3 Super Easy Ways to How to Dry Morel Mushrooms at Home
Do you have a bountiful harvest of fresh Morel mushrooms? Well, preserve these summertime treats by drying them to enjoy them year-round.
Morels dry pretty well, yet preserving their entire flavor. If you dry and re-dehydrated them the right way, they retain a texture similar to fresh ones. Once dried, they can be preserved for a lifetime if only you do not expose them to moisture.
Morels are seasonal plants. Typically, some areas have them for only a few weeks or months, and you might even miss them a whole year. But, you do not have to worry as it is super easy to how to dry Morels mushrooms right at home.
To kick start the process of drying them, you need to make sure that you clean them thoroughly. Unlike the other mushrooms, Morels demand a bit more cleaning.
A simple wipe with a towel would not get the dirt out the sponge-like sides of Morel mushrooms. So how do you ensure that they are sparkling clean? And how do you dry Morel mushrooms? Okay, let us find out below:
Things you will need:
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- Half-gallon of water
- Food Dehydrator
- Cotton thread
- Large-eyed needle
- Glass jar or Air-tight plastic bag
How to Dry Morel Mushrooms - 3 Super Easy Ways
There are many different ways that you can dry your Morels. There are three most effective and convenient ways to dry Morels. These include; air drying, oven drying, and using a food dehydrator.
Method 1: How to Air-Dry Morels
To start with, let us find out how you can air dry them:
Step 1: Clean the Morel Mushrooms.
Clean the Morels properly using cool water to remove any dirt and debris. Cut the Morels in half pieces lengthwise to make cleaning a breeze.
Some insects have been found to hide inside the Morels even after cleaning. So, to eliminate them, create a mixture of salt and water. Then, leave the Morels in the saltwater for about 15 to 30 minutes. Avoid prolonged soaking as they might lose flavor and have a bad texture.
Once you extract them from the solution, rinse again using fresh water to remove the salt. Pat dry using a clean dish or paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
Step 2: Prepare the individual pieces.
Thread a large-eyed needle with an at least six feet long cotton packaging string. You can also use a coat button thread. Then, insert through the center of a Morel slice lengthwise. Knot each Morel end to keep them intact. Leave some room between the Morels to allow for proper air circulation.
Step 3: Do the same with the rest of the pieces and make sure there is enough space between each piece.
Step 4: Hang the string with the Morels in a sunny area. If you hang them outside, make sure you bring them in the house in the evening. This prevents dew from settling on them, which would result in mold formation.
Allow them to dry in the sun for at least two days. Later, remove them once they become completely dry and brittle.
Method 2: How to Oven-Dry Morels
If you do not prefer using the previous method, then, you can use your oven to dry your Morels.
Step 1: Just like we mentioned earlier, first clean your Morel mushrooms thoroughly. Then, prepare them for baking by slicing into pieces.
Step 2: Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the clean and sliced Morels in a single layer. But, ensure they do not overlap each other.
Step 3: Set your oven at 150F or less and bake the Morels for about 6 hours. Open the oven door slightly while your Morels are drying. This allows the moisture produced during the drying process to escape.
Method 3: How to Dry Morels in a Food Dehydrator
The use of a dehydrator is one of the best ways to dry your Morel mushrooms. Here’s all you need to do:
Step 1: Clean, Soak and Dry the Morels as we did in the first method.
Step 2: Sort or Slice the Morels
Even though morels can be dried whole, slice them into half pieces so that they may dry evenly.
Dehydrator trays containing small-sized Morel mushroom are usually ready first. Then the ones with large Morels come later. But, if you prefer drying them as a whole, make sure you place Morels of similar sizes in the same tray.
Step 3: Place Them on the Dehydrator Trays
Place the Morels on the dehydrator trays carefully. Also, make sure none of the Morels touch or overlap each other.
Step 4: Dry the Morels in the Dehydrator
Set your dehydrator at approximately 125 F and dry them until they become crispy. Small Morel slices will take about 6 hours, and large or whole ones will take about 8 hours or so.
Test the mushrooms often throughout the drying process. This helps you to know when they are completely dry. You can test your Morels by break a small part of the Morel mushroom. If it snaps when broken, then, it is well dried. However, if it is spongy or mushy, then there is still some moisture within the cap. The later result, simply means you need to give it more time to dry.
How to Store Dried Morels
Once completely dried, allow the Morel mushrooms to cool completely. Then preserve the dried Morels in glass jars or an air-tight plastic bag. If you are using a glass jar, ensure that it is tightly covered with a lid. Then keep it in a place away from direct light or heat.
If you prepared your Morels properly, these could help you preserve them for about six months. Though not recommended, you can extend this duration by putting them in a freezer once they are dried. You can also vacuum seal or add some oxygen absorbers to a storage jar.
How to Rehydrate Dried Morels
To use dried Morels in Risotto or Sautéed Morels, you need to first rehydrate them. So, how do you do this?
Dried Morels are easy to rehydrate. Simply put the amount you want to use in a heatproof bowl and cover them water hot water. Allow them to soak in the water for about 20 minutes, or until they become soft and pliable.
Lift the rehydrated Morels out of the hot water bowl. Reserve the highly flavored soaking liquid as it is a superb addition to soup stocks and sauces.
If you are using the liquid to prepare a dish, allow the sediment to settle first for a delicious broth.
The use of dehydrators, ovens and air-drying are some of the ways you can dry your Morels. But, I find Morels dried nicely using dehydrators. Simply place them in a single layer on the trays. Dehydrate them at approximately 125F for up to 10 hours. Then, you have your dried Morels ready for use. However, if you do not have an oven or dehydrator at home, air drying them is the best way for you.
We hope this guide has equipped you with the right information to dry Morel mushrooms. Have any other ideas on how we can use our dried Morels? Leave a comment below. Perhaps your ideas or suggestion will inspire someone!