Storing Cucumbers: This Is How It Works

They should be firm and crunchy, then cucumbers are a real treat. But how should you store cucumbers so that the water-rich vegetables stay nice and fresh? It works best with these tips.

Storing cucumbers: how long can you store cucumbers?

The cucumber is over 90 percent water and is somewhat delicate. However, if bought fresh and stored properly, it can keep for up to three weeks. If stored incorrectly, the vegetables will become mushy and tasteless after just a few days. Therefore, you should consider a few points if you want to store cucumbers.

Storing cucumbers: How do you recognize a fresh cucumber?

A fresh cucumber looks crisp and shiny. If it’s a bit wrinkled at the ends or rather rubbery overall, then it’s better to keep your hands off it. A dull color also indicates that the specimen has been on the shelf for a long time.

After purchase, it is important to remove the foil from the cucumber. Moisture can form underneath, which can cause the cucumber to go moldy faster. It makes more ecological sense to buy an unpackaged cucumber right away, if possible from the region.

Before storage, the cucumber should not be washed, as the surface can become busy. It is therefore best to wash the vegetables thoroughly just before eating them.

Store cucumbers properly – preferably in the basement

If you have bought a fresh cucumber and do not want to eat it straight away, the question arises as to where it should be stored. Cucumbers originally come from India and do not like it too cold. But it shouldn’t be too warm either, so that they don’t ripen too quickly: Cucumbers only keep for a day or two at room temperature. Ideally, the vegetables should therefore be stored between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius.

The right storage place is cool and dark, the best is the basement or a pantry. Here the vegetables can keep for two to three weeks. In a pinch, a dark corner of the pantry is also fine, but then the cucumber won’t stay fresh for so long.

Store cucumbers in the fridge?

The refrigerator is not the right place for the crop: if the temperature is too low, the sensitive cucumbers quickly become soft and mushy. If you have no other option, the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator is an emergency solution. The consumer center advises wrapping the cucumber in a damp tea towel and storing it in a glass or plastic container.

Modern refrigerators often also have a so-called “basement zone”, which is warmer and better suited for cucumbers. By the way, freezing cucumbers is also not a good idea because of their high water content.

Keep cucumbers fresh: Store away from fruit and vegetables

In the salad, other vegetables are the ideal complement to the cucumber. However, this does not apply to storage: If it is in the immediate vicinity of fruit and vegetables that emit the odorless gas ethylene, it will ripen more quickly. Therefore, cucumbers should be stored separately from foods containing ethylene.

Ethylene is a plant hormone that is required for growth and ripening processes. The sweet-smelling gas is contained in avocados, apples and tomatoes, for example.

How do you store cut cucumbers?

If you don’t use all the vegetables, the rest can be stored for a short time. The cut cucumber should be placed in a sealable container in the refrigerator and used up within two days at the latest. Cut off the dried cutting area beforehand.

Storing cucumbers: the most important points

Paying attention to these things will keep a cucumber fresh and crunchy:

  • Do not store at room temperature.
  • Store in a cool, dark place, preferably in a cellar or pantry.
  • If refrigerator, then vegetable compartment.
  • Keep away from neighbors emitting ethylene.
  • So storing cucumbers is not that difficult.
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Written by Mia Lane

I am a professional chef, food writer, recipe developer, diligent editor, and content producer. I work with national brands, individuals, and small businesses to create and improve written collateral. From developing niche recipes for gluten-free and vegan banana cookies, to photographing extravagant homemade sandwiches, to crafting a top-ranking how-to guide on substituting eggs in baked goods, I work in all things food.

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