HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


My mushrooms released a lot of water

I tried to roast a sheet pan of cremini mushrooms yesterday. However, they released a lot of water which never completely dried up even in the 400 degree oven. In the end, the mushrooms were still moist and soft rather than dry or slightly crispy. (Total oven time was 45 minutes.) Should I have poured some of the water out? I've experienced this excessive water phenomenon when sauteing, too. What is the proper way to roast or saute mushrooms so that they don't come out too moist? (Note: I did not wash the mushrooms, just brushed the dirt off, so there was no added water.)

Thanks for any advice. I love roasted mushrooms and am disappointed when they don't come out right.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. any chance you crowded the pan? mushrooms always release a lot of moisture when you roast or saute, and if you don't leave enough space around each one for air to circulate and evaporate the water they end up steaming. next time - whether you're cooking them on the stove or in the oven - do fewer at a time (or use a larger pan) to give them sufficient space.

    1. I agree with the "goodhealthgourmet" and would add that the stems should be cut off flush with the bottom of the mushroom's cap. The mushrooms should then be roasted stem side down (following a roll in a pan/dish of olive oil to lightly coat them) for half an hour or so, the turned over to finish roasting another 10 - 15 minutes. It is sometimes helpful to place the mushrooms on a wire rack, suspended above the bottom of a baking sheet, to allow the moisture to drop away from the mushrooms and evaporate on the bottom of the baking sheet.

      1. I think todao's rack idea would work. The only other thing I could think of is put them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes on high then drain away the water and dry them off. Then you could put olive oil on them and roast.

        I certainly do this when I am sauteing. It reduces the amount of time to saute too. I think Cook's illustrated recommends this. It may well reduce the time to roast them too so keep an eye on them.

        1. To answer the questions thus far, I did not cut the stems flush with the bottom of the cap; I left some stem. Also, I halved or quartered the mushrooms, and tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper. I don't think I crowded them too much; there was definitely room between them.

          So it sounds like it's okay to pour out the water if too much is collecting? Even if the mushrooms are on a rack, I would think the steam rising from below would moisturize the mushrooms.

          3 Replies
          1. re: goodeatsgal

            So it sounds like it's okay to pour out the water if too much is collecting?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Dont toss it though! You can add it to soups, pan sauces, etc etc

              1. re: Saffrondust

                yes! it keeps well in a glass jar in the fridge until you're ready to use it...also great for adding flavor to grains as they're cooking. and the reserved soaking liquid from dried mushrooms (and tomatoes) is one of my favorite repurposed ingredients :)

          2. Good advise so far. Next time try sautéing them in a very hot pan that is not non-stick. That will evaporate the moisture faster than it can collect. Depending on your heat source this should only take 10 minutes or so.

            1. If you salted your mushrooms before you put them into the oven that would account for the release of so much water. When I either roast or sauté mushrooms I usually season them but omit the salt till they are almost finished cooking.

              1. I think the oven works better than a pan for drying them out. Agree don't crowd them, and leave them in until they brown, even if it takes longer than you think it should.

                1. I used to spend a lot of time getting nice brown mushrooms by not crowding them and turning one by one with some EVOO but it was a tedious process. I saw or read about a different technique and now it's the only way I do them. Slice a pound of mushrooms after just trimming the stems and throw them all into a10-12" hot pan with no oil. Use a bacon press or flat lid to put some pressure on them. They will give up most of their liquid pretty quickly. Give them a good toss and wait again. When all the liquid's gone, add a little oil and spread them out--they'll be down to half their volume--and cook until brown. Much easier for me at least and they get good and brown.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: escondido123

                      I do a similar process when using mushrooms.

                      I slice them up and toss them in a dry pan on med-high heat for about 5-10 mins with just a pinch of salt. The salt helps draw the moisture out and the heat helps to evaporate the water. The mushrooms shrink a bit, but they take on a very concentrated flavor and aroma.

                      For pasta dishes, I then pull the mushrooms out and immediately start with the olive oil and garlic and scrape up all the dried bits in the pan. Wonderful mushroom flavor.

                      1. re: Novelli

                        And the nice things about this method is they aren't soaked in olive oil from the start. Like your step for pasta dishes, will definitely try that soon.

                    2. Your oven temp is too low for roasting Mushrooms. I use convection set a the highest setting 500+ and have very good results.