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How Long do Shiitake Mushrooms Last and 3 Storage Tips

Shiitake mushrooms are a great culinary ingredient because of their rich flavor, meaty texture, and high nutritional value. Shiitake mushrooms are also easy to purchase at almost any grocery store. But if you purchased too many you may be asking yourself, “how long will my Shiitake mushrooms last before they go bad?”

Shiitake mushrooms last up to a day at room temperature, up to 14 days in the fridge, up to 9 months when dehydrated, and up to a year in the freezer when stored properly. The best way to store Shiitake mushrooms in the refrigerator is to store them in a brown bag in the crisper drawer.

In this post, we will go into more detail about the shelf life of Shiitake mushrooms, how to store them properly in the fridge or freezer, and how to tell when they have spoiled.

Photo of 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms with brown caps and white stems laying against a white backdrop
Photo by Joseph Gough

How Long do Shiitake Mushrooms Last?

Depending on how Shiitake mushrooms are stored, they can last from 12 hours to 12 months. Shiitake mushrooms stored at room temperature has the shortest shelf life, but when frozen, they can last up to 12 months. Freezing is not an ideal method for storage for Shiitake mushrooms, however, as it will negatively impact the texture and the amount of nutrients and vitamins available in the mushroom. We’ll cover this subject in more detail later in this post.

The most common and best way to store Shiitake mushrooms is in a paper bag or breathable container stored in the fridge’s crisper drawer. This storage method will get you about 7 – 14 days of shelf life before the Shiitake mushrooms begin to turn slimy and spoil.

Storage methodShelf life
At room temperature12 hours – 1 day
In the fridge – cooked3 – 5 days
In the fridge – sliced mushroom4 – 7 days
In the fridge – whole mushroom7 – 14 days
Dehydrated (dried)Up to 9 months
Freezer9 – 12 months

Best Way to Store Shiitake Mushrooms

The best way to store Shiitake mushrooms is in a paper bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It’s important to use the crisper drawer to prevent the mushrooms from absorbing other flavors and smells that could be circulating around your fridge. A paper bag is the most ideal storage container because it is porous which allows the Shiitake mushrooms to ventilate, preventing moisture accumulation.

An alternative way of storing Shiitake mushrooms to a bag is to lay down a few sheets of paper towel and place your Shiitake mushrooms in a bunched row on top of the paper towel. After you’ve laid out your mushrooms, wrap the paper towel around them a few times leaving the ends of the paper towel open. Place your paper towel-wrapped Shiitake mushrooms seem side down on a plate and place it in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Both methods extend the shelf life of your Shiitake mushrooms to 7 to 12 days compared to up to a day at room temperature. Additionally, your mushrooms will maintain their great flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Shiitake mushrooms are a great source of fiber, vitamin B, minerals, and include many amino acids that are commonly found in meat.

How to Tell if Your Shiitake Mushrooms Have Spoiled – 7 Signs

Shiitake mushrooms, like all mushrooms, have some tell-tale signs of spoilage. When you notice these signs, it’s best to throw out your batch of Shiitake mushrooms.

Seven Signs that your Shiitake mushrooms are going bad:

  1. Wrinkles and puckering of the outer skin
  2. The flesh of the Shiitake mushroom no longer bounces back when pressed
  3. Slime accumulation
  4. Cracked or dried out stems
  5. The mushroom’s gills have become very dark
  6. Dark spots and patches on the top of the Shiitake mushroom
  7. The Shiitake mushrooms are starting to develop a strong odor

What Should Shiitake Mushrooms Smell Like?

If you smell your Shiitake mushrooms to check if they have gone bad you may notice an odor, but you may be asking yourself – is this just how Shiitake mushrooms smell or have they truly spoiled?

When fresh, Shiitake mushrooms should have an earthy, nutty, almost garlicky aroma. When dehydrated, these smells will intensify, and some describe a sulfurous almost cheesy smell. Shiitake mushrooms should never smell sour or like ammonia or overly pungent.

If they do develop a sour or ammonia-like smell, throw out your Shiitake mushrooms.

Photo of many Shiitake mushrooms laying about with brown caps and white stems
Photo by Uros Petrovic

How to Make Shiitake Mushrooms Last Longer?

The only meaningful way to extend your Shiitake mushrooms’ shelf life if you have already implemented proper storage techniques (i.e., storing them in a paper bag in the crisper drawer) is to cook them. When your Shiitake mushrooms are nearing the end of their freshness and are at risk of turning slimy, cooking them will add a few days of shelf life.

Cooked Shiitake mushrooms stored in the fridge will last an extra three to five days before starting to spoil.

Can You Freeze Shiitake Mushrooms?

You can freeze Shiitake mushrooms for up to 12 months, but it isn’t recommended as they will lose their signature texture and rich nutrient value. If you do plan to freeze your Shiitake mushrooms, there are two methods that we recommend:

  1. Steam blanch your Shiitake mushrooms prior to freezing. This is the best method for preserving the nutrient value in the mushrooms that are often lost when frozen raw.
  2. Sauté your Shiitake mushrooms prior to freezing

When cooking Shiitake mushrooms that have been frozen, always make sure to cook them while they are still frozen, don’t thaw them out beforehand. If you thaw them out prior to cooking, you will get a more unpleasant texture and run the risk of your Shiitake mushrooms going bad very quickly.

If you insist on freezing your Shiitake mushrooms raw—albeit less than ideal—follow the below steps to maximize their shelf life when frozen:

  1. Remove any excess dirt with a mushrooms brush or paper towel—never wash them as they will go soggy.
  2. Place the cleaned Shiitake mushrooms on a metal tray and place in the freezer for a few hours.
  3. After the Shiitake mushrooms freeze, remove the metal tray from the freezer and place them into a zip-lock bag.
  4. Once the Shiitakes are in the bag, squeeze out all the excess air and seal the bag.
  5. Place the sealed zip-lock bag back into the freezer for long term storage.

Can You Keep Shiitake Mushrooms in the Fridge?

Shiitake mushrooms should be kept in the fridge, which is considered the best storage method. Make sure to put the Shiitake mushrooms in the crisper drawer to prevent them from absorbing other odors or flavors while sitting in your fridge. To maximize shelf life and freshness when storing your Shiitake mushrooms in the fridge, place them into a paper bag with its top crumpled down or wrap them in a paper towel and place them on a plate.

Can You Get Sick from Eating Spoiled Shiitake Mushrooms?

Eating spoiled Shiitake mushrooms can make you sick. If the spoiled mushrooms were cooked, the likelihood of getting sick decreases slightly as many bacteria die off when exposed to high temperatures.

It is never recommended to eat spoiled Shiitake mushrooms, so if you see evidence of spoilage, such as brown spots, dark gills, strong odor, and/or slime accumulation, it’s best to throw your Shiitake mushrooms out.