In our modern era, we typically don’t have to worry about food going bad very quickly, thanks to the various methods of preservation we have. Technology also plays a massive role in our food’s longevity, such as refrigerators, but are cucumbers supposed to be refrigerated?
Cucumbers do not need to be stored in the refrigerator unless they have been sliced into. Otherwise, they are best stored at room temperature and will last up to three weeks this way, whereas if they are stored in the fridge, they’ll last only a week.
This article will discuss whether or not cucumbers should be stored in the fridge. So keep ready! We have everything you need to know about keeping your cucumbers fresh and tasty.
Cucumbers are the perfect summer snack and can be enjoyed in an endless number of ways; whether you eat them with dips, in salads, on wraps, or just by themselves, they’re a refreshing and tasty snack.
Most people have varying opinions on the best storage method when it comes to storing cucumbers. Many would assume that the fridge is the best place to keep them; however, experts would tell us that this isn’t the ideal place.
Cucumbers that are stored in the refrigerator may become subject to what is known as chilling injury. This occurs when cucumbers have been placed in the fridge for more than a few days and begin developing sunken spots, soft spots, and sliminess.
If you’re opting for a variety of slicing cucumbers, they typically come with a thin layer of food wax which helps the cucumbers retain water. This adds a few days to the expiry date of refrigerated cucumbers.
If you have already sliced into your cucumber, you’ll want to ensure that you stop it from drying out. So, in this instance, placing the cucumber in an airtight container that contains a little water and storing them in the refrigerator is probably the best idea.
Storing Cucumbers In The Refrigerator
If you’ve stored your cucumber in the refrigerator for more than four days, it’s highly likely that the cucumber will have turned mushy and rather unappetizing. Various health groups such as the USDA recommended that cucumbers be consumed within six days to ensure optimal freshness.
Studies have shown that cucumbers can shrink as much as three percent due to water loss when stored in the refrigerator. This is why various supermarkets package their cucumbers with a very thin polyethylene film to combat this natural shrinkage.
If you decide to buy fresh cucumbers from a market or you’re able to harvest cucumbers from your garden, storing them in the refrigerator is a little different. Just ensure that they are not removed and then placed back in the refrigerator, or they will be subject to chilling injury. You’ll typically have up to 10 days of optimal freshness when storing them in the refrigerator.
What Is The Best Way To Store A Cucumber?
Various people will have varying opinions when it comes to the best way to store cucumbers; however, it depends on numerous factors. Generally, if your cucumber has not been sliced into, and you want to ensure that it stays fresh for two to three weeks, the best option is to store them at room temperature.
If you have cut into your cucumber, you’ll want to ensure that it’s stored in the fridge in a container with water, as we mentioned before. This will stop the cucumber from drying out and prolong the freshness for a few more days.
You should only store your cucumbers in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them within a week. Even if you prefer to eat cold cucumbers, you risk reducing their longevity by storing fresh cucumbers in the refrigerator.
You can place your cucumbers in cool and dry places, such as your fruit bowl, hanging baskets, or anywhere away from the sun. Excessive heat can reduce the longevity of cucumbers and just about any other food.
The ideal condition for cucumbers is to keep them cool, but not cold, as this reduces the risk of chilling injury. This means that you could even store them in a pantry or storage room, just so long as it hovers around the sweet spot of 50 degrees.
If you’re someone who decides to store their cucumbers in the refrigerator for one reason or another, and you know you’ll eat it within a week, then here are a few tips to ensure that it stays fresh as long as possible.
The first main point is to store our cucumbers in the warmest part of the fridge. While this may seem unusual when talking about refrigerators, if they are placed at the front of the refrigerator, which is furthest away from the cooling elements, this will help reduce the risk of chilling injury.
There are a few extra precautions that will ensure that your cucumbers keep their crisp and fresh taste such as wrapping each cucumber in an individual paper towel. You can even place the wrapped cucumber into an airtight container or storage bag to further increase its longevity.
How To Tell If Your Cucumber Has Gone Bad
No matter what method you employ when storing your cucumbers, there’s always the chance that they will go bad or reach their expiry date. For cucumbers, you can generally tell if they’ve gone off by looking at or feeling them.
If they are soft, mushy, or slimy, this is typically a good indicator that it’s time to throw them in the bin. Wrinkled cucumbers will tell you that they are on their way to being spoiled, and extreme amounts of moisture tell you the same.
So, now you know that while you can certainly store cucumbers in the refrigerator, they’ll typically last much longer when stored in a cool and dry place. If you decide to store your cut cucumbers in the fridge just remember to place them in an airtight container with a little water to ensure they don’t dry out.