rehydrate much faster than sun dried morels. Normal dried mushrooms must be boiled or soaked overnight to rully rehydrate. Freeze dried absorb water much faster. This is why freeze dried food is used for back packing. It’s both lighter (less water) and cooks faster so you save gas.

  1. Clean your mushrooms. Again, use saltwater to remove bugs.
  2. Don’t cook them when freeze drying.
  3. Use a commercial freezer drier. If it doesn’t create a vacuum to dry out your morels than it isn’t a real freeze dryer. Be careful with this as a lot of food dehydrators use “freeze dryer” in their name.
  4. Vacuum seal them up in a freezer bag with a silica pouch. Then place them back in the freezer.
  5. Freeze dried morels can last up to 20 years.

Storing Morel Mushrooms

Frozen or dried morel mushrooms can be stored in clean glass jars or freezer sealable bags. Store frozen mushrooms in the freezer for 6-12 months.

Adding a silica pouch and vacuum sealing them can help them to last up to 20 years (if dried or freeze dried first).

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Does It Taste Better To Saute Them Or Boil Them First?

Try both options with normal button mushrooms first to see which you like better. Use the saute method if you plan to each them as is in a dish such as sprinkled on top of pasta. Use the boiling method if you plan to cook them in a stew and don’t want any previous flavors.

Are There Other Ways To Preserve Morel Mushrooms?

Yes, you can dehydrate, freeze, and freeze dry morels. Under drying you can oven dry, sun dry, or use a commercial dehydrator. See full instructions above for all of these methods.

How Do I Rehydrate My Morel Mushrooms?

Pour boiling water over your dried morel mushrooms. Then let sit for 15-30 minutes. Use broth to add flavor if desired rather than just boiling water.