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What Are the Best Tips for Canning Mushrooms?

By Malysa Stratton Louk
Updated May 16, 2024
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Canning mushrooms is a convenient and efficient method of preserving fresh mushrooms in large quantities. It is important to note, however, that canning mushrooms can deteriorate their quality and may cause the mushrooms to become soft and rubbery in texture. If texture is a concern or if there is less than 8 pounds of mushrooms to process, then freezing may be a better option. Canning mushrooms require the use of a properly working pressure canner and pint or half-pint canning jars. Proper selection, preparation and processing times are essential for safely canning fresh mushrooms at home.

For starters, one should only choose fresh edible mushrooms, such as those sold in the grocery stores, for canning. The most common varieties of canning mushrooms are white button mushrooms and brown cremini or Italian mushrooms. Chanterelle, Enoki, Hen of the Woods, Morel, Oyster, Porcini, Portabella, Shiitake and Wood Ear mushrooms also are edible and suitable for canning. One should select only the freshest mushrooms — those that are firm, evenly colored and clean — and give them minimal storage time — preferably less than a day — before canning. The mushrooms should be rinsed and dried; large mushrooms should be sliced or quartered, while small mushrooms can be canned whole but should be consistent in size with other mushrooms in the jar. The mushrooms then should be placed in a solution of ascorbic acid and cold water to help maintain the mushroom’s natural color.

Pint or half-pint jars are commonly used to can mushrooms, depending on the amount of mushrooms a person expects to use at one time and the total amount of mushrooms to can. Approximately 8 pounds (3.6kg) of mushrooms are needed for nine half-pint jars and approximately 15 pounds (6.8kg) are needed for nine pint jars. Quart jars are generally not recommended for canning mushrooms, unless they are being pickled. The clean, raw mushrooms are next packed into the hot jars and cover with hot water, leaving a 1-inch headspace. The jars should be processed in a properly working pressure canner under approximately 12 pounds of pressure for 45 minutes, though one should check the proper pressure based on altitude prior to beginning.

Pickling mushrooms is another method of canning mushrooms. It is simple and ideal for smaller batches, because it does not require a full load in the boiling water bath canner. Distilled white vinegar with 5 percent acidity, or 50 grain, combined with an equal amount of water will pickle small, fresh mushrooms.

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Discussion Comments
By umbra21 — On Jun 22, 2013
@bythewell - It is possible to teach yourself how to pick the right kinds of mushrooms as long as you are extremely careful about it.

But I would encourage people who don't have easy access to woodland to just grow their own. I think it's a shame more people don't do this, as all you need is a broom closet worth of space and even the smallest inner city apartment can provide that.

Specialty mushrooms tend to be fairly expensive, so growing them can keep you on a budget. And they grow fairly quickly and abundantly, so canning them is a great idea.

By bythewell — On Jun 21, 2013

@Ana1234 - Just make absolutely sure you know that the mushrooms you're about to eat are a safe kind. Don't just look it up in a book, find an expert and get them to tell you which ones are safe. There will almost always be someone in your area who knows what you can eat and what you can't eat.

There have been too many tragic stories of people thinking they were being healthy and thrifty and who die from eating the wrong kind of mushroom. And pickling or canning won't make a difference, so don't rely on preparation to save you either.

By Ana1234 — On Jun 20, 2013

Remember that a pound of mushrooms is actually quite a large amount because most kinds of mushrooms are really not that heavy. So unless you've got a whole lot growing in the backyard, or your local grocery store is having a sale, I would stick with freezing them.

With that said, even though it doesn't seem that obvious in the grocery store, most mushrooms do have a season. They can be easily grown at any time of the year, so you won't notice that many fluctuations in price, but if you know the right season and you have friends with access to a mushroom patch, it probably won't bother them if you respectfully go and get a few bags for the cupboard.

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