Wild Chanterelle Mushroom Hunting + The Best Way to Cook Chanterelles
Hunting and foraging for chanterelle mushrooms is pretty easy! You just need to keep your eyes open for bright orange mushrooms along the forest floor. The best part is that once you find a good place you can return there year after year for a mushroom harvest.
In this video, I take you deep into the woods to hunt for chanterelles, and then after finding some, heading home to cook them up.
What is a Chanterelle?
Chanterelle mushrooms are tasty, golden wild mushrooms that can be found sprinkled all over the forest floor around the world.
They are bright orange or gold in color and trumpet-shaped, with a huge range in size. There are some toxic similar mushrooms so be sure to positively ID them before consuming!
One key giveaway is that chanterelles have false gills running from cap and down the stem. False gills resemble ridges instead of gills that you’d find on your average white mushroom.
In the Pacific Northwest region, these mushrooms come out in late summer and last until late fall. They stop growing once it begins to freeze heavily.
How do I find chanterelles?
Chanterelles are found on the forest floor, growing near old stumps and trees (but not on them).
I hunt for my chanterelles in deep forested areas, primarily on logging land. If you check your Department of Natural Resources website you'll likely find information about mushroom hunting in your area.
How do I pick chanterelles?
The best practice for picking chanterelles is to use a knife and cut them at the base of the step. It's good to cut them because it leaves their mycelium in place (which is sort of like the roots of the mushroom).
Once you have them cut, I like to dust all of the dirt and debris off of them while in the woods. This way, it keeps your kitchen from getting covered in chunks of moss and dirt.
I use a bag or basket to harvest them. With certain mushrooms, it's very important to use a basket so that the spores (which are like mushroom seeds) can be spread through the forest. However, chanterelles do not produce many spores so this isn't as necessary (but still a good idea)!
How to cook chanterelle mushrooms
My favorite way to cook chanterelles is simple, delicious, and great as a burger topper or side.
- Heat up a pan with one tablespoon of olive oil/
- Cut or tear chanterelles into small pieces.
- Add mushrooms to pan and cook on medium, stirring occasionally. They will release lots of juice. I like to wait for all of the juices to dry up so the mushrooms have the most flavor.
Once the mushrooms begin crisping up to a nice golden brown, top them off with some salt and pepper and enjoy!
Hey! I'm Callie.
I'm a mountain-obsessed skier, hiker, and mountain biker based out of Bellingham, Wa. I am the founder of Wild Grit, teaching online courses and creating videos to guide you towards a more adventurous life.
To learn more, click here.