Mushrooms provide such a specific texture and flavor to so many dishes, that it’s not a bad idea to have them readily accessible to cook with at all times in your home. Whether your dressing up a pizza, throwing them in a pasta sauce or stuffing them with cheese as a tasty appetizer, knowing how to clean mushrooms will be an important lesson for you in your kitchen.

Wait until the right time

One of the things to watch out for when washing mushrooms is their tendency to become mushy and slimy when you’d like for them to stay crisp and smooth. Washing them prematurely will cause this to happen quickly. Rather than washing all of your mushrooms at one time right after you purchase them, store them in a dry paper bag in your refrigerator, pulling them out to wash them only right before you need to.

Keep them from being water-logged

Once you’re ready to eat your mushrooms, pull them out of your dry paper bag in your refrigerator. Notice brown soil spots all over your mushroom — these spots will need to come off. Do not stick your mushroom under running water like you would lettuce or carrots. Rather, take a damp paper towel and gently rub the dirt, soil and grime off the head of each mushroom. Doing so may take you a little longer, but it will keep your mushrooms from becoming waterlogged and soggy.

For stubborn spots

If the damp paper towel just isn’t cutting it for those tough, stubborn spots that won’t come off, consider using a brush of some kind. A perfect brush to use for this purpose is a tooth brush, and can be used wet or dry to effectively scrape the remainder of the dirt off.

For dried mushrooms

Dried mushrooms require a completely different method of washing than moist mushrooms. For these, you actually want to soak them, understanding that water-logging them is not a possibility. For 20 minutes, let them sit in water, wine or broth. Remove them from the liquid and place them on a paper towel to dry again.

The next time you cook with mushrooms, be confident in knowing you’re washing them the correct way, to prevent water logging and over-saturation, and to enhance the wonderful flavors that accompany them.

Do you have any tricksĀ to get clean mushrooms?