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How To Store Chicken of the Woods | Top 3 Methods

How To Store Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom

See how to store Chicken of the Woods in 3 simple ways so you can harvest a lot and still keep your mushrooms fresh for up to 12 months.

The season for Chicken of the Woods is typically from June to December (at least you can find them growing during this time frame).  That means it is available for almost 6 months out of the year.

This means you can find it fresh a lot of the time but you still may want to have some available the other 6 months of the year to eat as well.

Another thing about the Chicken of the Woods is when you harvest it there will typically be A LOT of it.

This means you have 2 choices when you find it:

  1. Only harvest enough that you can eat in 7 days fresh.
  2. Harvest all of it and learn how to store it so it doesn’t go to waste.

If you choose to leave some just be aware that if someone else finds it then it will be gone or it could dry out before you are ready to harvest the rest of it.

One thing to note is that Chicken of the Woods (laetiporus sulphureus) is completely different mushroom from the Hen of the Woods (Maitake).

Before we get into how to store Chicken of the Woods, lets take a look at how to clean it before you store it…

How To Clean Chicken of the Woods

how to clean chicken of the woods

When it comes to cleaning the Chicken of the Woods it really doesn’t change to much from any other mushroom that you want to clean.

The main goal is to get it clean without it being wet for too long.  If it is wet for to long the mushroom will start to absorb the water and get mushy.

Cleaning procedures:

  1. Trim away any tough or bug eaten pieces.
  2. Brush off as mush dirt as you can with a semi-wet mushroom brush.
  3. Give it a quick rinse and rub down to get any other dirt off.
  4. Immediately dry it completely with a paper towel (gently).

Now let’s take a look at the different options on how to store Chicken of the Woods mushroom…

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How To Store Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

The method you choose in storing your Chicken of the Woods will basically depend on how long you want it to stay fresh as well as how you plan to eat it…

1) Refrigerator

chicken of the woods in paper bags in the refrigerator

If you plan on eating your Chicken of the Woods within the next 7 days then you could use the refrigerator method.

Storing procedure:

  1. Place the Chicken of the Woods mushroom in into a paper bag.
  2. Put the paper bag into you refrigerator’s vegetable drawer.

Some people have had them last up to 3 weeks this way but after 1 week you would be pushing your luck.

If you plan to eat it all year round then you could store it in the freezer…

2)  Freezer

chicken of the woods in the freezer

If you plan on harvesting a whole lot of Chicken of the woods for future consumption then you might want to consider the freezer method.  This is my favorite method!

Storing procedures:

  1. Cut up your Chicken of the Woods into half inch shanks.
  2. Place as many pieces into a big zip lock bag as you can.
  3. Place the bag into the freezer.

This method has been show to keep your mushrooms super fresh for up to 12 months.  When your ready to eat them just take them out and throw them onto the skillet (No need to thaw them out first).

They don’t seem to lose their flavor after being frozen so you won’t have to worry about them.

The cool thing about the Chicken of the Woods is that it can be stored without cooking it first.  Many mushrooms (like the button mushroom) need to be cooked prior to freezing or they will lose their texture and flavor.  This one doesn’t!

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3)  Drying Chicken of the Woods

food dehydrator

If you goal is to use Chicken of the Woods in Soups then you could consider using a food dehydrator to dry out your mushroom.

Drying procedure:

  1. Slice your Chicken of the Woods into half inch chunks.
  2. Place the chunks all over the dehydrator tray so they are not touching.
  3. Set the temperature to low and allow to run for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Place the dried chunks into a sealed mason jar or a zip lock bag and keep in a cool dry place.

If you do decide to dehydrate them then you can later put them in a soup to reconstitute them.  If you want to reconstitute them without putting them in a soup then you can soak them in water for 15 – 60 minutes and then strain the water out.


Now you should have the confidence to know how to store this choice edible mushrooms so that you can enjoy it all year round.

This means next time you are out and come across the Chicken of the Woods you don’t have to worry about harvesting more then you can eat because you know that you will have 12 months to eat what you pick.

If you will be eating your mushrooms within the next 7 days you would use the refrigerator method otherwise you would want to use the freezer or drying methods.

Once it is time to cook your mushroom you may be interested in checking out our other article on the top 3 healthy ways to cook the Chicken of the Woods here:

how to cook chicken of the woods mushroom

In that article we cover the following healthy recipes:

  1. Deep fried Chicken of the Woods
  2. Sauteed Chicken of the Woods
  3. Chicken of the Woods soup

This meaty textured mushroom is packed with protein, tastes like chicken and is a great substitute for meat.  Don’t eat it raw though because it could cause gastric distress.  It also has some pretty amazing medicinal benefits.

Thanks for reading and if you have any other ideas on how to store the Chicken of the Woods we would love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Curative Mushrooms has to post the standard FDA Disclaimer…The statements made regarding medicinal mushrooms have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Curative Mushrooms is not making claims intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before consuming the medicinal mushrooms. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Curative Mushrooms nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


Always looking for ways to improve the health of myself and my family led me to the discovery of medicinal mushrooms and the numerous health benefits they have on the body. My mission is to spread this knowledge and help as many people as possible.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I used to work at the National Agriculture Center in Beltsville, Maryland. Large grassy tract with oak trees
    and the mowing machine infected the roots. About now we would get some Polyporous frondosus (chicken of the woods). Wonderful when young but develop an unpleasant chlorine-like taste as it was stored. If chopped and par-boiled I could freeze it or can it. Lasted months. The P. sulfureus was a special treat as there were only 2 trees that it grew on. Chicken frying it sounds interesting.

  2. […] Storing Laetiporus sulphureus is similar to storing other wild mushrooms. To keep them fresh you want to keep them inside a paper bag, like a small paper lunch bag. This helps increase air circulation since you want to prevent mold. You’ll notice that mushrooms stored in plastic bags will get slimy and moldy. You can more than triple your mushrooms shelf like by storing it in a paper bag. Reusable fabric bags also work, however make sure there is enough air circulation to prevent mold. Chicken of the Woods is one of those mushrooms that can make you sick if you wait too long to eat it. Try to eat it while it is fresh (within 7 days of being picked). The longer you wait, the more bitter the mushroom becomes. Another option is to freeze your mushrooms until you are ready to pick them. This is a great method if you found a ton of them and can’t eat them all in 7 days. If you don’t have the freezer space and found more than what you can eat in a week, try dehydrating them!Space the chunks of mushroom over your dehydrator, set to 100 degrees, and let dry for 8 to 10 hours. Then you jar them up until you are ready to use them! […]

  3. Have been reading and hearing about this mushroom for over a year on a foraging site. Can’t believe I actually found some today…you never know what you will find on a walk in the woods. I am not a big mushroom person – can’t handle slime, but I am excited to try this one from all that I have heard. So grateful for your information. Only took a small piece today to try, but will go back in the morning if I like it to get more now that I know it can be stored. I don’t fry, but will try the other recipes! Bet it would be good in a Tom Yum goong soup! Thanks for the info

  4. If dehydrating, use a vacuum sealer to store the dried mushrooms for years if needed (Huge bumper haul? No problem!). No need for freezing or glass jars!

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