Can You Freeze Morrel Mushrooms (And Exactly How To Do It)

The first thing to know when freezing your morrels is that you cannot freeze raw morrel mushrooms. Freezing your mushrooms raw is likely to ruin the flavor, but this won’t be detectable until they’re cooked and served, ruining the whole dish. There are two ways to prepare your morrels for freezing.

Aberration films ltd/science photo library/getty images morrels are edible wild mushrooms that are related to the truffle and prized by chefs and foodies alike. The earthy, nutty, and smokey flavor and unique honeycomb texture and shape make these wild mushrooms the star of any dish, especially since they need very little embellishment when cooked. Unfortunately, morrels have a short season, often just a few weeks in some areas—and some years there isn’t even a harvest. This is even more reason to preserve these favored fungi by drying them, so you can enjoy at any time. Luckily, it’s easy to dry morrels at home and can be stored in air-tight containers at room temperature for up to 6 months.

The boiling method for preserving morrels is simple. Place the whole mushrooms into a pot of boiling water and bring to a boil for around 5 minutes. Once boiled, pour the mushrooms into freezer bags, remove the air, seal, and freeze.

What is a Morrel mushroom?

Many people flock to wooded areas each spring in search of the morrel. The morchella esculenta, or morrel, is a wild mushroom that is found mainly in the upper regions of the united states such as michigan, indiana and wisconsin, although they can be found in almost any region except deserts and ocean coastlines. The morrel has a mild nutty flavor with minimal aftertaste. It is light on the palate and a welcome addition to many meals such as steak, eggs, sauces and salads.

Morrel mushrooms are one of the most highly regarded mushrooms in the world, but a lot of people might not know that morrel mushrooms aren’t actually farmed, they are only picked in the wild. Because of this, you can only get fresh morrel mushrooms in spring. Throughout the year, if you’re buying morrels, they’re going to be dried. However, one of the best things you can do is buy morrel mushrooms early in spring, and find a way to prepare them for storage yourself.

Morrels don’t grow well in dry, clay or sandy soils; they thrive in moist, dark, nutrient-rich soil. The richer the soil is, the more likely you will find a group of morrel mushrooms. They can also be found in areas of new growth such as areas affected by forest fires that haven’t yet been cleared out. The nutrients and fallen timber create good breeding grounds for morrel spores that have survived the devastation.

How to freeze Morrel mushrooms

So you may be asking yourself, ‘can you freeze morrel mushrooms?’ the answer is yes, you can freeze morrel mushrooms. It’s important to not freeze raw morrel mushrooms because they won’t maintain their flavor or texture when you reheat them. Boiling or sauteing the mushroom before freezing is the best way to prepare them. Keep reading to find out the step by step methods to preparing morrels for freezing.

April 10, 2020 mushroom recipes *we may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more. Maybe you found a cluster of morrels. Perhaps a friend gave you a bunch of fresh chanterelles. Or the supermarket is having a sale on fresh maitake. Great! but such an opportunity brings up some questions. How do i store my mushrooms long term?  can i freeze morrels? how long do mushrooms last in the fridge?  read on for the answers to these and many other questions about how to store mushrooms long term.

It’s best to prepare and freeze your morrels in 1-pound batches. This recipe assumes you’re working with about a pound of morrels. Leave the mushrooms in slightly salted water for 1-2 minutes, stirring or shaking occasionally. While you’re doing this, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan that is set to medium heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. The mushrooms should have released their liquid by the time they’re done.

freezing morrel mushrooms

Other ways to store Morrels

The fantastic thing about being able to store morrels in the freezer is that you can enjoy them even out of  season, which is spring. Following your mushroom recipes is always the best advice if you want to get the most out of your beautiful morrels. So, it would be wise to have a pack of sautéed, blanched, and steamed morrels in the freezer just to have all the options available.

Morrels, like all fungi and mushrooms, have an extremely short shelf life once picked. However, there are a variety of ways to store morrels for future use. Once picked, morrels should be washed, cleaned and refrigerated quickly if they are to be eaten or frozen for storage. Morrels (particularly those later in the picking season) are attractive to ants and other insects, both for the interior spores, and for the rough shelter they offer.

There are several ways to freeze morrels. We will discuss some methods here. You can choose one that you prefer. Before you choose either method, decide how much time you want to invest in the process and how long you want to store the morrel mushrooms for. Since morrel mushrooms have a unique flavor, freezing them the right way helps to preserve it.

How to defrost Morrel mushrooms

When it comes time to defrost your morrel mushrooms, do not leave them on the countertop, and definitely don’t put them in the oven or microwave. Instead, you should leave them in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the mushrooms to defrost slowly. Don’t worry if, after that hour, the mushrooms still seem frozen. As long as they’ve been given at least an hour to defrost, it’s safe to put them directly into your dish.

Defrosting morrels is easier than freezing morrels. All you need to do is place an airtight container in the fridge to melt the ice. After an hour or two, take out the morrel mushrooms and add them to whatever recipe you’re trying that day. Don’t worry if the mushrooms are still frosty because the heat will set them up alright.

Are there other ways to preserve Morrel mushrooms?

Danielle prewett apr 5, 2021 so you’ve found yourself with more wild mushrooms than you can eat in one sitting. That’s not a problem anyone complains about, but finding ways to preserve them can be a challenge. Dehydrating mushrooms is great for some particular varieties, but not for every species. That’s when freezing comes in handy. Can you freeze mushrooms? yes, you can freeze mushrooms, but some varieties are better than others. Choose varieties with firm flesh or that can retain their texture, like chanterelles, hedgehogs, morrels, chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, pheasant backs, and young oyster mushrooms. Mushroom tissue has a high water content and those molecules turn into crystals that rupture and damage the meat when they freeze.

If you have a bountiful harvest, whether by gathering in the wild or growing them, the next thing you should think of is how to store morrels. Proper storing is essential to preserve the taste and texture of these mushrooms. There are several ways of storing morrels. One common practice is drying morrels. But apart from that, another effective way to preserve and store these mushrooms is by freezing. This process may be seemingly simple but it can be tricky.

Can I pick my own Morrels?

If you’re lucky enough to have a freeze dryer, then freeze-drying your morrels is a fantastic option. A freeze-dried morrel will last at least 20 years and retain over 95% of its nutritional value. Even better, when they’re rehydrated, a freeze-dried morrel will be basically indistinguishable from a freshly picked one. A freeze-drying machine isn’t a small investment, but there’s no better way to preserve mushrooms.

So once you’ve figured out how to find morrel mushrooms, you may be wondering what to do with morrels after picking them. Because of their hollow interior, fresh morrels are very fragile and may keep only for up to a week with proper storage. It can be difficult figuring out how to clean morrel mushrooms, especially because they tend to deteriorate much more quickly after being washed. Generally, most recommend using a soft brush to remove dirt from the exterior before rinsing briefly with cold water and patting dry.

Considering that all morrels are picked wild rather than farmed, you can pick your own, but if you do not know what you’re doing, this is a risky activity. We’re going to repeat that. Unless you’re 100% sure what you’re picking, do not eat anything that you’ve picked yourself. There are many varieties of false morrel that appear very similar to real morrels, but they’re deadly poisonous.

If you love to add morrels to soups, then you will want to go with this method of freezing. Blanching is also known as parboiling. This means that you are partially boiling your food before they are thoroughly cooked. Because you’ll be boiling your mushrooms, you have the added benefit of getting rid of any dirt and bacteria. So, if you’ve collected your morrels from the wild, then you won’t need to clean them beforehand.

If you want the mushrooms to last for a long period, it’s better to steam them before freezing. For this method, i just add a teaspoon of lemon juice to boiling water and then dip whole mushrooms in it for 5 minutes. Then i use a steamer and place the mushrooms in it for another 5 minutes. I let them cool for a few minutes. In total, it takes me less than half an hour to get the mushrooms ready.

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