Preparing Mushrooms for Cooking

by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 10, 2012)

Although you will find fresh mushrooms in the produce and vegetable section of your grocery store, mushrooms are not vegetables. They are used in conjunction with other vegetables, as well as eaten alone. The chances of eating a poisonous mushroom purchased from a grocery store are very rare, since all mushrooms labeled for consumption are grown and cultivated on mushroom farms. Fresh mushrooms can be quite expensive, while canned, cooked mushrooms are a little less expensive. If you plan on adding mushrooms to a stew, you can save money by purchasing the cooked, canned variety. If you plan on using fresh mushrooms for cooking, follow these guidelines for preparing them:

  1. Prepare right away. Prepare mushrooms the day that you buy them. If you allow them to remain in the plastic covered container in which you buy them, or if you store them in a plastic bag, the mushrooms will start to sweat. If you can't use them immediately, store them inside of a paper bag in the refrigerator, and use them within three days of purchase.
  2. Rinse. Open the container and dump the mushrooms into a large colander inside of your kitchen sink. Rinse them thoroughly with cold water, taking care to wet and rinse each mushroom.
  3. Clean. Place a large towel on your kitchen counter and then turn the mushrooms out onto the towel. Using paper towels, remove any remaining dirt from each mushroom, scrubbing them gently. Although some mushroom aficionados state that you should never wash mushrooms, others say that it is okay to do so as long as you do not soak them.
  4. Stemming. Once your mushrooms have been cleaned, remove the stems. Some varieties of mushrooms have very stout stems and you can simply pop them off. Other types of softer mushrooms have soft stems and you can cut them away with a sharp paring knife.
  5. Save the stems and, if they are hard, peel away the outer skin and then you can use the stems as well as the mushrooms caps. Likewise, if the remainder of the mushroom is hard, peel away the outer skin and then use the entire mushroom.

    Once you've cleaned your mushrooms, slice, chop, or dice them and cook according to your recipe's directions. In our house, we love cooked mushrooms. I simply clean and quarter them, place them into a small saucepan with one stick of oleo, and then allow them to simmer until soft brown, yet still a little firm. Mushrooms are delicious and nutty cooked that way.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Cleaning the Kids Room

Lead by example if you expect your kids to keep their rooms clean. Teach them the basic steps to clean their rooms, set rules ...

Discover More

How to Shape Eyebrows

Shaping your brows is fairly easy and should be done about once a month. Over-tweezing is a common mistake you should avoid, ...

Discover More

Caring for Roses

Roses have developed a reputation for being finicky. Roses are no more particular than other plants. They simply require a ...

Discover More
MORE COOKING TIPS

Keeping Your Veggies Fresh

Don't let your fresh vegetables rot! Keep them fresh and beautiful by applying these simple tips.

Discover More

Dealing with Avocados

Ripen hard avocados and keep guacamole green. Don't buy another avocado until you've read these tips!

Discover More

Sweet Potato Fries

While most people have had regular French fries before, not quite as many have had sweet potato fries. If you are looking for ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

Links and Sharing
Share