The Biggest Mushroom Mistake You're Making

Mushrooms rank high amongst the most water-rich foods to exist. With roughly 92% of the fungi being made up of water (via Bupa), it's easy to see why soggy mushrooms are more commonly served than crispy ones. If you wouldn't dream of trying to crisp tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach leaves, all water-rich foods, how could you ever crisp mushrooms? But it turns out, you can.

According to The Kitchn, salt is a crisp mushroom's worst enemy. Sprinkling salt onto the fungi too early on in cooking will do nothing but draw out more moisture from the mushrooms. Unless you sauté them on high heat, they'll only steam in their own watery juices. This is why the site recommends adding salt after you have cooked the mushrooms.

Another mistake you may be making is overcrowding your pan. Trying to sear too many mushrooms in one go will lower the temperature of your pan, which means the liquid from the mushrooms will not get time to cook off (via Cooking Light). The result? Soggy and squidgy mushrooms.

The biggest mistake is not squishing the mushrooms

Although there are several tips for giving mushrooms a crisp sear, there is one important step that you're most likely skipping. According to Bon Appétit, you should be squishing mushrooms on a hot pan. Done right, the 'shrooms will come out with a golden crust and crisp edges whilst still retaining the unmistakable meaty texture.

To do this, the site says to take two pans of different sizes. Then add either entire pieces of mushrooms, or sliced ones, into the larger pan once it is hot. Just as they start searing, take the smaller of the pans and press it down on the 'shrooms that are cooking. Flattening (or squishing) them will release the mushrooms' moisture helping give way to a crisp crust in return.

Once the bottom of the mushrooms have been seared, remove the small pan, flip the mushrooms, and press it down again so that both sides have a golden crust. If you notice some liquid still swirling about in the pan (remember that liquid is equal to soggy mushrooms), remove the small pan and let the liquid cook-off. Only when the mushrooms have been seared should you lower the heat and season them. This method, Bon Appétit promises, is the key to perfectly crisp and browned sautéed mushrooms.