Who doesn’t like mushrooms, right? Trust me, you’ll like them a little more once you find out how long do mushrooms last and how to prolong their shelf life? If you’re like me, you buy your fruits and vegetables fresh from the supermarket. I hate buying packaged or pre-cut mushrooms because they’re never as fresh as the real stuff.
I say this also because fresh mushrooms stay fresh for longer than pre-cut mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms you can store for as long as 10 days. While pre-sliced, packaged mushrooms stay fresh for 7 days.
Now there are many factors that influence the shelf life of mushrooms. And lucky for you, I’m going to walk you through every one of them. Don’t worry, they’re quite straightforward to follow.
How Long Do Mushrooms Last?
Here, you’re asking two questions.
- How long do fresh mushrooms last?
- And how long do cooked mushrooms last?
And I’m going to answer them both. Let’s start with the most obvious one.
Fresh mushrooms are uncooked, unpeeled, and uncut. You can store them in a variety of ways depending on how long they need them to stay fresh for.
Can You Leave Them In A Cool and Dry Place?
Fresh mushrooms can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours. After that, they start to rot and smell bad. You’ll see white or grey bulbs forming on the top.
Having said that, if you live in high humid conditions, mushrooms can start rotting sooner – that is within 12 hours.
So it’s a bad idea to keep mushrooms out after you buy them.
How Long Do Mushrooms Stay Fresh In the Refrigerator?
That’s how you buy mushrooms in a supermarket, right? I always find all varieties of mushrooms in a chilled and dry section of the store. The lower refrigerator temperature keeps the mushrooms from rotting and prevents bacterial formation. It may not completely avoid mold but it slows down the process for sure.
There is one other reason why refrigerating mushrooms is better. It is that keeping whole mushrooms is better than slicing them and storing them in. Whole and unwashed mushrooms stay fresh for longer.
I simply remove all the dirt and debris from the mushrooms without washing them and keep them in the refrigerator in a sealing bag. It stays fresh for up to 7 days, sometimes longer depending on the size of the mushrooms.
How Long Do Mushrooms Stay Fresh In the Freezer?
While it’s best to not cook mushrooms before refrigerating them for fresh preservation, you can cook them and freeze mushrooms easily.
I’m talking about cutting the mushrooms into slices or smaller pieces. And then steaming or sauteeing the mushrooms without any other ingredient. Cooked mushrooms stay fresh and retain their flavor when frozen.
Having said that, in most cases, cooked mushrooms turn soggy during defrosting. But they still taste delicious for curries, marinates, and sauces.
You can also freeze uncooked mushrooms if you want to skip the sogginess altogether. It’s just as effective and long-lasting. Make sure you wash the mushrooms properly and dry them before freezing. Frozen mushrooms stay fresh for months in batches.
If you want to use a small portion of mushrooms, do not defrost the entire bag just to pick out a few. Store the mushrooms in small containers to take only what you need from the freezer.
How to Tell If Mushrooms Have Spoiled?
Rotten or moldy mushrooms can quickly upset your stomach. And they have a sharp, rancid odor. So it’s a good idea to know the signs of rotting before buying and storing mushrooms for a long time.
If the mushrooms have a slimy texture, they’ve gone bad. At this stage, the mushroom may not be harmful to eat but they’re certainly not fresh anyone.
This is the next stage of mushrooms growing old and rotten. At this point, the mushrooms not only not fresh but they’re going to taste and smell horrible.
This happened to me once that I forgot I have stored mushrooms in my fridge. And they had completely stunk up the place! When I took them out, I found the wrinkly and slimy mess just sitting in the corner and rotting away!
Dark, Mold Spots
This when the fungi take over the exterior and fleshy bits of the mushroom. You might be able to salvage the fresh pieces but overall, the mushrooms have gone bad. It’s only a matter of hours that the mushroom will develop more and more dark spots all over the top surface.
How Long Do Cooked Mushrooms Last?
The best thing you can do to store cooked mushrooms is to keep them in an airtight container and place the container in the fridge. This way, cooked mushrooms will stay fresh and edible for up to 10 days.
Beyond that stage, it’s best to toss the mushrooms out because they might upset your stomach. Even more so if you’re sensitive to certain kinds of food.
If you do not have plastic containers at home, a sealable bag or pouch will also work that is refrigerator-friendly and food-grade.
Cooked mushrooms attract bacteria faster than uncooked mushrooms. This means keeping the mushroom at room temperature for longer than 2 hours is a bad idea. If the mushrooms start to smell or look odd, toss them out immediately. Keeping them in the fridge is just going to accelerate the rotting process and the bacterial infestation.
While it’s true that there are many varieties of mushrooms and not all of them go bad in the same manner. The duration of freshness depends on the type and size of mushrooms you’re talking about.
But based on my research, these are the best tips to follow to keep mushrooms fresh. And on average, mushrooms last for 7 to 10 days in the fridge. And for months in the freezer in sealable bags.