There is nothing like enjoying a fresh and cool, crunchy cucumber in a salad when the summer comes. But the problem is – how to store the cucumber properly so that it lasts as long as possible and so that it retains its fresh taste and crunchy texture.
How to store cucumbers – a step by step guide
Keep cucumbers in the fridge
The best and the only way you should use to store cucumbers, especially in the hot summer season, is in the refrigerator. A cucumber will retain its crunch, firmness, and fresh taste longer when properly stored.
The optimal storage space for cucumbers is the warmest part of the appliance. This is usually on the door, the crispy drawer, or on the front. Keep them away from the coldest parts of the fridge, as low temperatures can ruin their crunchy texture.
Keep the cucumbers separated from other fruits and veggies in the fridge because they can rot pretty quickly due to the ethylene gas released by them.
When stored properly, cucumbers can stay fresh and firm for up to a week.
If you use only part of the cucumber, simply cover the cut end with some plastic wrap and store it back in the fridge.
Keep your refrigerated well organized, and make sure you use up the stored food before filling it up with new products. This will help you save money, be more eco-friendly, and will prevent you from ending up finding a mushy and moldy gross mess left from a forgotten cucumber in the fridge.
But before storing the cucumber in the fridge, remember to do the following to prep it:
Wash the cucumber thoroughly
No matter where you have purchased the cucumber from and what packaging it comes in, it is recommended to remove any packaging and rinse the veggie thoroughly to remove any grime or dirt.
Even if you have purchased vacuum-sealed cucumbers grown in a greenhouse, they still need to be washed before storage.
In case you notice any soft or moldy spots on the cucumber, make sure to cut out the bad part and proceed to eat the cucumber on the same day.
In case the cucumbers are clean, firm, and look unblemished, you can go ahead and store them.
Dry them thoroughly
Make sure that you dry the cucumbers entirely after washing them because leaving moisture on them can promote faster spoilage.
When they are completely dry, you can wrap the cucumbers in a paper towel or dishtowel to help keep them fresh and crunchy and prevent them from going bad quickly.
You can use this storage method for all leafy greens, delicate fruits and veggies, and herbs.
How to store sliced cucumbers?
If you have sliced the cucumber, but will not be eating it right away, then make sure that you place the slices in a tightly sealed container with a lid. To maintain the crunchiness of the sliced cucumbers, you should fill the container with water which is enough to cover them all. This will prevent them from drying out and from absorbing odors. Using this method, you can store sliced cucumbers for up to one week.
You can also store sliced cucumbers by marinating them in vinegar and storing them in a tightly sealed jar. The cucumber slices will maintain their delicious crunch for 3-4 days. You can add some dill, jalapenos, onion slices, or other veggies and herbs to the marinated cukes and use the slices for mouthwatering snacks and sandwiches.
You can freeze whole cucumbers by washing them and placing them in an airtight container. You can use the frozen cucumber in the next three months.
Keep in mind, though, that freezing the cucumber will cause its texture to become mushier, so they are not ideal for making salads. But you can still use the frozen cucumber to make a delicious and healthy green smoothie or add them to a gazpacho.
Long-term cucumber storage
If you have a garden or have a large number of cucumbers, you can proceed to store them by making pickled cucumbers in jars. When properly pickled and preserved, cucumbers can last for months and more.
There are hundreds of recipes available for the long-term as well as for fast pickling of cucumbers online, which you can try out easily, using staple household products such as vinegar, salt, sugar, and water.