How long do mushrooms last in the fridge? Good question right? Well, in this post we want to give you all the info on mushrooms shelf life and how long you can keep them before they turn bad.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, mushrooms are probably among your favorite ingredients. There are many different types of mushrooms, all with different textures and flavors.
They also have different shelf lives when they are put in the refrigerator. But how long do mushrooms last in the fridge?
Fresh mushrooms can last for anything between a day and more than a week, depending on how you store them.
But wait! There are ways to make mushrooms last for several years, too! If your diet relies heavily on mushrooms, read on to find the answers to all mushroom-related questions.
How Long Do Mushrooms Last in the Fridge?
Mushroom lovers are everywhere. From meat-eaters to vegans, everyone loves it for the meaty texture and rich flavor that each variety of mushrooms can add to any dish.
For people with a predominantly plant-based diet, mushrooms are a significant part of the grocery shopping list.
However, it is often difficult to gauge the quantity of mushrooms you need to buy. In our busy lives, who would want to make multiple runs to the grocery store?
But what amount of mushrooms can you buy in a single go to ensure that it doesn't go bad in the fridge and start to develop a slimy layer on top?
As you know, there are different types of mushrooms available in the market, and their shelf lives may vary, even if they are all kept in a cool and dry temperature.
We usually refrigerate newly-bought mushrooms because that's where they remain safe without making any changes to the texture.
a) Shelf Life of Whole Mushrooms in the Refrigerator
So how long do mushrooms last in the refrigerator? Fresh mushrooms usually stay good for about 7-10 days inside the fridge if you keep them whole.
Sometimes, refrigerated whole mushrooms might start to go bad after 4 days, depending on how long they've been sitting with the vendor or at the store.
b) Shelf Life of Sliced Mushrooms in the Refrigerator
How long do sliced mushrooms last in the refrigerator? If you cut fresh mushrooms before refrigerating, their shelf life will be reduced by a few days.
You can expect sliced mushrooms to last for about 5-7 days at most. If they have been in the fridge or the grocery store for a while, they will go bad after 1-2 days.
c) Shelf Life of Cooked Mushrooms in the Refrigerator
How long can cooked mushrooms last in the fridge? Cooking and refrigerating prevents food from going bad easily.
So if you cook mushrooms at proper heat and then refrigerate the dish, it will stay in its best condition for 3-5 days. In fact, if you store it properly, cooked mushrooms will be safe for up to 10 days.
d) Shelf Life of Canned Mushrooms in the Refrigerator
Canned mushrooms may not have the same texture or flavor as fresh mushrooms do. But they have a long shelf life.
But once you have opened canned mushrooms, the shelf life drops drastically. An open can of mushrooms lasts for a duration of just 3-4 days in the fridge, after which you shouldn't eat them.
In all of the above cases, we have talked about refrigeration. Mushrooms have the tendency to go bad if they are not taken care of properly, i.e., you must store them properly, even if they are getting refrigerated.
Besides refrigeration, there are other ways of storing mushrooms to make them last longer.
How Long Do Mushrooms Last in the Freezer?
Instead of refrigerating mushrooms, you can also freeze them to extend their shelf life. Whether you slice them or keep them whole, mushrooms can stay in good condition for 10-12 months in the freezer.
However, you must remember that the flavor and texture will change a little after freezing and thawing.
You can also freeze canned mushrooms after opening the can. It will stay good for up to 2 months.
The best way to freeze mushrooms is by cooking them lightly by sauteing them in butter or steaming for a short while to make them wilt. If you want to freeze them raw, it is best to slice the mushrooms first.
How Long Do Mushrooms Last At Room Temperature?
It is never a good idea to keep mushrooms outside the refrigerator at room temperature. Anything above 40 F and below 140 F can lead to the growth of bacteria in mushrooms.
Since room temperature falls within the range of 40-140 F, mushrooms sitting outside the fridge for a long time can get spoilt.
Canned mushrooms, once opened, can stay good for about a few hours at room temperature, and so will cooked mushrooms if left to sit out.
Pickled mushrooms, however, can sit out for an entire day, at best. The only way for mushrooms to last at room temperature is if it is dried and kept in a cool and dry area.
You can keep it in a zip-locked bag or a tightly sealed container and keep it in the darker part of the pantry. Make sure that heat and humidity can't touch them.
If you can store your dried mushrooms in a proper container, you'll not need to refrigerate it. For all other forms, refrigerating mushrooms is a must.
Other Methods of Storing Mushrooms
Refrigerating mushrooms in different forms is the most popular way of storing them in every household.
But even in the best of conditions, you'll have to run to the farmer's market or supermarket every ten days. Besides, what do you do if you notice a rare variety of mushrooms and want to buy a large batch?
Don't worry! Refrigeration is not the only way to store mushrooms properly. There are lots of other ways.
You have probably heard of these alternative methods of extending the shelf life of mushrooms - drying, pickling, and canning. Take a look at how to store mushrooms, besides refrigeration.
a) Canning Mushrooms
The advantage of canned mushrooms is their long shelf life. Canned mushrooms are readily available.
Whole or sliced mushrooms are canned in water, salt (and sometimes, MSG), and ascorbic acid or vitamin C. It lasts for 3-5 years when it's unopened. But once opened, it's best to use the full can at once.
b) Pickling Mushrooms
Pickling mushrooms is no different from pickling any vegetables. You just have to boil the mushrooms in water and vinegar.
You can even add your favorite spices if you want. Once pickled, you must store it in a sealable container and put it in the fridge. If stored properly, pickled mushrooms can last for 4-6 months.
c) Drying Mushrooms
Drying or dehydrating mushrooms in the oven or in the sun can extend their shelf life the longest. Dried mushrooms can last anything between 6 months and 3 years.
Before you cook them, you will need to soak them in water for rehydration. To prevent bugs from spoiling them, store them in zip-locked bags.
d) Freezing Mushrooms
It is possible to freeze mushrooms in all forms. As long as they are kept at the freezing temperature, they last for about a year. If you want to freeze raw mushrooms, it is best to cut them into slices.
But it is best to cook the mushrooms lightly before you freeze them. Thaw them by keeping them in the fridge overnight.
You now know of the best ways to store mushrooms. Canned, dried, and pickled mushrooms are readily available at stores, though you can easily dry, freeze, or pickle a batch of fresh mushrooms at home.
Freezing and drying are easier options and affect the taste and texture of mushrooms the least.
How to Identify If Mushrooms Have Gone Bad
If you have stored your mushrooms wrong or have kept them in the refrigerator for too long, they will go bad.
But how will you understand if the mushrooms in your fridge are in good condition or not? There are several common and easy ways to detect that.
Take a look at the signs of mushrooms gone bad -
When mushrooms start to go bad, they develop a slimy, sticky layer on the outside. Consider this as an indication that your mushrooms are not fresh anymore.
This happens when you let the mushrooms stay in the fridge for a long time. While the mushrooms are not yet dangerous, it's best to throw them away.
Sometimes, old mushrooms can dry out on their own, without you making an effort to dehydrate them. You will be able to know that from the wrinkles on mushrooms.
A little dryness is still alright. But if you notice that the mushrooms have shriveled up too much, it is best not to use them in your cooking.
Another sign of mushrooms going bad is the darkening of the fungi, along with the development of dark spots.
When the mushrooms start to go bad, they start to assume a brown color, with blackish spots on their surface. These changes should be seen as a clear indication that the mushrooms are not fresh.
When mushrooms start to rot, the surface of the mushroom begins to develop bruises. These bruised spots are actually quite soft, and if you touch them, you notice that the surface sinks a little.
This clearly shows you that the mushrooms have gone bad. You should surely toss these bruised mushrooms away.
Mushrooms, in general, do not have any noticeable smell, except a light and subtle scent, unless you hold them close to your nose and inhale.
So, if you notice that they are emitting any smell, it clearly means that the fungi have gone bad. Any strong smell clearly shows that you should get rid of them.
To Choose Or Not To Choose?
At the time of buying mushrooms, it's a good idea to look for the signs of spoilage so that you don't take home mushrooms that belong to the trash can.
As for the mushrooms sitting in the fridge or freezer for about a week, check properly to see if they are still usable or not. You must inspect the whole pile.
Mushrooms usually get slightly slimy in the refrigerator. If that happens, wash them first and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
Then, check if they still feel slimy. Accordingly, you can choose to keep or discard the mushrooms. Apart from that, you should also look for signs of odor, dark spots, etc.
If you notice that the pile of mushrooms has a mix of both good and bad mushrooms, separate them immediately from each other.
Throw away the ones with clear signs of going bad. Don't forget to check the good ones thoroughly before using them so that you don't end up with food poisoning.
Generally, if the mushrooms in your refrigerator have been sitting for two weeks or more, they have likely gone bad.
But sometimes, you might notice that the mushrooms look, smell, and feel perfect even after weeks. Again, the signs of going bad might appear even before a week in the fridge.
The best thing to do is to trust your senses of sight, smell, and touch to understand if the mushrooms are alright.
Whether it's mushrooms or any other food item, you should always trust your instincts to decide whether they are safe and edible or if they should be discarded right away.
How To Store Mushrooms In Proper Containers
The method of storage, i.e., refrigeration, freezing, drying, pickling, canning, etc., can directly affect the shelf life of mushrooms.
However, that's not all. It is also essential to pay attention to the storage container for the optimization of the fungi and ensure that they don't spoil easily.
When you refrigerate mushrooms, it's best to keep them in something that allows them to breathe.
You can keep mushrooms in a paper bag. Roll the top of the bag loosely and keep the bag in the refrigerator. It will also soak up all moisture. You cannot let a humid environment develop inside the container.
At the same time, you have to ensure that the moisture level is even. You can't let mushrooms sit on an open plate or bowl inside the fridge.
Otherwise, too much exposure to the air will dry out the fungi in the cold environment inside the refrigerator. Mushrooms can also absorb all the smells of other foods.
You can also keep them in a plastic bag, but don't forget to line it with paper towels. Ideally, if you are going to keep the mushrooms in the fridge for a long time, you should keep changing the paper towels frequently as they will become wet after a while by catching any moisture emitted by the fungi.
You can also keep mushrooms in a sealed bag or container. Usually, when you buy mushrooms from supermarkets, they come in such containers or bags that might also be perforated.
They might also come in cardboard containers with cling film wrapping. You won't need to unpack them before refrigerating.
As for cooked mushrooms, you should put the dish in an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
It's best to cook different dishes with a large batch of mushrooms instead of putting all of them in a single dish. Who knows? If your dish gets spoilt for some reason, all the mushrooms will also get spoilt.
If you are going to freeze raw mushrooms, slice them first and place them on a piece of parchment paper to freeze them. Once frozen, transfer the slices to an airtight bag, pressing out all the air before sealing it.
If you freeze cooked mushrooms, put them in a bag or container, preferably after removing the air.
How To Dry Mushrooms?
Dried mushrooms are readily available at local stores. But if you have just bought a large batch of your favorite mushrooms, you can dry them at home.
You can dehydrate sliced mushrooms in the oven at 150-175 F for about two hours. It's Don't forget to flip the slices after about an hour.
Before transferring the mushrooms to an airtight container, make sure to leave the mushrooms in the open for a while.
This will allow the heat and all the remaining moisture to escape. Otherwise, if you put the mushrooms in the container at once, a moist environment will develop inside.
You can also sun-dry mushrooms, though it will be a more time-consuming procedure. All you have to do is to arrange sliced mushrooms on a plate lined with a kitchen towel if you don't have a drying rack.
Place the plate or rack on the roof, window sill, balcony, or any space that receives intense sunlight.
Don't forget to put a net tent to cover the mushrooms. This will keep away bugs or dirt. You have to leave the mushroom slices in the sun for about two days to dehydrate them.
Remember that this will only work if you have a very sunny corner. Don't forget to keep checking their progress regularly.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Mushrooms?
Nothing new can be said in favor of eating fresh food. It's always healthier. Likewise, mushrooms, too, must be fresh when you eat them.
But the critical question is, can you fall ill if you end up eating mushrooms gone bad? Simply put, the answer is, "yes." Old mushrooms can actually be toxic.
You can fall ill if you eat old mushrooms. They can upset your stomach and give you cramps or aches. You should avoid eating raw mushrooms at all costs.
Cooking at high heat removes bacteria or other harmful elements. Cooked or not, mushrooms sitting out in the open can lead to stomach problems.
Mushrooms are an excellent addition to your diet. There are many varieties of them available in the market, which add a unique and exquisite flavor to every dish.
So, it is natural to get tempted to buy a large batch of mushrooms, especially if you see fresh and exotic mushrooms at the farmers' market.
You should try to refrain from buying mushrooms that you will not be able to consume within ten days of purchasing.
After this time, even the freshest mushrooms tend to go bad. However, there are other ways of storing mushrooms, like freezing, drying, and pickling, so that you can extend the shelf life.
Drying and freezing affect the flavor and texture of mushrooms the least. These can be done easily at home.
In any case, you should always remember not to let mushrooms sit out in the open at room temperature. If you store mushrooms properly, they can become the hero of a new dish every day!