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Old May 13, 2011, 10:23 am   #1
Weioo
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Name: Brandon
Southern, Michigan USA
Oakland County
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Dehydration Help

I'm looking to see exactly how people dehydrate their shrooms. My wife and I found a good amount finally, last night. We rushed home to watch the wings and didn't have much time to research last night... So I assumed people normally soak them in salt water to get rids of bugs/dirt (we did this for 35-45 minutes, but I'm afraid we used too much salt - Many were rather squishy/slimey after the soak) and then throw them in the dehydrator WITHOUT slicing them.

This is what we did and they looked pretty good, but not quite done by this morning.

Did I do this the right way or is there a reason some felt squishy/slimey after the soak? Too much salt in the water, maybe? Do people normally slice them in half to get rid of possible inner bugs/dirt?

Thanks,
Brandon
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Old May 13, 2011, 10:58 am   #2
ndfan1964
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Cass County
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Re: Dehydration Help

Unlike most, I don't use salt water when I soak them. I'm just afraid that the salt would affect the taste; probably wrong on my part, but oh well. I ALWAYS cut them in half after an overnight soak, thus revealing any bugs that may have hidden away. Another good reason to slice them (at least in relation to the half frees) is to make absolutely positive that they aren't Verpas.

I like to take a needle and fishing line and thread them, then hang them in front of a fan for maybe 2 days. After that, I put them in zip lock bags. I've kept them that way for up to a year, and they've been fine.

I have also frozen them right after soaking. This works OK if you plan on using them within a month or so. The problem is that they tend to freeze into a solid mass after too much time in the freezer. It does help to make sure they are dry, then dust them in flour. When it's time to cook them, go straight from the freezer to the frying pan, do not thaw. But all in all, dehydrating them is the best method, in my opinion.
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Old May 13, 2011, 11:10 am   #3
Rustydel2
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Re: Dehydration Help

Well i don't use salt in the water to get the bugs out, i get a large pan,put a bunch in it and walsh off all the dirt and bugs i can, and strain them and do all of them this way. Then i cut them in half -1 at a time and rince out the inside with running water in the sink, again i put them in a water bath swish them around a little more to remove more sand or whatever.Then i strain them again, put them on some clean towels to dry a little-then i put them in my dehydrator. Seems like a lot of work, but it worth it as you have many hours and $dollars invested in finding them.
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Old May 13, 2011, 1:20 pm   #4
Weioo
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Re: Dehydration Help

Thanks for responding, next time I won't use the salt water, I think that caused the smushy/soggy problem. Hopefully these will be good rehydrated, I don't see why not.

I wish we washed them a 2nd time because we threw about 100 half frees into our largest cooking pot with about a gallon of water and a couple tablespoons of salt. The water was DDDIIIIRRRTTTYYY!!!! However, the wings game, being game 7 and coming back after all, held far more priority last night. Too bad I'm regretting that NOW... lol

I figured we may have missed a couple bugs. Plenty of snails were trying to escape the mesh bag on our way home and I think most got out. My wife got rid of about a dozen rolly pollies that came to the surface, and I figured whatever we missed would simply be dehydrated protein and we likely wouldn't even know it was there, lol...I just hope I got the dirt! The last thing I want to eat is sandy shrooms!

We didn't slice them because we had some rather small shrooms and didn't have the time before the wings started.... I mean, we left them whole and they will probably dehydrate to the size of a pea. I couldn't imagine something is worth keeping if it dehydrated to HALF the size of a pea....

Always looking for help and suggestions. :)
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Old May 14, 2011, 8:21 am   #5
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Re: Dehydration Help

My 1st hint would be to be a bit more careful when picking. Be sure you cut the morels from it's base root. Then when you have it in your hand, blow off or scrape off most of the dirt. At that time you should be able to spot any critters and remove them.
When you get them home, slice them in half (whites, grays and larger blacks) and rinse in cool running water. That should take care of most problems. Then let them dry off awhile on a strainer before putting them to dehydrate. Good luck! :)
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Old May 15, 2011, 4:28 am   #6
MisterNatural
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Re: Dehydration Help

I dry mine, sliced in half, unwashed, until they're bone dry at the lowest temperature setting. Mushrooms that are going to be dehydrated should not be washed.

All the bugs and most of the dirt will fall off when drying and the rest will come off when rehydrating.
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Old May 15, 2011, 5:11 am   #7
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Re: Dehydration Help

I better NOT catch you rinsing them Debbie! LOL (Debbie is my wife)

My method is more in line with Mister Natural. Slice the large ones and just dry them.

However I think in lower (warmer) parts of Michigan there are more bug/slugs to deal with. So in that case I would split the mushrooms and just brush off the critters. I still wouldn't wash them unless absolutely necessary. In my book you are just wasting the flavor of black morels by soaking and washing. Then when when you rehydrate them you lose more flavor.

Save all the flavor you can, including straining your rehydrating water to use in your gravy or sauce.

Believe me, you eat equal to, or worse stuff, than a little bug track or dried slug stuff every time you shop at a grocery store or eat in a restaurant.

Here is a hint for those folks who get the sand filled morels.
Dry them and put them in a container and shake them around to loosen the sand. It will fall to the bottom of the container. Then take them out and blow them off before storing. When it comes time to rehydrate, put them in a jar half filled with water and shake them again. Again the sand will settle to the bottom and you can remove the morels after they are ready to cook and then strain the grit out of the water, so that you can use it in cooking too.
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Old May 15, 2011, 8:01 am   #8
Justapickin
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Name: Gary
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Re: Dehydration Help

An unused cosmetic brush works well for brushing them off also.As far as critter being in them no problem here...you know whats in bologna don't ya. :>)
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Old May 16, 2011, 10:43 pm   #9
darby
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Name: darby
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Re: Dehydration Help

when we dehydrate, most times its on news paper on picnic table in the sun, and the best surprise of doing it that way, the next year we found mushrooms growing under the table! ! YUM YUM!! Tried the stringing on fishing line, but found was to much hard work, but it does work, also in the lucky years, when we find too many to eat fresh and give away, my husband Greg made me a special "end table" with screen in for the top, and put in garage with fan over top of them, dryed overnight, carefully stirred next morning and kept fan on them til dried..worked great!
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Old May 17, 2011, 4:42 am   #10
Frank
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Re: Dehydration Help

Here is the results of a tag search for preserving. It may help you.

We use a dehydrator now, but my favorite is still the screen and fan method. Pretty much does it in almost the same time, but it does take up more room than a dehydrator. I think they rehydrate much more to normal using air drying than with the heat drying. But sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. Right?

If ya don't have a screen, try the newspaper or paper towel thing (I'd avoid the colored pages). Ya don't have to have a fan directly on them either. Just have one going to keep air flow. If paper towels or news paper, be sure to turn them over a couple of times to get even drying with no damp spots.

I've stored mine for years in jars, zip lock bags this way.

I will say this. When it comes to rehydrating them again for use. Try to put them in cool Water and leave in fridge over night.
Remember... it took hours to get all the moisture out of the cells, so you should allow hours to restore that moisture. They'll be more tender that way than they are soaked in warm water for 20 or 30 minutes.
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