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Open Office Hours

Barton Seaver - Open Office Hours

This event was on Tuesday, August 02, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Barton Seaver in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to ask anything – from cooking techniques to c… Read More.



I have a question about browning mushrooms: you get pan heated to proper temp, the mushrooms aren’t going to brown up in a matter of a minute right? They need to release their water, evaporate it, then brown?

— Beth Rapp


So there's a couple of A couple of ways to go about this first and foremost. Yes, you can brown mushrooms very very quickly in a dry pan or in a pan with oil or butter added to it. The things that you would want to do to get them Brown very quickly or to make sure your pan is superheated. Make sure your oil or your butter whatever you add to the pan is your medium is also very hot get that to the point that you want to be at. If you're using butter even let the butter brown just a little bit adding that brown flavor to the dish before we put it in. But before we dive into into the other ways to do this, let's think about what do you what are you trying to accomplish with your mushrooms? So there's many ways of thinking about this right is is the mushroom are they going to be then folded into a sauce afterwards like a demi-gloss for a steak or something like that? Right? Okay. Well that's a different amount of brown as well as a different amount of moisture that you're gonna want in your final product. Are you sauteing them and then adding some garlic and herbs a little bit of white wine to kind of make a pan sauce out of them and serve them as a side dish. Are you Browning it portobello mushroom to serve as sort of a center of the plate more aesthetic Etc. Or are you making like a Duke cell where you're taking finely chopped mushrooms and you really want to cook them all the way down so that there is no moisture left. So it's this dry wonderfully perfumed mushroomy flavored intense paste that then gets used for other things such as stuffing and chicken breast or folding into goat cheese Etc. You name it? So the key here is how much water do you want in your final mushrooms? So when I'm making like a mushroom side dish like mushrooms, I serum and butter and garlic olive oil and I throw them into a smoking hot pan and I'm not afraid to get the oil smoking hot. I get them nice and brown and basically after that first minute as soon as they begin to release their moisture, then I'll add the garlic to the pan. So it doesn't overcook with Much garlic to the pan and then I will add my salt. Toss the pan to you know, get the the brown bits of the mushrooms off the bottom the contact there and then what you what's your left with is? Mushrooms that are just beginning to release their liquid into this wonderful oil. Excuse me. Let me turn my phone off that's poor etiquette there. Just beginning to release their liquid into the oil are they as brown as they could possibly be? No, but are they browned and flavored and caramelized and that the flavor is developed where I want them to be. Yes. So I want all that mushroom juice that liquor that comes out of them to kind of make that pan sauce to then emulsify with the oil and the butter that I was sauteing and as I'm tossing the herbs and cool like I cook this whole dish the thing takes two three minutes max. I use a big pan. So there's lots of room for the mushrooms. The last thing you want to do is if you're trying to Brown is to overcrowd them because of a mushroom is sitting on top of a mushroom. It's never going to brown right? It's just going to steam release liquid and prevent other things from browning. So it's really all about how much moisture you want in your Final product. The one thing I will say though is if you're trying to brown mushrooms immediately adding that salt. At the end is very important because salt will draw that moisture out of the mushroom that as it does with everything. If you're trying to dehydrate those mushrooms sort of simmer them out and then Brown them adding salt at the very beginning is the way to go so that you're applying less heat, but getting more of the effect that you're looking for. So a little bit of a long answer there, but mushrooms are a complicated and interesting ingredient category and they also sort of fit into so many different dishes or styles of use that it's important always In cooking, I think especially to think about what is the purpose of my action here? What is the outcome that I desire and then designing your methodology it gets you there. Thanks Beth. Appreciate you great question. Cool.


Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver

Chef, Educator, Author