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thachman

Fresh dried oysters smell bad?

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Hi All,

I am new to wild mushroom foraging and have recently been having a good deal of luck finding some oyster mushrooms near my house.  I have eaten several freshly picked, and they have been delicious.  On my first trip, I harvested some extra to try drying.  I first tried in the oven and that was a disaster, so I ended up getting a dehydrator for next time.  Well, a few days ago, I picked some fresh right off a decaying tree in my backyard, ate some, and put the rest in the dehydrator at 110 degrees for roughly 5-6 hours.  They look like a beautiful golden brown and they break like a cracker, so I know they are dry.  Here's my question...I know these are fresh as I just picked them right before they were cut up and dehydrated, yet the have an awfully strong ammonia/pee smell.  I have read that is a sign that they've gone bad...but they were just harvested and dry.  Is this just normal for oyster mushrooms to smell that way?  I am perplexed.  

Thanks!

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Never dried oysters before but I experimented with some Agaricus  campetris a couple years ago and had the same experience. Ended up tossing them out. 

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Last summer we had enormous harvests of Boletus subglabripes---what we call Yellow Boletes.  Looks like Kuo has changed his genus listing to Hemileccinum. 

I had to dry a lot because we were harvesting many pounds per day. I was warned by a friend that there would be bad odors. He was right. The smell coming from the dehydrator was atrocious. I had the temp set about 105F.

Even after fully drying they smelled odd. But I kept them in glass jars for using them later. When I rehydrated them they smelled really good. Almost Porcini like. Cut up and fried with some shallots in butter, they were fantastic to eat.

I can't explain the bad odors of the dehydration process but the end result was yummy many months later.

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Awesome, thanks.  I will rehydrate some of these and see what happens.  I'll update with my experience.  If they still smell funky after rehydrating, I may try a few just to see if they taste as bad as they smell.

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22 hours ago, JOHNY said:

Last summer we had enormous harvests of Boletus subglabripes---what we call Yellow Boletes.  Looks like Kuo has changed his genus listing to Hemileccinum. 

I had to dry a lot because we were harvesting many pounds per day. I was warned by a friend that there would be bad odors. He was right. The smell coming from the dehydrator was atrocious. I had the temp set about 105F.

Even after fully drying they smelled odd. But I kept them in glass jars for using them later. When I rehydrated them they smelled really good. Almost Porcini like. Cut up and fried with some shallots in butter, they were fantastic to eat.

I can't explain the bad odors of the dehydration process but the end result was yummy many months later.

Well heck. I’ll have to try this again. It wasn’t an enormous amount to be discouraged about. Thanks Johnny !! According to my calendar Agaricus campetris ought to be out in full force next couple weeks!!

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Last fall I dried a bunch of oysters, I wanted to dehydrate them but couldn't find a dehydrator for sale near me and figured if I waited for one to ship the mushrooms would be too old by the time it arrived. So I just sliced them thin and left them on a baking tray by a south facing window with lots of direct sunlight. Took a few days but they were "cracker" dry and did not need to be baked at all. No bad smells, of course that could be just because I was lucky but maybe the heat has something to do with the odor? Just a possibility. They rehydrated quite well.

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