How to Keep Cucumbers Fresh [With or Without a Refrigerator]

how to keep cucumbers fresh

Uncut cucumbers are best kept outside of the refrigerator because they are sensitive to cold temperatures. Once cut, wrap them in a paper towel and keep inside an airtight ziplock bag in the fridge or cut into thick strips and leave in a jar with water.

Congratulations! You had a successful cucumber harvest from your homegrown plant, planting those seeds has paid off and now have more cucumbers than you know what to do with.

First things first, what is the best way to store cucumbers once cut from the vine? There is a lot of debate about whether the refrigerator or pantry is the ideal storage place for cucumbers. As always, both sides have some truth to them.

There is more than one way to keep cucumbers crisp. Here are our top tips for preserving the freshness of cucumbers for as long as possible.

How Do You Keep Cucumbers Crisp?

Your first instinct might be to put your cucumbers inside the fridge’s crisper but that name is somewhat misleading. At least, in the case of cucumbers it is.

The reason why vegetables stay crunchy longer inside the crisper is the cool temperature and air circulation. The problem for cucumbers is that they don’t do so well in the cold.

Just as when they are still growing on the cucumber plant, this is a fruit (or vegetable) that doesn’t like temperatures below 50°F. Most refrigerators run colder than that so they are not a cucumber’s happy place.

keeping cucumbers fresh

Do Cucumbers Last Longer in the Fridge Or on the Counter?

Cucumbers fresh off the vine and still uncut do not need to go in the refrigerator. They last longer when kept in a cool dry place such as the cupboard, kitchen counter or pantry.

Cut cucumbers on the hand, won’t last as long without refrigeration. After cutting, cucumbers last longer inside the refrigerator but only if stored properly.

How Do You Store Cucumbers Long Term?

If you are tired of veggies going bad before you have a chance to eat them, cucumbers are good thing to keep on your shopping list. Even in less than ideal storage conditions, they will most likely still last a long time.

However, you probably opened this blog post to find out ways to store cucumbers long term without losing their crispy juicy texture. Here are our tips!

How to Store Cucumbers Without a Refrigerator

Whole cucumbers can be kept outside of the fridge in a cool dry place. This can be your kitchen cupboard, the vegetable and fruits bowl or on a shelf in the pantry. Cucumbers kept outside of the refrigerator can last up to 10 days.

  1. Wash the cucumbers using ice cold water.
  2. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to completely dry off the cucumber.
  3. Store separately from other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene.
  4. Keep in a cool dry place where temperatures don’t go below 50°F.

How to Store Whole Cucumbers in Refrigerator

If you live in a warm or tropical environment, the refrigerator might be a better option than the counter. Most fruits and vegetables kept in too warm conditions are more prone to rotting. Whole cucumbers kept inside the refrigerator can stay crisp for up to 2 weeks.

  1. Wash the cucumbers using ice cold water.
  2. Use a paper towel or kitchen towel to completely dry off the cucumber.
  3. Wrap a paper towel around each individual cucumber.
  4. Place the cucumber inside an airtight ziplock bag.
  5. Make sure all the air is out of the bag.
  6. Place on the top or middle shelf inside the refrigerator.

How to Store Cut Cucumbers in the Refrigerator

Only cut off a piece of the cucumber? This should be stored inside the colder parts of the fridge with the cut end covered. This method keeps it fresh for up to 5 days.

  1. Wrap cling film around the cut side of the cucumber.
  2. Place inside an airtight ziplock bag.
  3. Keep the bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

cucumbers in jar

How to Store Cucumber Slices in Refrigerator

It is best to keep cucumbers as whole as possible but if you have already sliced them, you can still keep them fresh inside the fridge. There are several ways to keep cucumbers slices crisp. Both methods will keep them crisp for up to 5 days.

In Water
  1. Place cucumber slices inside an airtight jar.
  2. Fill up the jar with extra cold water.
  3. Place the closed jar in the coldest part of the fridge.
In Vinegar
  1. Place cucumber slices inside an airtight jar.
  2. Fill up the jar with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  3. Place the closed jar in the coldest part of the fridge.

What Can I Do with Lots of Cucumbers?

Still have more cucumbers than you can keep fresh? Here are a few ideas for what to do with too many cucumbers.

  • Gazpacho
  • Soup
  • Tzatziki
  • Pickles
  • Salt-cured
  • Zoodles
  • Juice

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should Cucumbers Be Refrigerated?

Whole cucumbers do not need to be kept in the refrigerator but once cut they should be kept cool inside the fridge. Cucumbers will last for a long time, both inside and outside the fridge.

Can You Freeze Cucumbers for Later Use?

Sliced cucumbers can be frozen but will lose their crisp so are best kept for preparations such as soups, dips, smoothies and other cooked dishes. Keep them inside an airtight freezer bag.

How Do You Preserve Cucumbers without a Fridge?

Cucumbers can be preserved as a pickle in a jar with salt, sugar and vinegar. It will last for up to 3 days in a cool dry place.

Summary

Compared to other fruits and vegetables, keeping cucumbers fresh is one of the easier tasks. Cool cucumbers can easily be kept on the countertop or in a pantry and also last a long time inside the refrigerator.

The most important thing to remember about storing cucumbers is that they don’t like to be kept too cold. Leave them in a space that maintains a steady temperature above 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Enjoy your cukes for longer with our tips!

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