Mushrooms: Why do you suggest removing the gills from portobello mushrooms?

While it is not necessary to remove the gills from portobello mushrooms before you use them, I feel that there are some good reasons to take the time to do it. The dark gills share their color with everything they touch and will discolor (turn black) any stuffings, sauces, and salad dressings that accompany the mushrooms in the recipe. Also, the gills sometimes hide a little sand from the substrate on which the mushrooms were grown; scooping them out prevents any grittiness in the finished dish.

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11 Responses to Mushrooms: Why do you suggest removing the gills from portobello mushrooms?

  1. to scoop out the gills from the mushrooms leaves the mushroom all torn up if there’s going to be a thorough cleaning

    • moulton says:

      I admit it is easy to break the mushroom if you are too vigorous but it you remove the stem, lay the mushroom cap flat on the counter, gills side up, and then gently scrape out the gills with the edge of a spoon the mushroom should be fine.

      • NR says:

        I found that scraping with a grapefruit spoon helps a lot! I use way less force and don’t smash or break my mushrooms that way. I scrape perpendicular to the gills while cupping the cap in my palm.

  2. Tracey Stulman says:

    What’s the best way to remove gills from pre-sliced baby Bella mushrooms ?

    • moulton says:

      You don’t have to worry about the gills on the smaller mushrooms, they are not as staining or bitter as the ones on the larger mushrooms.

  3. How to get rid of gills from pre-sliced mushrooms

    • moulton says:

      I would only worry about the gills if they are portobellos and you don’t usually find them sliced, but if you do, and you have the energy, just cut them out of each slice.

  4. Allaiyah Weyn says:

    My uncle got mad at me for removing the gills, said I removed the tastiest part.

    • Sara Moulton says:

      Well, that is his preference. I am not a fan of their spongey texture. You can certainly leave them in if you want.

  5. MindTrek says:

    This is outstanding and wonderful information. Most people remove the mushroom gills during the cleaning process because dirt or sand may hide in the gill structure. It’s also possible that those dark gills may give your dish a dark color and unappetizing look once cooked.

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