Oyster Mushrooms in PA

Oyster mushrooms are an extremely common mushroom in western Pennsylvania and very easy to recognize. Keep your eye out for these tasty treats growing on a tree near you!
Self-healing mushroom grain jar caps

What are Wild Oyster Mushrooms?

We live in western Pennsylvania and were just turned on to wild Oyster Mushrooms this year by our friend, Tara Hassler.  These mushrooms are super tasty, very good for you and really grow around PA in an abundance.  If you are not harvesting Oyster Mushrooms, you are really missing out!

Oyster Mushrooms are a creamy white shelf mushroom that grows on dead, deciduous trees.  They have parallel gills on their underside that run down through the stem of the mushroom and have a faint, earthy, licorice smell to them.

They are cool and rubbery to the touch.

Grow Pink Oyster Mushrooms

You can grow your own Oyster Mushrooms

Oysters are a fairly easy wild mushroom to find in Pennsylvania, but they are also very easy to grow. You can grow oyster mushrooms at home with this grow kit.

the gills of an oyster mushroom
The gills of an oyster mushroom will run the length of the stem.
oyster mushrooms on a standing dead tree
Oysters grow on dead desiduous trees.
It shouldn’t take to long to spot the oyster mushrooms in this image:
Can you spot the oyster mushrooms?

More Oyster Mushroom Images

Below are a few images of barely salvageable oysters… and an oyster mushroom spore print.

Bugs feeding on an Oyster mushroom
Fungus feeding on an Oyster Mushroom
oyster mushroom spore print

Are oyster mushrooms poisonous?

Oyster Mushrooms are not only edible but extremely tasty. They are a meaty mushroom that has a taste similar to a Morel in my opinion.

That being said, anytime you eat a new mushroom, it is best to start out with a small sample and see if you have any type of reaction to it.

basket of oyster mushrooms

Also, make sure you are actually eating an oyster mushroom and not a look-a-like. There really aren’t any look-a-like mushrooms in Pennsylvania that are poisonous. One big thing to remember is that the Oyster’s gills run down the length of the stem.

The closest would be the Angel Wing, which has conflicting reports about its toxicity. Angel Wings (I believe) only grow on conifers.  They are also thinner, more delicate, and pure white.  Many people eat them with no ill effects.

How do you store oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms will keep in your refrigerator for a few days.

I ended up dehydrating ours and bagging them up for later use.  They rehydrate easily and this allows me to keep them for as long as I need to.

I have also heard of people freezing them, but I have not tried this yet!

Dehydrated Oyster Mushrooms
Dehydrating Oyster Mushrooms

How do you cook oyster mushrooms?

The way I will work this section is by only posting recipes and cooking methods that I actually try.

Lightly Fried Oyster Mushrooms
You can use a coffee grinder to grind up your dehydrated mushrooms into powder.  I used this with a little flour and Stagshead Sumac and tossed some sirloin strips to fry. It was pretty tasty.

Pleurotus Ostreatus

AKA: Oyster Mushrooms

Learn more about Oyster Mushrooms.

Mushroom Growing Naming Convention

As I continue to ramp up my mushroom growing endeavors, I am finding that I need to take better notes on my batches from the creation of the substrate to the inoculation and grow room.  To help with this, I am coming up with a naming convention for my grow outs and thought I would share it with everyone.

7 Amazing Wild Mushrooms in PA

Pennsylvania is home to a wide variety of wild mushrooms harvestable throughout the year. Here are my 8 favorite mushrooms to forage for.

Laetiporus Sulphureus – Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods is an awesome mushroom that has the texture of chicken and can really take on the flavor of the dish you are preparing.

Easy to Make Mushroom Grain Jar Caps

It’s super easy to make your own Mushroom Grain Jar caps with self-healing injection ports. Here is how!

How to Make: Lapin à la Moutarde

Lapin à la Moutarde is French. I made this and it’s rich and intoxicating and layered in flavor. I enjoyed my time reading about the dish and then actually preparing it. You can use the whole rabbit for this dish, I look forward to preparing it again.

~ Laurie Luther @lutherhomestead.com



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