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. Freeze dried morels have a shelf life up to 20 years. We’ll cover that method next.

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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  1. 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 takes a bit more work. The payoff is that they can last up to 20 years if packaged properly with silica or another desiccant.

No need to cook them first either if you plan to freeze dry. As with drying, the texture will completely change. You’ll also need to reconstitute them prior to eating.

  1. Clean your mushrooms. Again, use saltwater to remove bugs.
  2. Don’t cook them when freeze drying. Freeze drying completely changes the texture and taste. You can’t lock this in by cooking first.
  3. Choose your freeze dry method.
    • Easy but slowLay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze for several weeks. They will naturally dry out in the freezer when left uncovered.
    • Complicated but fast – Use a vacuum sealer and vacuum back your cleaned morels. Place in a cooler with dry ice for 24 hours. Use a 1:1 ratio by volume (e.g. 1 block of dry ice that’s the same size as a 1-2 bags of vacuum packed morel mushrooms). Don’t seal the cooler or the melting CO2 from the dry ice could make it explode. Check that the dry ice is gone then move them to the freezer. Stores up to 20 years.
    • Use a commercial freezer drier. Purchase one of these off Amazon then follow the instructions. Commercial freeze driers initially freeze the product. Then they use heat and pressure to dry it out. Only use this method if you plan to sell and go through a lot of freeze dried products. These things aren’t cheap!
  4. Bag them up in a freezer bag. 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).

5 Gram Pack of 50 "Dry & Dry" Premium Pure & Safe Silica Gel Packets Desiccant Dehumidifiers - Food Safe Rechargeable Paper

FAQ

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.