Should You Freeze Cucumbers (& How Long Do They Last)?

Whether you've started a garden this year or just found a fantastic deal at a farmer's market for fresh cucumbers, eating them fast enough to prevent waste can be difficult. There's nothing quite like their bright, crisp texture and cool feel. Storing them in the refrigerator may help to slow down the breakdown, but if you want long-term storage, consider freezing them.

The key to remember is that they are 95% water, which means freezing them will change their texture. When you thaw them from a frozen state, the cell structure isn't able to reform the way it was fresh out of the ground and they're likely to have a super soft, mushy feel to them. It's unlikely that you'll want to top a salad with them, but there are a few other ways to use the frozen version, such as adding them into a soup or blending them into your breakfast smoothie. Just leave them off the cucumber sandwiches unless you add them to a topping mixture.

Simple tips for freezing cucumbers

Freezing cucumbers is a straightforward process. To freeze store-bought cucumbers, start by washing them to remove the wax film on them. If they're garden-fresh, you'll need to remove any dirt from the surface. You can use a vinegar and water solution to help clean the cucumbers safely.

One of the freezing methods is to slice the cucumbers into even pieces, place them on a baking sheet in a single row, and then place them in the freezer until they firm up. After an hour or so, remove them, and place them into a zipper bag or airtight container to place into the freezer.

Another option is to create a brine of equal parts oil, vinegar, sugar, and a teaspoon of celery seeds, and add the sliced cucumbers to this. Place it into a freezer-safe container leaving at least an inch of room at the top. This is a great option for those who want to enjoy flavor-packed soups and spreads. Use your favorite classic dill pickle recipe if you like. 

You can also simply pulse the cucumbers (skin and all if you would like to) in a food processor to create a smooth pulp. Separate it into an ice cube tray, freeze it for several hours, and then pop each cube into a bag to pull out when needed.

When frozen and stored properly, Martha Stewart says cucumbers can last up to nine months.