Button mushrooms in a bowl
The Myth Against Rinsing Mushrooms Is Greatly Inflated
There are a few rules you pick up on the longer you spend in a kitchen, like never cleaning mushrooms in water. However, it turns out that washing mushrooms isn’t so bad.
The rule was formed in the belief that porous mushrooms will absorb the liquid and become waterlogged, so cooks should brush the fungi clean with a paper towel or vegetable brush.
However, mushrooms of different varieties don’t absorb that much water during a quick rinse. The water will quickly wash away more dirt than the brushing method.
New York Times reporter Harry McGee conducted a study that found that mushrooms absorb only about a sixteenth of a teaspoon of water during a five-minute soak.
Moreover, washing mushrooms may prevent them from absorbing oil while sautéing. Just remember to dry your mushrooms after washing, so they’re not too wet.
While the water method is best for dirty mushrooms like morels or mushrooms with tiny crevices, it may not be best for gilled mushrooms which will absorb more water.