Drying and Storing Oyster Mushrooms

When you find a good oyster mushroom source, you often find more than you can eat right away. Oysters don’t store or keep very long after picking, so you are better off to store some for those cold winter months. My favorite way to keep mushrooms around is to dry them. After eating my fill of the harvest, and sharing some , I proceded to dry the excess. The process is simple and easy to do! First you clean the mushrooms. This batch was pretty clean since they came off of coffee grounds. I had to rinse them a little and dryed them off on paper towels. The mushrooms were then torn along the gills to a mangeable size. This batch was dryed on racks on the counter for several days.

fresh oysters on drying wrackfresh oysters on drying wrack

After a few day of drying the mushrooms looked like this. Notice how they have shrunken up since mushrooms are mostly water!

dryed oysters on drying wrackdryed oysters on drying wrack

When drying large amounts of mushrooms or meaty mushrooms, we use a dehydrator. The main thing is to make sure they are completely dry before you jar them up. At this point they go into labeled mason jars for storage. When rehydrating mushrooms you can boil them a bit in water. Make sure you use or save the broth. This is where the flavor is! Rehydrating in milk works well, especially if you are going to flour and fry them or make gravy. I like to throw them in soups or sauces and let them rehydrate in the liquid of the dish. Mushroom soups made from dryed mushrooms are excellent and in most cases,Β  better than fresh mushroom soup. So pick when you can, eat all you can, and store the rest. You will be very happy you did on those months when the mushrooms are not flushing!

38 thoughts on “Drying and Storing Oyster Mushrooms”

  1. Just what I needed! Thanks! I found a huge Oyster tree today, and ate a bellyfull for dinner, and was going to dry the rest for later. I was trying to dry them whole, but I see now that I should cut them up into strips. (They probably won’t dry whole, will they?) … Glad I looked at this πŸ™‚

  2. Great, they store well dried.
    They will dry whole, but it takes longer and you risk mold. I tear them along the gills to separate them. It is easier and less work than cutting them! Discard the tougher stems to the compost pile. Happy Hunting,
    Happy hunting and harvesting.

  3. Dear Dean, I found your information to be right on. I have a question about drying large amounts of Oyster Mushrooms. When using a Dehydrator can you just throw the whole mushroom in (with out the stem of corse) or is it still a better idea to tear them a long the gills into strips? Also, have you ever used sweet rice to grow your Oyster Mushrooms? I’m going to be trying this soon to see if it changes my flavor at all. Thank you for your help and information. I hope your having a great day. Scott

  4. Hi Scott and thank you for your comment!
    I have dried whole oysters in the dehydrator. They dried well as long as they were not to large. For cooking in stews or soups, I prefer the strips. If am going to powder the oysters, say for a gravy or thickener, then the whole mushroom works fine. I have not grown on rice yet, but I know the substrate effects the flavor of the mushroom. Let us know how you do,

  5. Hello, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!
    That sounds like a great way to dry a bunch of mushrooms.I will give a try!
    Thank you for the information,

  6. would you be able to tell me what dried oyster mushrooms can be used for apart from food industry?

  7. Hello Shaguna, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms! The only other use that I know of is to reduce cholesterol.It has the same chemical in it as Lipitor. I don’t know of anyone using it for this except me, and I am just eating them.
    Talk to you soon,

  8. sir we grow oyster mushroom in india at a small scale. i want to know is there any other business scope in mushroom. we. produce reasonable amount of mushroom but we sell at that time only as it does not last for long. plz provide me some information that we can do diversified business in mushroom

  9. Hello,
    Found your site after having a tremendous hunt today.
    I was wondering, I have an old screen that is 3′ x 4′, could I set the screen on saw horses and dry them in the sun?
    Do I put paper towels over or on top of?
    Thank you for your time and knowledge!

    Kym Ward
    Preston, Idaho

  10. Hi Kym, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!
    You can dry mushrooms on a screen in the sun. I prefer the dehydrator because it is more consistent. Just remember when drying mushrooms, air circulation is much more important than heat. Some will say that the sun will remove the nutrients and others will say that it adds vitamin A to them.
    Whatever it takes to get them dry quickly because thw worms just love oyster mushrooms!
    Let us know how you do,

  11. Thanks for the great info… The oysters are really going off right now. What’s your favorite recipe?

  12. Hi Kris,
    My favorite oyster recipe is to lightly oil small oysters and grill them until the edges turn light brown. A little tamari and seasoning on the gills and you have a simple, tasty meal. There are so many ways to cook oysters…it is a very under appreciated mushroom!
    Happy hunting,

  13. Hello ,Sir do oyster mudrooms Half to be dried to be stored ? I been cleaning and vacuum sealing and then frizzing.. Is that OK ? what are all the ways to store them ? Thank You

  14. Hello, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!
    Oyster mushrooms can be dried whole or pulled apart in chunks. I also saute them and freeze them in zip lock bags. I am not familiar with vacuum packing and freezing. Let us know how they turn out!
    Happy harvesting,

  15. Please tell me the dried mushrooms how long can you store them and can you put them in sealed plastic bags for storage?

  16. Hello, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!
    I have stored dried mushrooms for years. They have to be completely dry to be safe. Yes, sealed bags are okay for storage. I prefer glass whenever possible.
    Happy harvesting,

  17. Great resource, found on the first try! I dehydrated a batch of oysters today, whole, I only trimmed part of the stem. When done I noticed some fuzz along the stem. Is the whole batch ruined or am I ok to tear off the remaining stems?

  18. Hello, and thank you for the compliment!
    I am thinking that if the fuzz is white, it is probably mycelium and harmless. Either way, you will be safe to lop the stems off and enjoy the caps.
    Tell us how they taste,

  19. Hi, dehydrating a batch right now ! Thanks for the genius suggestion of tearing instead of cutting! Wondering if there is a use for the stems?

  20. Hello and thank you for your kind words!
    I tear shiitakes and other gilled mushrooms also. I grind the stems and use them in gravy, soup and broths. They are so good for us that I can’t throw them away.
    Happy growing,

  21. Hi there! I’m doing chemical analysis on oyster mushrooms. Can it last and is it suitable if I dry them as above , keep them in a zip lock bag and place them in the refrigerator/chiller? Only because I need to buy them in bulk… πŸ™

  22. Hi Dean,

    I am researching mushroom production for a community project in the UK. I am wondering if you know the wet to dry weight ratio of oysters. This would be really good information. Many thanks

  23. What temperature should I dry oyster mushrooms in dehydrator? My temp can go as low as 95. I understand heat takes away flavor. Thank you for your help.

  24. Hello and I apologize for the late answer.
    If you dry them completely, they will be fine store anywhere.
    Thank you,

  25. Hi, I have a whole kit of oyster mushrooms that have really taken off – though now I am nervous about eating them as there is a caution section in the paper about bad or aborted mushrooms. Is there a picture that I can send of the mushrooms so that you can tell me if these are okay to eat/store? I’d hate to get rid of them due to my lack of knowledge and slight nervousness. My crimini & shitake kits came out great – but these ones are new to me.
    Thanks in advance!

  26. Hi,
    I really like the information you have provided on your website! I’m a mushroom enthusiast in Montana as well. I was going to attempt to dry some of mushrooms I find. I have purchased frozen oysters. I noticed that others mentioned cooking and then freezing. I was just going to test out freezing some without cooking them and seeing how they turn out. Any words of wisdom on this approach?

  27. Hi Dean,
    I am Biplob from India. I work as Livelihood Resource Person in Rural Development Cell, A Government Enterprise. My work is to enhance the livelihood of poor Self Help Group members (women) in my District. Most of them harvest oyster mushroom and sell it in the market to increase their income. My question is how much days dried oyster mushrooms can be stored and whether it can be sold in packet.


  28. I tried using the oven at its lowest temp to start the drying process. I forgot to crack the oven slightly to allow the moisture to escape. The mushrooms were slightly cooked after their β€œsauna” . I rescued them but they are slightly browned and still full of moisture. Can I just set them out on racks to finish them, or since they have been slightly cooked are they bad? At what point in the drying process can mushrooms go bad – and what should we look for in determining whether to toss them and start over? Thanks so much – Mike

  29. Hi Dean, nice site. I thought I would put in my 2 cents on drying. I have had good luck on hot sunny days putting my mushrooms on the dashboard of my truck out in a field that will get sun all day, just crack the windows for a bit of air flow. I have not tried the oysters yet until just now but have dried reishi’s successfully with this method.

  30. I found my first oyster mushrooms by accident last spring and they were delicious! I dried what little I had left and they went fast but were great dried. I so hope I am able to find more!
    What I have read is that just 15 minutes in sunshine will increase the vitamin D2 content in many mushrooms way up. Vitamin D2 is converted to D3 in the body. So even mushrooms bought in the store just set in the sun for 15 minutes before using. I suppose it might make sense especially for mushrooms that were grown commercially (in the dark), ya think?

  31. Hey Dean, This is Theodore in the Catskills. I found 40 lbs of oyster mushrooms (the Pleurotus Pulmonarius variety) today. I will dry a bunch of it within the next few days – thx for the tips.

  32. First search brought me to your site, nice! Thank you for all of your helpful posts. I will be taking off in a sailboat to travel the globe, and have started purchasing oyster and shitake mushrooms at my local farmers market. I am over purchasing so I can dry a bunch every week, and will hopefully have plenty for the trip! Take care, Susan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *