How To Store Cucumbers To Keep Them Fresh as Long as Possible
Don't you hate it when you buy fresh produce and then it spoils before you ever get the chance to use it? You could run to the market or grocery store daily to avoid this from happening but who wants to do that? When you have some lag time between the purchase and use of produce such as cucumbers, there are some ways to store them that allow you a little extra time. We'll go over how to store cucumbers to ensure that none of them will go bad before you get a chance to use them in a reasonable amount of time.
Did you know that cucumbers are actually a fruit? This is one of the reasons that they tend to spoil faster than some of the common vegetables that you might use in a salad. Cucumbers are great to have on hand for a salad because of the health benefits and low-calorie count, but you need to use them up quickly. However, if you buy and store them correctly, you may be able to get up to a two-week shelf life with them.
Here is everything that you need to know about buying and storing cucumbers for the longest life.
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How To Buy Cucumbers
Like any produce, your best bet for getting the longest shelf life is to choose carefully. Use your senses of sight, smell and touch. When looking at cucumbers, make sure that there aren't any soft spots. This just means that they are already getting too ripe and are starting to deteriorate. They definitely should not have any odor to them. The best cucumbers will be dark green without any yellowing. Yellow spots mean they are getting too ripe as well.
If you are going to use your cucumbers right away, you might want to purchase them from a farmers market where you can find them unwaxed. Unwaxed cucumbers have more flavor than typical waxed cucumbers.
However, if you want your cucumbers to last for a while, purchase the waxed variety that you find at most grocery stores. The reason that they are waxed is to keep the moisture inside and prolong their life. You can also find cucumbers wrapped in plastic to help them keep longer but it's best to not stock up on any more than what you can use in one week.
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How To Store Cucumbers
At room temperature, most cucumbers will only last for two days. If you need them to last longer than that, you can store them in the refrigerator. It does matter where in the refrigerator you keep them though and it's not in the crisper drawer. For the best life, store cucumbers in the middle of the refrigerator towards the front. The back and bottom of the refrigerator generally are colder which may be too cold for cucumbers.
However, even with that, they can start to deteriorate after a couple of days because of the chill. Because of that, you will need to keep them covered with plastic after they have been sliced into. Unwaxed cucumbers should also be wrapped in plastic to help them retain moisture even before slicing. If your cucumbers started out in good condition and they are waxed or wrapped, you can expect to get between one and two weeks of life out of them.
Never store whole cucumbers in the freezer as this is way too cold for them and they will get big and mushy and totally destroyed.
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How To Store Cucumbers After Slicing
There are a couple of different ways to store cucumbers after they have been sliced that will preserve their freshness. They will last for two to three days once they are sliced and stored in these ways.
Cover the slices with water and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Wrap the slices in a damp paper towel and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Cut only the slices that you need from the cucumber and wrap the remaining part in plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Cucumber Slices?
Even though you can't freeze whole cucumbers without them getting destroyed, it is possible with cucumber slices. Just slice the cucumbers and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them for about two hours that way. Then, take out the slices and put them in an airtight freezer container and place them back in the freezer. They will last in the freezer this way for around 8 to 12 months.
To defrost the cucumber slices, simply set them out at room temperature to thaw. You can then use them in the same way you use fresh cucumbers. They just won't have the same crunch.
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