19

I purchase the cocktail and snackable Persian cucumbers from my big box store because I enjoy the taste of the smaller cucumbers over the larger varieties. I always store them in my refrigerator because I purchase them from the refrigerated produce section at the store. I never really finish eating the cucumbers before they go bad, which seems like a waste.

Is there a specific cucumber variety when refrigerated, will have a longer refrigeration shelf life? Is there a proper way to store cucumbers so they don't start decaying and developing a film of slime, start sweating or mold in the refrigerator? I've tried to leave them out on the counter like I would leave out tomatoes, but they tend to develop wrinkles and lose their moisture. What is the proper way to store cucumbers?

4
  • 8
    I suppose pickling them is not what you’re looking for?
    – Sneftel
    Jul 29 at 14:39
  • Are they not lasting until their best before/sell by date? You haven't given us any time frame, just 'longer'.
    – unlisted
    Jul 29 at 15:01
  • How are they going bad? It might be that there’s something wrong with how you’re refrigerating them (in the crisper? In some sort of container they came in? ). And are we taking them going bad in days, or weeks? Sometimes the answer is simply ‘eat them faster’ or ‘buy smaller amounts at once’. (I should’ve pickled some the week my CSA gave us 5lbs, or maybe given some away, as I know I don’t go through them that quickly)
    – Joe
    Jul 29 at 15:28
  • 1
    @Sneftel "in a bottle of brine" was my first thought when reading the title...
    – RonJohn
    Jul 30 at 1:25
16

For maximum life, refrigerate them wrapped in a dry paper towel inside a plastic produce bag, in the produce drawer. If you have more than 3 cucumbers, ideally store every 3 cucumbers in separate bags, since one that starts to go bad tends to take others with it.

I started storing cucumbers this way based originally on Cook's Illustrated's advice on storing lettuce, and trying it discovered that putting any produce that wilts in bags with a dry paper towel extended lifespan. I compared this with CI's advice to wrap them in plastic wrap, and found that the paper towel method worked better for me, but feel free to try their plastic wrap method instead and do your own head-to-head.

As I'm currently harvesting 3-5 cucumbers a day from my garden, I've been doing it a lot lately. I find I can store a fresh-picked cucumber this way for 2-3 weeks.

0
8

Cucumbers need to be refrigerated to stay fresh, the general rule is if they are refrigerated at the store they should be refrigerated at home - the store wouldn't waste energy keeping them cold if they didn't need to be.

There's no magic involved, keep them in the vegetable drawer. I've bought many varieties and I've never found one that lasts longer than others, if they are going bad before you eat them then you've simply kept them too long.

EDIT: people have different experiences with whether cucumbers are refrigerated in stores, regardless the advice is to refrigerate them at home so they last.

4
  • 3
    Or the grocery store doesn’t have very good turnover, and they kept them too long
    – Joe
    Jul 29 at 20:05
  • 3
    "the store wouldn't waste energy keeping them cold if they didn't need to be." This is not true, Ive worked in a supermarket for 10 years and they store stuff in chilled sometimes that does not need to be. The Persian cucumbers in all my stores were never chilled for instance and sat with the other cucumbers on the normal shelf. Not to mention they chill drinks that don't need to be chilled along with other stuff.
    – GamerGypps
    Jul 30 at 8:12
  • 9
    Never seen them refrigerated in the stores where I live. By the logic presented in this answer - they don't need to be, at least not in EU.
    – Mołot
    Jul 30 at 10:05
  • Not refrigerated in our local groceries either (southern NJ, US). Jul 30 at 16:09
4

While the other answers are correct when talking about longevity there is another thing to consider: impact on flavour and texture. While it is indeed correct that storing cucumbers in a fridge might have them stay 'good' (= not bad) for longer there is something called cold-injury, which might occur in fruits and vegetables which are stored below about 10°C.

Cucumbers in Germany are generally sold laying around on a shelf and while I agree with the notion, that one wants to refrigerate them after buying them, I generally only do this if I don't intend to eat them in the next couple of days as I don't want to lose the flavour.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.