Do you wash your fresh mushrooms before using them?

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  1. xstatic profile image60
    xstaticposted 10 years ago

    Do you wash your fresh mushrooms before using them?

    I asked about rice and got a lot of answers from rinsers and non-rinsers. Now I wonder about mushrooms. We use a lot of fresh mushrooms in cooking and salads. I used to buy the really white ones, they looked cleaner of course. But the brown, Crimini mushrooms have much more flavor. Yet, they are brown and kind of dirty looking, same with Shitakis which are delicious. "Real" mushroom people say you should use a little brush and gently brush the junk off. Also, if you wash mushrooms in water, they absorb much liquid and lose flavor. Soooo, what do you do? Wash, brush or nothing  ?

  2. freecampingaussie profile image61
    freecampingaussieposted 10 years ago

    Well I take them out of the bag, slice them up and cook them then eat them ! If they are a bit older I peel them . Never mentioned washing them in my hub about mushrooms either . Having some tonight with T Bone steak - yum !
    With rice I now only rinse it as it is supposed to cook better says my husband -never did before !

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Steack and mushrooms are a great combo! With the rice, I notice how the water is quite cloudy when you rinse.

  3. Rosemay50 profile image59
    Rosemay50posted 10 years ago

    Crimini are just a more mature white mushroom, left to grow for longer for more flavour. I never wash mine, just brush them and peel them if needed.  Washing and peeling just takes some of the flavour away.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Rosemary, I heard about losing flavor too, so that prpmpted the question. Thanks!

  4. KawikaChann profile image81
    KawikaChannposted 10 years ago

    A quick rinse to remove dirt, peel if needed - hardly if it's nice and fresh, and straight to cooking.  With white mushrooms I'm a little rough with them, all others, I handle with kid gloves as far as cleaning is concerned.   Peace.  Kawi.

  5. lburmaster profile image74
    lburmasterposted 10 years ago

    Brush. My husband and I cook mushrooms in butter and bacon grease every Saturday morning as a little celebration that we have the day off together. We first cleaned them in water, which we do for everything because we both are OCD and germ/clean crazy, but they didn't taste so good. So we now brush them gently with only a little water to get the dirt off, then pat them with a paper towel to see if we missed any spots.

  6. Brandi Cooper profile image61
    Brandi Cooperposted 10 years ago

    It's perfectly okay to wash mushrooms before you eat them (they don't really absorb that much liquid - you can weigh them before and after to see). The probably isn't loss of flavor through water absorption so much as it's a loss of flavor/aroma through the removal of spores, etc. When you wash (or rub too harshly), you scrape/rinse away the spores that reside on the outer part of the mushrooms, which can result in a loss of flavor/aroma. You can, instead, gently brush them with a damp paper towel - but the truth is that, for the most part, store-bought mushrooms aren't really that dirty anyway.

    Washing vs brushing vs leaving them untouched will really only yield a minimal difference in flavor, etc. The worst you could do while washing/brushing would be to bruise or damage the mushroom itself, but that wouldn't mess with the flavor too much either. So it's really just a personal preference.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That is good to know. Apparently there is a wide range of opinions on mushroom washing as well as rice rinsing.

  7. Amy Becherer profile image67
    Amy Bechererposted 10 years ago

    I'm no expert, by any means, xstatic, but in my "cooking" days, I washed them to remove any obvious grit under the running water and let them dry on a paper towel before tossing into a salad or cooking.  I didn't scrub with a brush, but merely used my clean hands under running water to avoid abrading the tender exterior of the mushrooms. 

    It seems that fresh produce today is host to more bacteria (e-coli) than in the past, most likely due to less green space and the closer proximity of nearby farm animals to gardened areas.  Many restaurants no longer offer scallions or sprouts due to bacterial contamination that infiltrates the plans through the root system.  This, unfortunately, cannot be obliterated via any washing mechanism, including scrubbing.  It is literally part of the produce. I haven't heard of anyone acquiring e-coli from mushrooms and the only danger seems to be with poisoning due to uninformed mushroom hunters.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Our local "wild" mushroom seller was one who insisted that they should only be lightly brushed, so I went to a kitchen store, and was surprised to find a variety of specific mushroom brushes, had to buy one of course.

  8. AustralianNappies profile image80
    AustralianNappiesposted 10 years ago

    I wash and peel them.  I don't notice a big difference in the flavour by doing so as it's only a thin outer layer which I remove.

  9. bethperry profile image85
    bethperryposted 10 years ago

    I always wash mine. Considering what a lot of them are grown in I just wouldn't feel comfortable not not washing them.

  10. SimpleJoys profile image68
    SimpleJoysposted 10 years ago

    Yes I do wash mushrooms. As quickly as possible because they do absorb water. Looking at the water left behind from the mushrooms always makes me glad I have washed them.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Understandable. Are those white ones or crimini?

  11. moonfairy profile image75
    moonfairyposted 10 years ago

    I never wash my mushrooms, I gently wipe them off with a paper towel and make sure all the grit is off. I do this only because I heard many years ago that you should not wash mushrooms, ever. I do this with the white, the Crimini and the Shitakis.

  12. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 10 years ago

    Just recently I participated in a cooking school class and the chef told us to clean any kind of mushroom with a paper towel and do not rinse.  I had always used a wet vegetable brush and now I don't.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      If the chef says so, that may be good enough for me.

  13. janshares profile image95
    jansharesposted 10 years ago

    Yes I do. I rinse the white and the crimini. However, because I like buying loose mushrooms,  I'm less concerned with the grit and more concerned about rinsing off germs from others. Everything needs to be rinsed in this day and age of flus, viruses, staph, ecoli, and salmonella.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      All that stuff worries me as well...

  14. Diana Grant profile image91
    Diana Grantposted 10 years ago

    I only wash mushrooms if they look dirty or smell. Occasionally I peel all or part of them for the same reason.  But I do sometimes think not washing is a bit foolhardy, because you don't know where they've been or who handled them last and whether they washed their hands after going to the toilet.   Nonetheless, I have never been ill after eating them

  15. Kaili Bisson profile image97
    Kaili Bissonposted 10 years ago

    Hi xstatic,
    I guess I must be a "real" mushrrom person. I gently brush them off with a paper towel or with my special little mushroom brush, never wash them, as they absorb water which makes them lose their flavor. I can't imagine why anyone would peel a mushroom.

    Having said that, I would never eat a raw mushroom. I think it is important to cook them properly to make certain that any harmful bacteria is gone.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I have never peeled, but have been a washer at times.

  16. MissJamieD profile image59
    MissJamieDposted 10 years ago

    You're not supposed to wash them with water, you should wipe them off with a towel.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I am surprised at all the differnet opinions on this, but it is interesting.

  17. Neinahpets profile image81
    Neinahpetsposted 10 years ago

    Never because mushrooms tend to absorb liquids and take on the flavor of whatever they do; and if it's water.. I feel it will keep them bland.  I do however, peel the outer skin from them to get rid of the dirty parts.

    1. xstatic profile image60
      xstaticposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I used some Criminis in the soup I made for lunch today, and as various chefs recommend only brushed them off and sliced them. These answers have really been interesting and varied.

    2. Neinahpets profile image81
      Neinahpetsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Brushing will work just as good as peeling.  I used to only brush them off my my mother in law recently showed me the peeling the outer skin method.. of course she gets rid of the stem too, but I think that's a waste.

  18. Sn Hang profile image57
    Sn Hangposted 10 years ago

    sure! as I find a lot of dust there! for UK restaurants searching!


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