Should you wash mushrooms before cooking with them?

Welcome to Burning Questions, The Takeout’s video series in which we answer all your culinary quandaries and ponderings.

Mushrooms aren’t like a lot of other produce, most of which we wash thoroughly before eating. Rather than the taut, shiny skin of an apple, for example, a mushroom cap has a delicate, tissue-like exterior that responds differently to being soaked, rinsed, or scrubbed. So, is it best to skip washing them altogether, or will cooking with unwashed mushrooms leave your final dish full of dirt and grime? We spoke to a number of experts to answer this common cooking question once and for all. For the full investigation, head here.



Jacques Pepin says to wash, but just before using them. I imagine the growing media sometimes attached to the mushrooms are sterile, but why eat dirt? Washing too soon leads to sliminess, I’ve found.