How To Keep Cucumbers Fresh

Delightfully crisp and refreshing, a cucumber just can't be beat. They make a welcome addition to any summer salad, are incredible when quick-pickled and added as a garnish, and make for a really yummy and healthy snack on their own or with some hummus or dip. The problem with these veggies is storing them, as we all know that a cucumber can transform from crisp to mushy in as little as a day or two, and storing them incorrectly is a surefire way to ruin your cukes before you get to enjoy them. 

To keep your cucumbers fresh, there are a few easy recommendations and rules to follow that will ensure your produce selection is perfectly crisp every time. Better yet, you don't even need a special container or storage method to keep them fresh; You just need to be aware of where they are in your fridge, and make sure they aren't too cold.

Storing your cucumbers in the fridge

The best and most simple method for keeping your cucumbers fresh is to store them in the fridge. That said, they do best in certain areas of the refrigerator, while other sections can cause damage to your product if you aren't careful. According to Eating Well, cucumbers can experience what's called "chilling injury" if they're exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which can lead to pitting and softening, ruining your crispy cucumbers. To avoid this while still keeping them fresh, wash and dry your cucumbers and store them in the warmest part of your fridge, which is usually in the door or towards the front of the fridge. This way, they won't be exposed to any adverse temperatures and will be completely clean and ready to go. One common misconception is to store cucumbers at room temperature on the counter, but this method will only keep your cucumbers for a few days at best, while keeping them in the fridge will allow them to stay fresh for up to a week.

Storing sliced cucumbers

If you want to pre-slice your cucumbers for quicker access and food preparation, you can store your sliced cucumbers in the fridge, too. In order to do this effectively, Eating Well recommends placing the sliced cucumbers in a container, filling that container with water, and then placing the lid on it before putting it in the fridge. This will keep your slices from drying out as the water will shield them from the dry air of the fridge and keep them crisp and fresh for up to a week. 

This is a great option if you tend to have quick lunch hours or want to have a quick and easy snack available to you whenever hunger strikes. Fresh and crisp cucumber slices make for a much healthier and more filling snack than potato chips, so this is a great option if you're trying to practice making healthier choices when it comes to snacking and meals!

Freezing your cucumbers

If you're going out of town and have some cucumbers that you know won't be good when you get back, or maybe you are simply cuked out at the moment, you can store cucumbers in the freezer, though we should mention that this method will alter their texture and they won't be crisp or crunchy when you decide to eat them (via Eating Well). 

Be sure to wash and dry the cucumbers thoroughly before placing them in an airtight container and putting them in the freezer. There are a few other options for using these cucumbers, though! You can blend them up for a smoothie or to use in gazpacho, or you can strain the pulp to make cucumber water, a refreshing drink with all sorts of electrolytes present, perfect for an after-run pick-me-up. This isn't the best option for preserving your cucumbers, but they will last in the freezer for up to three months.