How Long To Boil Mushrooms

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There is no right way when it comes to cooking mushrooms. Some people like to grill or sauté them, others boil them, and others steam them, but they’re always delicious.

Boiling seems to be a common method. You can think of boiling mushrooms in the same way as you would if you cook pasta – except, mushrooms will take way less time to cook. 

Mushrooms come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. Each of them has a different cook time, but there are a few strategies that you can use to generalize the cooking method. We’ll discuss these techniques below. 

How long do you boil mushrooms? Mushrooms should be put in boiling water for about 10 minutes, generally speaking. However, the time can vary depending on the type of mushroom and your desired result.

If you want to properly cook them and extract the most benefit out of their flavor and texture then read on below.

Choosing Your Mushrooms

There are a lot of types of mushrooms. For example, porcinis, white button mushrooms, portobellos, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, and many, many more. 

Whatever the type, mushrooms go great with a wide variety of meat and vegetable recipes.

If you want, you can even cook them by frying them in either hot oil or butter. Many cuisines from around the world use mushrooms foods like curries, stir fry, soups and stews, and pastas.

Mushrooms can be cooked in different ways, but for the sake of convenience, we will be discussing a technique that will cook every type of mushroom the right way – without going into technicalities.

Different Ways To Boil Mushrooms

Before we discuss the steps to boil mushrooms, let’s first look at the important terminology. When boiling, the term “rolling boil” is seen very often and you may have even heard it on cooking shows.

A rolling boil refers to water that has a bubbling surface. This is important because a rolling boil signifies that the water is ready to cook food without the presence of bacteria. 

Water boils at a temperature of 212°F, but the great thing is that 99.99% of all the germs and bacteria will die at around a temperature of 158°F, as stated by the CDC.

But to be sure, it is always recommended to bring the water to a boil for at least 3 minutes before using it. 

When you add mushrooms to a pot of boiling water, they will immediately start to cook.

Even the toughest of mushrooms won’t last more than 15-20 minutes in a pot without being overcooked. This is why it is important to monitor the mushrooms as they boil.

When mushrooms cook, they change their texture and color. They can become darker and softer as the plant fibers start to loosen up.

This makes them less chewy and more flavorful. The best way to know when mushrooms are done cooking in boiling water is to compare them with pasta.

You will want the mushrooms to cook until they are “al dente” which is a state described for pasta and rice where they are cooked but still firm when chewed.

It’s an Italian term that means “to the tooth,” so if you chew on the boiled mushrooms and they feel just about done, take them off the heat.

Using Boiled Mushrooms

Now, there are different routes that you can take to use these boiled mushrooms.

For example, some recipes call for steamed mushrooms that are firm and chewy while others call for a soft and supple consistency. The type of dish that you make will determine the desirable characteristics of the mushrooms. 

If you want them to cook completely, then cook them for another 5 minutes after they have reached the al dente state. 

If you want to further cook them or sauté them in a recipe, then just boil them until they are almost done and take them out.

Run the mushrooms under cold water and let them sit for a while. Once cool, they will be ready to use in any recipe. 

Al dente mushrooms will not break apart when along with the other ingredients. If you use overly cooked mushrooms then they will likely break apart and lose their texture when further cooked. 

These boiled mushrooms can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Make sure you store the mushrooms by drying them with a paper towel and then keeping them in an air-tight jar. For best results, try to consume the mushrooms within 48 hours. 

Storing Cooked Mushrooms

If you want to store the mushrooms for longer, then as soon as you boil them, pat them dry with a paper towel and keep them in an air-tight container. You can deep-freeze the mushrooms. They will remain edible for about 2 months. 

Manufacturers use multiple methods to store canned mushrooms. For example, you will find many canned mushrooms to be suspended in a solution of salt and water.

This is to preserve the mushrooms and to create an inhospitable environment for bacteria and fungi. 

How To Boil Mushrooms

Here’s a quick rundown of how to cook any type of mushroom:

  1. Properly clean the mushrooms by running them under cold water. Lightly tap the head of the mushroom to get all the dirt out of it. While most mushrooms won’t need to be cleaned this thoroughly, it is a good habit to get into when dealing with these edible fungi. 
  2. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil by allowing it to bubble for about 15 minutes. Make sure the water boils properly; you will probably see a lot of bubbles on the top. Add in a bit of salt and then place the mushrooms in the water.
  3. Boil the mushrooms for about 10 minutes and check to see their consistency. They should be al dente, meaning that they are cooked but still firm. The mushrooms may also become a bit darker once cooked. Do not overcook them, as they can become very rubbery when overcooked. 
  4. Take the mushrooms out and place them on a paper towel. Pat-dry them until all the moisture is gone and then use them in any way you like! 

You can store the mushrooms in an air-tight container in the fridge or the freezer. Make sure that the mushrooms remain dry and try to consume them within 48-72 hours. 

Here’s a quick table for cooking times:

QuantityCooking Time
½ pound (220-250g) mushrooms12-15 minutes 
1-pound large mushrooms15 minutes
2.2 pounds (1kg) large mushrooms15-20 minutes

When boiling mushrooms, make sure that you have a large pot so that the mushrooms don’t bump into each other while boiling.

You would also want to boil them undisturbed, which means that you shouldn’t move them a lot while they are boiling.

Just put them in the pot and let the water do its thing. When the mushrooms are cooked, they will change their color slightly and become tender but will remain firm. This quality is what you should be looking for in cooked mushrooms. 

Uncooked mushrooms will also be tougher to chew and may also cause digestion issues while undercooked mushrooms may shrivel up and become rubbery. You can add salt to the water as you cook the mushrooms to give them a light taste.

Using Mushrooms In Stock

You can also cook the mushrooms in soups to give them an even fuller flavor. The best way to go about this is to make the soup stock and cook it until it’s done.

Then simply add the mushrooms to the soup and let them cook with the soup for about 12-15 minutes or until tender. 

The mushrooms will lend their flavor to the stock and will take on some of the flavors of the soup as well. You can also chop up the mushrooms and add them to the stock for the same effect.

Be mindful when using canned mushrooms, as they are already cooked and most of them are provided in a liquid suspension of salt and water. This means that they might need to be cleared of the extra salt before you use them in your recipe. 

To do this, simply run the canned mushrooms under cold water using a fine mesh sift. Canned mushrooms should always be added at the end of the cooking process so that they don’t overcook and break apart or become rubbery. 

A great strategy for canned mushrooms is to first lightly sauté them in butter for 2-3 minutes and then add them at the end to soups, sauces, or salads.

The mushrooms will lend their flavor to anything that they are added to and you won’t need to worry about cooking them either. 

Furthermore, when making soups and using mushrooms as a stock, you should probably add fresh mushrooms halfway through making the stock so that the mushrooms don’t overcook.

They will release a significant amount of their flavor even when cooked for 10-15 minutes. 

How To Reuse Boiled Mushrooms

If you have boiled a batch of mushrooms and would like to reuse them, then follow our storage strategy above for the best results. However, when it comes time to thaw the mushrooms, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First, if you are using refrigerated mushrooms, then simply run them under cold water for about 2-3 minutes and dry them using a paper towel. Once dry, the mushrooms will be ready to be added to any recipe. 

Additionally, if you want to reuse boiled mushrooms after 1 month, then we recommend that you freeze them using the instructions mentioned above. Thawing frozen mushrooms is easy.

You can either just add them to the recipe while they are frozen so that they can melt and cook with the food, or you could also put them in the fridge overnight so that they are easier to work with the next day.

Simply run them under cold water and they will be ready to be used. You can even thaw mushrooms in the microwave.

Set your microwave at its “thaw” setting and let them thaw for about 4-5 minutes. Check the mushrooms periodically to see if they have thawed completely. Once tender, simply pat them dry with a paper towel and use them as needed. 

Final Thoughts

Boiling mushrooms may seem like a daunting task, given that there are so many types of mushrooms available in the market – but it is fairly straightforward to cook them at home.

Cooking them in a rolling boil will prove to be the best way to cook mushrooms and to ensure that they are bacteria-free. However, if you are new to cooking and would rather use canned mushrooms then that’s fine as well.

Canned mushrooms are usually pre-cooked unless the package indicates otherwise, so, they don’t need to be cooked a lot and can be added to recipes at the end. Remember, most fresh mushrooms will be done in about 10-15 minutes and you can also look for signs to see if they have cooked thoroughly. 

At the end of the day, the consistency, texture, and bite of the mushrooms will depend on your taste after the initial 5-minute mark, so you can experiment with different boiling times to see what works best for you. 

Related Questions

Can you boil mushrooms for 1 hour?

Yes, you can boil fresh mushrooms for up to 1 hour to make a stock. Mushrooms can either be cooked for 10-15 minutes if they are intended for further use or they can also be completely rendered in stock. 

Are pre-boiled mushrooms available on the market?

Yes, you can find pre-cooked mushrooms in the supermarket. These mushrooms will usually be canned and will have cooking instructions at the back of the packaging as well.

Canned mushrooms are usually suspended in a mixture of water and salt to preserve them. 

You can use the mushrooms by running them under tap water to remove the excess salt and then adding them to the recipe at the end as they won’t need much time to cook through. 

Can you dehydrate and store boiled mushrooms?

Yes. Boiled mushrooms can be first boiled and then dehydrated. The dried mushrooms can be used in a number of recipes and can also be turned into a fine powder that can be used as a seasoning for multiple recipes. 

Up Next: Best Mushrooms For Pasta

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