Cleaning Mushrooms–Kitchen Tip

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There seems to be some debate over the best way to clean mushrooms.  Some say you should never use water.  Others say it is okay to rinse them, just don’t soak them.  Still others say soaking them is fine.

I have gotten in the habit of not using water unless the mushrooms are particularly dirty.  In that case I will rinse them and give them a light rubbing under running water.


Occasionally I use a paper towel to wipe mushrooms, particularly if they are a damp.  Usually I use a stiff bristled pastry brush.  I keep a small one on hand just for this purpose.  Simply give the mushroom a good brushing, trim it, and it’s ready to go.

How do you clean mushrooms?

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  1. says

    I usually rinse mine in cold water one at a time, holding them so the water runs over the top but doesn’t soak in around the gills on the underside. Then, if they look sort of ragged, I pull the skin off the top. I may try wiping them like you suggest.

  2. says

    I also scrub them with a brush and only wash them if they look particularly dirty. I also just heard that many mushrooms are NOT gluten free due to cross contamination from being grown on rye fields???? Anyone else have any info about this? I love mushrooms and would hate to find out they may be the cause of the mystery celiac flare ups i often get.

  3. says

    I’m with Pat, I individually wash each one under running water. I’ve read/seen experiments done by people I trust such as Harold McGee in The Curious Cook, that show that mushrooms don’t absorb a meaningful amount of water from washing. Here’s an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown addresses the issue: Part 1, Part 2.

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