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Cleaning Mushrooms - to rinse or...?

Some years back Cook's Illustrated did a test on the best way to clean mushrooms; they concluded that a quick rinse was just fine as long as the mushrooms weren't left soaking in water.

Since reading that article, if I need to prepare a quantity of mushrooms, say more than a few for salad, I now rinse them. But even a rinse doesn't get rid of the mushroom soil that clings to them - I still need to handle each mushroom individually by rinsing it under running water and then rubbing with a kitchen towel to remove every last bit of mushroom soil. Other than removing superficial bits of soil, rinsing doesn't seem to work very well either.

So how do you clean mushrooms? What's the best way?

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  1. I've always just brushed them off with a clean kitchen towel...plus when I buy regular whole white button mushrooms at the store, I try to choose a box that has the cleanest mushrooms. I'm not kidding, some of them are dirtier than others.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Val

      I do that too - I rarely use water.

    2. I put the whole mushrooms in a colander and put that in a large basin, run cool water over and with my fingers .....what's the word Rachael uses....juzje them in the water for a few minutes. This usually gets rid of most of the clinging soil. If needed, I have a mushroom brush to remove any soil left. I always rinse mushrooms.

      1. Your way plus,I use $ store,cheap synthetic paintbrushes instead of paper towel.Toss around in a large amount of H2O,dry on a towel.
        Val is correct,soil is a major variable.Bed raised shitake/portobello dirty,log propigated
        ones are so clean by comparison.

        1. I used to believe for a long time that mushrooms should never be rinsed or even immersed in water *gasp*, as they soak a lot of it up. Which -- as I have found out a few years ago -- turns out to be total B.S.

          A few days ago, I bought a lb. of fresh chanterelles, something I've never done, because those are some dirty lil bastards. BUT, they are in season, and instead of having to pay through the roof for them at a resto, I decided to go for it.

          I had to rinse/wash/toss them around about three times -- first in a colander, then moved them into my salad spinner, rinsed and soaked them again for a bit, rinsed one more time, and spun them dry. They were pretty clean by then, and the subsequent pasta dish was dreamy.

          1. Rub vigorously under running water until clean.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Agree that water is OK, but only if they are very fresh. It seems like they absorb water as they age out a bit.