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 Gutters

A necessary chore, cleaning gutters keeps runoff water flowing away from your home, and down the sewage drains. If you have ...

Discover More

Removing Tinsel from Carpeting

If you love the glitter of tinsel during the holidays, but dread the cleanup afterwards, there are a few simple things that ...

Discover More

Utility Rebates for Energy-Efficient Homes

The main idea behind energy rebates and incentive programs offered by utility companies is to encourage people to use more ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Canning Your Own Pickles

If you are really interested in making as much of your own food as possible, you may want to consider canning your own ...

Discover More

Cooking Artichokes

Each leaf of a cooked artichoke has an edible layer that you can eat with your teeth, or scrape away with a knife and then ...

Discover More

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes can be a great addition to just about any kind of dinner. Not only do they taste great, they often look ...

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

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 5?

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.)