If you are ever lucky enough to have more morels than you can use, you can preserve some for later use. Dehydrating them is a good choice because you are not reliant on a power source to keep them safe if you freeze them and they don’t take up valuable space in your freezer this way either.
Morels come out of the soil with some of the dirt still on them plus whatever you might pick up in the harvesting process. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly before you preserve them. Use care though, because these little morsels are fragile and will break easily. Let them air dry on a paper towel while you set up the dehydrator. Use 135 as your temperature setting.
With any batch dehydrating, you want the pieces to dry evenly. The best way to accomplish this is to make sure your pieces are all of comparable size. Slice the mushrooms lengthwise once or twice and compare them to one another as you go. Trim where necessary.
Place the pieces on your trays evenly, in a single layer and so that none of the pieces are touching one another. IF they are touching during the drying process, they will likely stick to one another when you try to remove them. This will contribute to further breakage of your morel pieces.
The process takes between four and eight hours, depending on the size of the pieces and the humidity in the air. After fours, check every hour so the pieces don’t become over-dried and unusable. When they are finished, slip them into mason jars, zippered plastic bags or vacuum sealed bags. Store them in a cool, dark place and use them within a few months of processing. Label the containers with a date and the contents to make using them before they expire easier.