Let's tackle a common kitchen conundrum - how to tell if cucumbers have gone bad! Cucumbers are a soft vegetable and can turn quickly as they age - here are the telltale signs to know when your cucumbers should be discarded.
Here's what you need to know about identifying rotting cucumbers, cucumber storage tips, and some common cucumber FAQs.
Signs of Rot in Cucumbers
Look for these signs to see if your cucumbers have gone bad.
- Mold & Discoloration - Any fuzzy white, green, or red spots on the cucumber are usually mold. The mold may be furry or look wet. If the cucumber starts to develop dark spots or yellowing areas it is rotting.
- Soft Spots - If your cucumber has any soft or squishy areas it is rotting.
- Wrinkled Skin - As cucumbers age, they dry out - if you notice wrinkling or shriveled skin on your cucumber it is time to throw it out.
- Sliminess - A cucumber that is in the early stages of rot can have a slimy film coating over it. You may not notice any mold spots, but if it feels sticky or moist you should discard it.
- Smell - Cucumbers that smell acrid or rotten should be discarded.
The Best Way to Store Cucumbers
Cucumber is best when kept in the refrigerator crisper drawer wrapped in dry paper towel to soak up any moisture.
The best way to store cucumbers are whole and unpeeled. If you have a halved or sliced cucumber, cover it it in plastic wrap and use it within a day or two. If you have diced cucumber, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within two days.
Don't wash your cucumber before putting it in the fridge, it should remain dry until you are ready to use it and then it can be washed.
Can I eat a slightly shriveled cucumber?
Slightly wrinkly cucumbers, without mold and any slimy texture, can be okay to eat. They won't have the best flavor, so I suggest blending them and using them in a soup or smoothie.
How long does cucumber keep in the fridge?
A whole, uncut cucumber can keep for at least a week in the refrigerator and sometimes for up to two weeks (depending on the freshness of the cucumber when you bought it).
I recommend using cucumber quickly though as it's at its best when it's juicy and crispy.
Can you cut the moldy spots off a cucumber?
Cucumber is a soft vegetable, meaning that even though you may only visibly see a small amount of mold it has likely spread much further. If a cucumber has any mold on it, it is best to be safe and discard it or compost it.
Do you need to store cucumbers in the fridge?
Yes, cucumbers should be stored in a refrigerator.
Are cucumbers with a bad smell okay to eat?
Cucumbers with an acrid or sour smell should not be eaten.
How long do cut cucumbers last?
Sliced or chopped cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator and are best when consumed within two to three days.
Can you freeze cucumbers?
While you can technically freeze cucumbers, the consistency of them changes and the crunchy, crispiness denatures. If you have to freeze cucumbers, they will be best if used in something like a soup or smoothie.