by: Matt Simerson
Sunday 12 Jul 20

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After doing much research, I determined there are two ways to preserve morels.

Freeze The first is to sautee them until they sweat and then put them (and their juices) into a ziploc freezer bag and freeze them. It works well. One plus for this method is that you simply pull the frozen bag out of the freezer and put it into the hot sautee pan to finish them up. The disadvange is that is uses up freezer space which I never have enough of.

Dehydrate/Dry I have tried a couple poor boy techniques for drying them and have settled on the one that produces the most consistent results. The simplest method is to pull out one of your non-metallic window screens, arrange the shrooms on it, and then set them in the sun to dry. A warm sunny day (all day) will be enough to dry them thoroughly. If the weather is not cooperative, be sure to use another technique. If they don't dry quickly enough, they become very, very fragrant, and not in a good way.

The technique I adopted is only slightly more complex. I've read all sorts of ideas on how to build yourself a dehydrater using the heating element from a dehydrator (a 200 degree oven is too warm) but I'm frugal and didn't want to spend any money on my solution. So, after a few iterations, the solution I found is to place the screen full of shrooms above the oven and leave the oven on it's lowest (200) setting. The rising heat creates a nice convection effect and the mushrooms will be dried overnight.

When you're ready to use them, soak them in white wine or water for a couple hours and then prepare as usual. Drying them takes a little longer but they dehydrate to 1/8 their weight and about one quarter of their size. You can fit several pounds of morels into a quart sized ziplock, they'll keep indefinately, and you don't have to worry about freezer burn or power outages.