How to Store Cucumbers: The Best Tips & Tricks

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Stevepb

Do your cucumbers lose their crunch before you get a chance to eat them? We’ll show you how to store cucumbers to keep them fresher for longer. 

Cucumbers are made of 95% water, and so are relatively susceptible to losing their freshness rather quickly. Learn how to store cucumbers properly so that they keep their flavor and their crunch for as long as possible. 

Cucumbers: The Facts

cucumbers
Because cucumbers grow from flowers and contain seeds, they are technically classified as a fruit. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Outsideclick)

Although cucumbers are eaten as a vegetable, scientifically they are considered a fruit. In the United States, cucumbers are grown domestically in states like Florida and Michigan and are also imported from countries like Mexico. They are grown both in fields and in greenhouses, and are raised both conventionally and organically. 

Cucumbers often come wrapped in plastic. Although this is meant to keep them fresher, the idea often backfires. Moisture from condensation easily gets trapped under the plastic wrap, causing the cucumber to rot instead of keeping it preserved. But whether or not plastic wrap is good for the cucumber, it is most definitely not good for the environment. More plastic waste inevitably leads to more plastic pollution in the ocean, which is bad for everyone. 

Tip: Since the micronutrients that are found in cucumbers are concentrated in the skin, you’ll get the most health benefits from this vegetable by eating it unpeeled.

How to Store Cucumbers

storing cucumbers
Cucumbers are made mostly of water. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – No-Longer-Here)

Here’s how to store cucumbers properly:

  • It’s best to store cucumbers in a cool and dark place, like a basement or cellar. Ideally, the temperature should be around 50-55°F. In the proper environment, cucumbers can last up to three weeks. 
  • If you don’t have a cellar, storing cucumbers in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator is the next best thing. In the refrigerator, cucumbers will usually last up to five days. 
  • If you have no choice but to store your cucumbers at room temperature, be sure to use them within two days. 
  • Avoid storing cucumbers near apples or tomatoes; the ethylene that they release as they ripen will cause cucumbers to go bad more quickly. 

Whatever you do, don’t freeze your cucumbers. Cucumbers are made mostly of water, and water expands when it freezes. This destroys the cell structure of the vegetable and will cause your cucumber to turn to mush. 

Storing Sliced Cucumbers

cucumber sliced
Cucumbers should be stored in a cool place, but never frozen. (hoto: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Ka_re)

Once you’ve made the first cut in your cucumber, you’ll want to use it as quickly as possible. Here are a few tips for storing cucumbers that have already been cut:

  • Store the cut cucumber in an airtight container.
  • Keep the closed container in the refrigerator and use within two days.
  • Before using again, cut the dried end of the cucumber off.

Tip: Looking for ways to use up your cucumber before it goes bad? Try using sliced cucumber as a natural remedy for dry eyes.

This article was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Gurken lagern: So bleiben sie lange knackig

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