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How to Smoke Different Types Of Mushrooms

Posted by Mary M. on March 7, 2014

How to Smoke Different Types Of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are earthy and rustic yet also surprisingly delicate little fungi. Or perhaps we should call them "sensitive". They act like little sponges that take so easily to the infusion of flavors like marinades and particularly smoke. One of the best features is that they have a meaty texture that makes them marvelous to use both as an accompanying side or even the main part of the meal - as a meat substitute, if you will. Now don't get angry quite yet. We're not preaching vegetarianism. We're just saying they make for some pretty darn delicious smoked eats!

Here are a few simple, but essential tips to ensure that you end up with tender mushrooms with that perfect woodsy kiss of smoke.

How to Smoke Different Types Of Mushrooms

1. CLEAN YOUR FUNGI

Nobody wants to encounter a mouthful of grit when you take that first bite of mushroom. Wash your mushrooms just before you're going to use them, but don't rush to stick them under water. Use a wet paper towel or cloth to gently wipe off the mushrooms. However, the tiny mushrooms are too delicate to wipe clean, so feel free to rinse those under water.

2. REMOVE THE STEMS

For most mushrooms, except the smaller varieties like straw mushrooms, you should remove the stems and use them for a broth or something else like that. The stems have a harder, denser texture.

3. MARINATE? SURE, WHY NOT?

The smoke flavor is definitely delicious by itself but mushrooms so effortlessly absorb the flavors imparted by marinating. Just be careful not to marinate them for too long. Mushrooms are little yummy sponges and only need 4 to 6 hours for the larger ones, like portobello, and 1 or 2 hours for the smaller button and shiitake-sized mushrooms. And because you aren't working with any bacteria-ridden raw meat, you can even use the marinade later to brush on the mushrooms for that extra kick of bold freshness after they've been smoked.

4. SMOKE ON THE GRILL GRATE OR ON A PAN

The large mushrooms like portobellos can be smoked directly the grate. For smaller mushrooms that will fall through the grate or fall apart during the transfer you'll need to either smoke them on skewers, use a baking pan or even better, use a grilling basket. The more surface area directly exposed to the smoke, the better.

5. DON'T OVERSMOKE THE MUSHROOMS

Mushrooms don't take very long to smoke. The biggest mushrooms, portobellos, will be perfectly smoked in about 30 to 45 minutes. Medium-sized mushrooms like porcini, oyster or larger button mushrooms need 15 to 20 minutes. The smaller kinds like cremini and baby bellas will be done after about 10 minutes of smoking time. Of course, don't just take our word for it. Test it for yourself! Taste one after it has smoked for the recommended time and go from there.

6. ENJOY THEM WARM

Like everything else, food tastes different, and in more cases better, when it's warm. It's as simple as that. So snatch them up while they're still steaming.