Reishi mushrooms are no ordinary mushrooms and are not consumed the same way as regular mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms are hailed as a superfood for their medicinal properties.
They have been used as medicine in tea and various concoctions and tinctures, owing to their great benefits.
Unlike other edible mushrooms, Reishi mushrooms can go bad pretty fast after harvesting and need to be dried immediately to store. Luckily, we are here to help you how to dry Reishi mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms are very hard and have a texture similar to wood.
These mushrooms have various species and are lauded as the magical find by foragers. In Chinese culture, these mushrooms are glorified as the king of mushrooms for their vast medicinal properties.
If you have stumbled across these mushrooms and are wondering how to store them and consume them properly, then we have you covered.
Keep reading to find out how to dry Reishi mushrooms with our excellent methods!
Why Do You Need to Dry Reishi Mushrooms?
To preserve mushrooms for a longer period and increase their shelf life, they are dried or dehydrated and stored for later use. Just like other food products, mushrooms can go bad after a while.
To prevent them from going bad, they can be dried and preserved for much longer.
In the case of seasonal mushrooms like Reishi, you cannot use all the harvest in one sitting. Moreover, Reishi mushrooms tend to spoil at a much faster pace. So, foragers harvest these mushrooms and dry them to use at a later time.
Reishi mushrooms have excellent medicinal properties, and drying them brings out all the essence.
It makes it easier for them to be used in teas, tinctures, and various other foods.
You can add the dried mushroom powder to soups, food, teas, etc.; if you have harvested Reishi mushrooms, read our guide to learn how to dry Reishi mushrooms.
How to Dry Reishi Mushrooms? | 3 Stepwise Methods!
You can use various methods to dry your Reishi mushrooms depending on your resources and the number of mushrooms that need to be dried.
Our gardening experts have put together a very helpful and elaborate guide on how to dry Reishi mushrooms using different methods and step-by-step instructions.
Keep reading to find out!
1. Using a Dehydrator
Follow these steps to learn how to dry Reishi mushrooms using a dehydrator.
Wash the Mushrooms
The first step is washing and cleaning the mushrooms thoroughly to eliminate any dirt or debris.
- There could be tiny insects hiding in the gills of mushrooms, so it is essential to clean them.
- Take a sharp knife and trim all the parts.
- Remove the stems and put them aside.
- Please do not throw away the stems, as they are nutritious and delicious and can be used in cooking.
- Clean the mushrooms with fresh water and then dry them on paper towels to eliminate excess water.
The next step is to cut them.
Cutting the Mushrooms
Follow these steps:
- Once they are washed, cut them into smaller pieces.
- Slice the mushrooms into pieces of 1cm thickness. It will make the process of drying much faster and more efficient.
- The thicker the slices are, the longer they will take in dehydration; therefore, it is best practice to keep them evenly thin.
- While slicing, maintain the thickness of all pieces; otherwise, you will receive inconsistent results, as the thinner pieces will dry out much faster than the thicker ones.
Now, plant them in the dehydrator.
Place the Mushrooms on the Trays of the Dehydrator
After the mushrooms are sliced, they are ready to be dehydrated.
- Place the slices on the trays of the dehydrator in a single layer.
- Do not overcrowd or layer them over each other.
- Leave enough spaces between the mushrooms to allow circulation of air.
For the final step…
Dehydrate the Reishi Mushrooms
After layering the trays, please place them in the dehydrator and turn it on.
- Before you place the trays in, ensure that there is no excessive water in the mushrooms.
- If you notice moisture, dry them again between the paper towels.
- Now set the trays and start the dehydrator on low setting.
- Maintain a temperature between 37 to 57 degrees Celsius.
- Usually, dehydration takes somewhere between 4 to 12 hours for the mushrooms. This time may vary depending on the thickness of slices, the type of mushroom, and the number of mushrooms placed in the dehydrator.
- For evenly sliced pieces of Reishi mushrooms, 4 to 8 hours will suffice for complete dehydration.
- You can check the mushrooms for their crisp consistency. Properly dried mushrooms will be crispy and crack easily.
- If they don’t crack, they still have moisture and need to be dehydrated again.
After they are dried and ready to be stored, grind them and store them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag.
2. Using a Baking Oven
If you do not own a dehydrator, then don’t worry!
Using a baking oven, you can still learn how to dry your Reishi mushrooms easily.
Wash the Mushrooms and Dry Them
The first few steps of drying mushrooms using an oven are similar to using a dehydrator.
First, wash and clean the mushrooms thoroughly, then dry them using paper towels. Once they are dried, trim them and slice them into thin pieces.
Preheat the Oven
Here’s what to do:
- Before placing in your mushrooms, preheat the oven to 60 degrees Celsius.
- When drying mushrooms using an oven or a dehydrator, remember not to exceed the temperature from 60 degrees, as any temperature higher than that will likely destroy the active ingredients of the mushrooms.
- Use a consistently low temperature to dry the mushrooms to achieve effective results and bring out the most vital ingredients of the mushrooms.
- Maintaining a temperature as low as 65 degrees can also work because different ovens have different temperatures.
- Leave the door of the oven slightly open to allow the circulation of air.
It would be best to use an oven thermometer to regulate the temperature inside the oven and ensure that it does not get overheated and ruin the mushrooms.
Place the Mushrooms on Baking Trays
Please take a few baking trays and line them with some parchment paper. Leave ample room between the slices and avoid overcrowding. Now place these baking sheets in the preheated oven.
Bake-Dry the Mushrooms
After the oven has been preheated for at least one hour, place the mushrooms and let them dry.
- Make sure the temperature is set at the minimum range.
- Let the mushrooms dry in the oven for at least 8 hours.
- Since the mushrooms are sitting flat on the baking tray, it is best to toss and turn them over in between to ensure all pieces are drying consistently.
- Check them to see if they are dried properly.
- If they feel leathery and do not crack with a crisp, then they probably need more time to be dried.
The mushrooms should easily crack when they dry. After they are dried, store them in airtight jars.
3. Air Drying the Mushrooms
The third and easiest method of drying the mushrooms is air drying them.
This method requires no resources or equipment. If you do not have an oven or a dehydrator, then air drying is your way.
Though air drying can be a little time-consuming, it can still give effective results, just like other methods.
Wash and Cut the Mushrooms
Repeat the first three steps as above and clean the mushrooms thoroughly. After cleaning, dry them with paper towels and slice them into thin pieces.
When air drying mushrooms, be extra careful to absorb excess moisture.
Place them on Trays or Strings
Air drying does not require much fancy equipment and is cheaper than other methods since it consumes no gas or electricity.
- Just slice the mushrooms lengthwise and place them in a container such as a basket or a tray.
- Then place these containers in sunlight or anywhere with good air circulation, ample sunlight hours, and low humidity.
- Another way of air-drying mushrooms is by stringing them on pieces of thread.
- For this method, take clean threads, sterilize a needle, and start stringing the mushrooms on the threads.
- Leave enough spaces between the slices of the mushrooms.
- This method helps to the best flavor in the mushrooms; however, it can be a little time-consuming.
- Depending on your climate, the air-drying method can take a couple of days.
That would be all!
If you want to enjoy the most flavorful mushrooms all year round and obtain the maximum benefits of their medicinal properties, then drying them is the way to go.
Reishi mushrooms have been hailed as a powerful medicinal superfood and have been used for centuries to cure various illnesses.
If you come across Reishi mushrooms while foraging, you can harvest them and store them all year round. With our elaborate guide, we have covered excellent methods on how to dry Reishi mushrooms and store them for later use.
Let us know which method you used and how you plan on using your dried Reishi mushrooms.
For further queries, ask our experts in the comments below!