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May 9, 2011 08:53 PM

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.

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  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.