Morel mushrooms are a type of wild European mushrooms, and they are edible. Morels have a short season, weeks in some areas, so they always need drying as a preservation method. After drying, the morel mushrooms can last up to six months when stored correctly in tight containers placed in a dark room. Before drying the morel mushrooms, you need to clean them to get rid of the grit. Cleaning the morel mushrooms includes soaking them in cold water, moving them around inside the water, then removing them from the water and leaving the grit behind. Then, drain the water and pat it dry using a kitchen towel before drying it using either of the methods below.
Drying Morel Mushrooms With Food Dehydrator
Using a food dehydrator is the best method of drying your morel mushrooms. After you have cleaned and drained water from the morel mushrooms, space them out on the dehydrator racks, set your dehydrator at 135–150 Fahrenheit, and then let them dry for about 10 hours. Ensure the morel mushrooms are properly dry and brittle, then you can store them in a tight container inside a dark room.
Air Drying of Morel Mushrooms
This is the simplest and oldest method of drying your morel mushrooms because it does not need any equipment. You take a thread and a needle; then, you knot the string at each end of the morel mushrooms; this will keep them in place. Ensure you leave enough spaces between the morel mushrooms; this will give room for proper drying. You then hang the strings in a cool and dry place, and leave your morels to air dry for up to one week. By then, they will be completely dry and brittle, ready for storage.
Oven Drying Morel Mushrooms
The oven-drying technique is an easy and effective method of drying your morel mushrooms at home. You can either place the cleaned morel mushrooms on the oven racks or put them to hang from the oven racks. You are then required to heat your oven to 130–1440 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 hours to allow the morel mushrooms to be dehydrated and brittle. When the morel mushrooms are well dried, you can store them in tight containers for future use.
Drying Morel Mushrooms Using a Fan
You can dry your morel mushrooms at home by using fans. You will first slice the mushrooms and then place them on a flat surface; then, you constantly blow the fan on the morel mushrooms. This method will take you days before the morel mushrooms dry completely.
Use Natural Heat to Dry Morel Mushrooms
It would help if you sliced your morel mushrooms into thin slices before starting this process. You can place them outside on screens, or you can put them in a dry place. Before storing the morels, ensure they are completely dried, and if you realize they still have moisture, leave them outside for a long while. This method will take you days before the morel mushrooms become completely dry and brittle.
Morel mushrooms have a unique honeycomb texture and shape with a smokey flavor, making them the star of many dishes. Drying morel mushrooms will make them last longer and enable you to enjoy them any day you want. Dried morel mushrooms can be easily re-hydrated when you need to cook them.