If you’re lucky enough to find a puffball mushroom, you might be wondering how long it will last. Giant puffball mushrooms are edible and can be stored for a few days in the fridge, for a few months in the freezer, or indefinitely if you dry them.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to store puffball mushrooms, how long they’ll keep, and how to tell if a puffball mushroom has gone wrong.
How Long Will Raw Puffball Mushroom Keep in The Fridge?
Puffball mushrooms are best eaten fresh, within a few days of being picked. If you need to store them, put them in the fridge where they’ll keep for 2-3 days.
How Long Will Cooked Puffball Mushrooms Keep in The Fridge?
Cooked puffball mushrooms will keep in the fridge for seven to ten days.
Tips On Storing Puffballs In the Fridge
Use these quick tips to extend their fridge life as long as possible:
- Keep them whole. Cut puffballs go bad faster
- If you have any cut puffballs, be sure to use them within a day or two.
- Store for a few days then cook them to extend their fridge shelf life. Cooked puffball will be good for an additional 7-10 days in the fridge.
- Place in a brown bag away from other items. The bag will protect the mushroom from moisture.
How Can You Tell If a Puffball Mushroom Has Gone Bad?
A puffball mushroom is no longer good to eat if it has turned brown or black inside or if it has developed mold. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to throw them away.
When in doubt, cut the mushroom in half and take a look at the inside. If it’s brown or black, don’t eat it.
Can You Freeze Puffball Mushrooms?
Puffballs can be frozen for later use. Simply pop them in the freezer and they’ll keep them for up to six months. When ready to use them, thaw overnight in the fridge then cook as usual.
Do Puffball Mushrooms Still Taste Good After You Freeze Them?
Puffballs do not lose their flavor when frozen. On the other hand, their texture diminishes as a result of freezing. This is because freezing causes the water in the cell walls to expand and burst them.
How to Freeze Puffball Mushrooms
Here are some tips for freezing puffballs:
- Cut them into 1/4″ slices before freezing. This will help them thaw faster and make them easier to use in recipes.
- Place slices on a cookie sheet then place them into the freezer. Don’t cover them. You want them to partially dry out to prevent them from getting too mushy later when you cook them.
- After 24 hours take them out and place them in Ziploc bags.
- Label and date the bags, then pop them back in the freezer.
Can You Dry Puffball Mushrooms?
Yes, you can dry puffball mushrooms. Dried puffballs can be stored indefinitely. They make a great addition to soups and stews, and their flavor is not significantly different from fresh mushrooms.
Do Puffball Mushrooms Still Taste Good After You Dry Them?
Dried puffballs have a more intense flavor than fresh ones. This is because drying concentrates the flavors.
Some foragers even grind dried puffballs into a powder for use later in soups and stews or even as a flour addition in baked products.
How Long Will Dried Puffball Mushrooms Keep?
Dried puffballs will keep indefinitely if stored properly.
The best way to store them is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Mason jars work great for this.
Can You Rehydrate Dried Puffball Mushrooms?
Yes you can rehydrate dried puffballs. Simply soak them in water for 30 minutes to an hour. You can then use them in any recipe that calls for fresh mushrooms.
Do Puffball Mushrooms Still Taste Good After You Rehydrate Them?
Puffballs reconstitute well and their flavor is not significantly different from fresh mushrooms.
How to Dry Puffball Mushrooms
Here are some tips for drying puffballs:
- Cut them into 1/4″ slices before drying. This will help them dry faster and make them easier to use in recipes.
- Place slices on the trays that come with your dehydrator.
- If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven set to the lowest temperature.
- Dry for 6-8 hours or until completely dry. Mushrooms should be brittle and should crack when completely dry.
- Once they’re dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Can You Grow Puffball Mushrooms Indoors so You Get Access Year Round?
No, puffball mushrooms are very difficult to grow just like morel mushrooms. Puffball mushrooms don’t regrow each year from an existing underground mycelial network.
Instead, they grow from new spores each season. This makes them both difficult to find every year in the wild and nearly impossible to grow indoors.
It’s possible to do but the probabilities are low.
How to Grow Puffball Mushrooms
Keep in mind your chances of success are low but here are the steps to grow puffball mushrooms:
- Wait for an existing edible puffball mushroom outside to turn brown. Don’t pick it up before this time. You want to grab it when it’s full of mature spores.
- Buy a gallon of distilled water and a jar of molasses.
- Open the distilled water jug and add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of molasses. We recommend using an unopened jar of molasses. The goal is to keep bacterial contamination to a minimum.
- Poke a hole into the mature puffball to create an opening.
- Squeeze out the spores through this opening into the jug’s opening. Do this outside so you don’t get spores in your house.
- Put the lid back on the jug and shake it gently.
- Let it sit for 2 days out of the sun inside somewhere. Don’t move it.
- After 2 days take it outside and pour it onto a fertile spot on your lawn. Puffballs prefer healthy, well-fertilized lawns.
- Cross your fingers. Each puffball produces about 7 trillion spores but only 1 in a trillion will germinate.
In conclusion, puffballs will keep up to a week in the fridge, 6 months in the freezer, and can be dried and stored indefinitely, but are difficult to regrow. Their flavor is not significantly different when dried or rehydrated but the texture becomes mushy after freezing. Puffballs are best used in soups and stews or as a flour addition to baked goods.
While they’re difficult to grow, you can try your luck by following the steps above. Who knows, you may be one of the lucky ones.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.