One of the biggest cooking debates that I’ve seen online recently is whether or not to wash your mushrooms before cooking them. Some people believe that not washing produce is unhealthy. While others believe that additional moisture ruins the texture, and dry brushing is good enough.

To wash or not to wash

To test whether or not they would actually absorb a significant percentage of water, the chefs at America’s Test Kitchen conducted an experiment. After rinsing six ounces of whole mushrooms only had an extra quarter ounce of water weight. Most of which could be dried off the surface of the mushrooms. In comparison rinsing six ounces of cut mushrooms absorbed significantly more water than whole mushrooms, causing the vegetable to become slimy and unpleasant to eat. Therefore, the recommendation is to wash and dry your produce right before you are ready to start cooking.

On the other hand, America’s Test Kitchen recommends against washing mushrooms if they are going to be served raw. This is because washing can cause discoloration in the produce. So for appearances sake, mushrooms should be cleaned with a dry, unused, toothbrush.

Mushroom tips

When shopping, it’s recommended that you go for loose produce as opposed to prepackaged. This is so each item can be inspected for quality. Look for whole, intact caps, and avoid discoloration and dry patches. Additionally, you should avoid any sour or fishy scents.

When storing mushrooms, either store them in the container that they came in. Or place them in a ziplock bag and leave it partially unzipped to maximize circulation. Don’t use or paper bag, or cover them in a damp paper towel.

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