Cucumbers are the most watery vegetable, comprising of 96% H2O. While it makes them one of the most refreshing vegetables to eat, it also makes them particularly tricky to store. This is because they’re prone to going moldy or drying out! Therefore, learning how to store cucumbers properly will mean you’ll keep getting your serving of the thirst-quenching green for as long as possible.
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How to Store Cucumbers
How long do cucumbers last at room temp?
Up to 2 weeks.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Surprisingly, cucumbers are one of the few vegetables that storing in the fridge is not actually best for them.
Because, whilst you might like the taste of cold cucumbers, especially on a hot summer’s day, cucumbers don’t like the cold at all.
Research by University of California, Davis, found that cucumbers are sensitive to temperatures below 50f / 10c. Cucumbers kept below this temperature are more prone to pitting, wateriness, and quicker decay than those kept at a much milder temperature.
This means the countertop or pantry is actually the best place for them.
But, it is worth bearing in mind that they are also very sensitive to ethylene gas. This is produced by a wide variety of fruit and vegetables as they ripen and decay. So, don’t think about cozying your cukes up with the rest of your greens or they’ll go bad quickly.
Do cucumbers need to be refrigerated?
However, while room temperature is best for them, you can still keep them in the fridge if you fancy a cooler cuke.
If you choose to do so, you must make sure the skin is a dry as possible. Firstly, do not wash them until you’re ready to use them. This means they shouldn’t be washed prior to storing in the fridge.
Secondly, keep them dry in the fridge by wrapping them in paper towel or placing them in a plastic bag to keep it safe from any external moisture.
Then, keep them as close to the door as possible, as this is the warmest place in the fridge.
Cut or sliced cucumbers should be placed in an airtight container and eaten within 48 hours. Any that you sliced the end off should have the exposed flesh covered in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. If it will fit inside an airtight container, it’s even better to put it in there in addition to wrapping up the end.
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Can you freeze cucumbers for later use?
Because of their high water content, they go extremely mushy when thawed. Therefore, this is not recommended.
How Long Do Cucumbers Last?
|At room temperature||In the refrigerator||In the freezer|
|Whole fresh cucumbers last for…||1-2 weeks||Up to 1 week||–|
|Sliced or cut cucumbers last for…||–||1-2 days||–|
How do you know if a cucumber is bad?
Look. A cucumber’s skin should be firm and smooth. If you start to see any wrinkles or dents in it, then it’s a sign that the cucumber is old and most likely gone bad. You may also notice come discoloring of the skin.
A sure sign of a bad cucumber is visible mold. If a cucumber is moldy, do not attempt to cut off the moldy bit and eat the rest. The roots of mold go a lot deeper into food than you realize.
Touch. If your cucumber is slimy to the touch, then throw it out! Also, a bad cucumber’s flesh will be soft instead of firm. So, don’t even think about eating any squishy ones.
Other Useful Tips
What’s the best way to peel a cucumber?
If you’re peeling a cucumber, start peeling from the lighter-colored end, and peel toward the darker. This stops any of the bitter oil in the darker skin spreading over the rest of the cucumber.