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Old 04-19-2006, 04:44 AM   #11
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How tightly you close the top of the paper bag should not make any difference. What is important is that the paper bag is very porous and will allow moisture to escape.

RE: Alton Brown's "Myth Busters" episode ... yep - mushrooms are 90% water to begin with - so how much additional water could they soak up? In this episode ... dispelling the "searing meat retains juices" and the "washing mushrooms makes them waterlogged" myths were actually from Harold McGee's book The Curious Cook.
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
How tightly you close the top of the paper bag should not make any difference. What is important is that the paper bag is very porous and will allow moisture to escape.

RE: Alton Brown's "Myth Busters" episode ... yep - mushrooms are 90% water to begin with - so how much additional water could they soak up? In this episode ... dispelling the "searing meat retains juices" and the "washing mushrooms makes them waterlogged" myths were actually from Harold McGee's book The Curious Cook.
So what became of the whole "searing meat retains juices". Personally, I think it works.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
If you're in a pinch & don't have any paper bags around, just make sure the plastic bag or container they're in is open to admit air. This keeps them good for me for at least a week.

Also - the long-held information that it's bad to wash mushrooms is nothing but an old wive's tale & has no validity whatsoever.

The infamous Alton Brown of Food Network fame did an entire show on debunking food myths, & one of them was all about cleaning mushrooms. He took identical weights of mushrooms & spent an eternity dry-brushing one group, soaking one group in a bowl of water, & washing the 3rd group under running water.

The only mushrooms that had gained any additional weight after cleaning were the ones that had been soaked - & even the the difference there was almost undetectable. He also said that a lot of people don't realize how much natural moisture mushrooms release when cooked - it has nothing to do with how they've been cleaned. This is how this washing myth apparently began.

He said you risk more displeasure by possibly biting down on a gritty piece of dirt from a dry-cleaned mushroom, than you do by cleaning them under running water. I agree with him, & feel much better eating my WASHED mushrooms - especially when I'm serving them raw.

I've ALWAYS (for the past 40 years) washed all mushrooms under cool running water & have NEVER had a problem with excessive moisture in any of my recipes.
I saw this same episode, but I thought the reason why you would not wash your mushrooms in water is that it affects the cooking process more than anything. I noticed after rinsing mushrooms, that they tend to get a tad bit slimy after the fact. I am not so much against the washing of mushrooms more than how do you plan to prepare them and how does the dry vs wet cleaning affect that????
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:51 AM   #14
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How would it affect the cooking process, slimy or not?

I just rinse mine under cool running water & pat them dry with a paper towel right before cooking. Have never had any variety that became "slimy". The only thing I can think of that would make them "slimy", would be if you washed them before storing them.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:46 PM   #15
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Even if you don't wash them, their internal moisture can generate sliminess. Refrigerator conditions also contribute.
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:55 PM   #16
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Mushrooms are best when fresh... but if they need to be kept for up to a week, it is best ( in my experience) to leave them as they are currently packed. When you are "ready" to use them, wipe them with a damp paper towel to clean off the dirt that is on them, and the outer skin if it starts to curl off.

I personally will use mushrooms until they "do" feel "slick" for a cooked use. If they are for a fresh or uncooked use, I will not use them.

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Old 04-30-2006, 04:36 AM   #17
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I just love this stuff ....

Alton Brown took his myth busting mushroom washing idea from Harold McGee's The Curious Cook (page 182). Harold took some (23) mushrooms that weighed a total of 252 grams, soaked them for 5 minutes, blotted them dry and threw them back on the scales. They weighed 258 grams, so had absorbed a whopping 1/2 Tablespoon (or about 90 drops) of water.

BUT - did they really absorb that much water? Since I don't have a good digital scale (on my wish list) I can't test my theory ... but using some basic logic I can assume the problem with the weight gain was at least (major) in part significantly influenced by the methodology.

If you just run water over the mushroom caps and brush it off (the only part of the mushroom that actually comes into contact with the growing medium other than the base of the stem) they will not, in theory, absorb that much water. Why? Like any other "plant" mushrooms draw dutrition from the roots - so some moisture will be absorbed up from the base of the stems - in only 5 minutes this might rehydrate some of the stem but little would get to the caps. OK - mushrooms lack the waxy cuticle of plants - which allows them to rapidly "expire" moisture and absorb it from the air. The point where I think the majority of the weight gain was achieved was in the gills under the caps. Due to their close radial proximity and arrangement - they are prime candidates to hold water by capillary action - easily 1-3 drops per mushroom when "soaked".

Based on theory (again, I don't have the digital scales needed to test and prove my theory) - a quick wash of the mushroom tops under running water will not cause significant water absorption - soaking would probably increase it.

So - let's turn our attention to cooking these little gems .... can anyone name one method of cooking that 2 additional drops of water would make a difference? Surely wouldn't make a difference in batter dipped and fried, wouldn't be a factor when added to a pot of stew ... and when you toss them into a skillet to saute - the first thing that happens is that the moisture cooks out ...
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
I just love this stuff ....

Alton Brown took his myth busting mushroom washing idea from Harold McGee's The Curious Cook (page 182). Harold took some (23) mushrooms that weighed a total of 252 grams, soaked them for 5 minutes, blotted them dry and threw them back on the scales. They weighed 258 grams, so had absorbed a whopping 1/2 Tablespoon (or about 90 drops) of water.

BUT - did they really absorb that much water? Since I don't have a good digital scale (on my wish list) I can't test my theory ... but using some basic logic I can assume the problem with the weight gain was at least (major) in part significantly influenced by the methodology.

If you just run water over the mushroom caps and brush it off (the only part of the mushroom that actually comes into contact with the growing medium other than the base of the stem) they will not, in theory, absorb that much water. Why? Like any other "plant" mushrooms draw dutrition from the roots - so some moisture will be absorbed up from the base of the stems - in only 5 minutes this might rehydrate some of the stem but little would get to the caps. OK - mushrooms lack the waxy cuticle of plants - which allows them to rapidly "expire" moisture and absorb it from the air. The point where I think the majority of the weight gain was achieved was in the gills under the caps. Due to their close radial proximity and arrangement - they are prime candidates to hold water by capillary action - easily 1-3 drops per mushroom when "soaked".

Based on theory (again, I don't have the digital scales needed to test and prove my theory) - a quick wash of the mushroom tops under running water will not cause significant water absorption - soaking would probably increase it.

So - let's turn our attention to cooking these little gems .... can anyone name one method of cooking that 2 additional drops of water would make a difference? Surely wouldn't make a difference in batter dipped and fried, wouldn't be a factor when added to a pot of stew ... and when you toss them into a skillet to saute - the first thing that happens is that the moisture cooks out ...
Oh Lord... here I go... I have no factual data other than my own and it seems to me that after the mushroom is rinsed, the surface of the mushroom has changed. When you first pop them out of their little blue box, they have a very crisp texture... but then as I am typing this I am also thinking after they sit a few days, the moisture accumilates and the same thing happens to the mushrooms as if you were to rinse them, only the moisture has been sitting on the tiny shrooms. Say if you are using shrooms for a stew or roast, then it would not matter how you clean them, but if you are sauting them, would it be better for a dry cleaning as opposed to wet? I personally have never rinsed mushrooms except for once or twice.

OK, next time I cook shrooms (I have some freshies on hand) I will rinse one and dry clean some and see if there is any difference.... I assume there will not be much one I do a side by side.
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