Yet, if you buy cucumbers in bulk but don’t know how to store them properly, your cucumbers will go bad.
So, how to tell if a cucumber is bad? How long do cucumbers last? What can you do to extend its shelf life?
If you’re looking for a detailed answer, dive into this post right away!
How Does A Fresh Cucumber Look?
Let’s first learn about fresh cucumbers!
Fresh ripe cucumbers should be green, firm, crisp, and without any signs of spoilage. Depending on the types, their color can be dark green or light green.
When you pick up a fresh cucumber, you will notice a thick flesh and refreshing scent due to its high water content.
This characteristic refers to the significant benefits of cucumbers, which explains why many people add this vegetable to their daily diet.
How To Tell If A Cucumber Is Bad?
If you accidentally ate spoiled cucumbers, you would know how difficult it is to indicate whether they turn bad. So, how to tell if a cucumber has gone bad?
You can detect if a cucumber goes bad with its physical appearance. And it’s easy to start with the skin as the outside spoilage that you see can reflect more on the inside.
Good cucumbers may have yellow patches, but a lot of them mean the cucumber is probably overripe or has gone bad.
If you observe any moisture or slimy white sheen on the surface, your cucumber will likely go spoiled. Blemishes or dark spots are also some signs of spoiled cucumber.
In some cases, you can even find mold growing on its skin. Though you can cut the moldy parts off, chances are the mold has spread into the flesh and even the entire cucumber.
So if there is any sign of mold, you should throw it right away.
Then, how to tell if a cucumber is bad inside if its skin looks good? The best way is to slice it and check the flesh. Bad cucumbers often turn translucent in color and get a milky and soft texture.
Fresh cucumbers should be firm and dry to the touch. It means you can determine its quality depending on its firmness and texture.
If your cucumber becomes soft, slimy, or sticky, you can discard the entire cucumber.
Like other vegetables, cucumbers will have a foul odor when they go bad.
Simply cut your cucumber and sniff it. Fresh cucumbers always have a mild, refreshing scent. So if you smell an unpleasant odor, you can discard them away and look for some cucumber substitutes!
If you can’t check if a cucumber goes bad any other way, as a last resort, you could taste it.
Cucumbers are not naturally sour. If they become sour and emit a bad odor, they’re spoiled and inedible.
How Long Do Cucumbers Last?
Cucumbers have high water content and thus a shorter shelf life. It is best to use your cucumber within one week of purchasing it. After this time, you may have to discard them in the trash!
So, how long do cucumbers last?
Fresh cucumbers can stay for three days if you wrap them in paper towels and place them below 26°C. When stored in the fridge, they can last for one week.
Yet, sliced and peeled cucumbers will turn bad faster than whole, fresh ones because the unpeeled skin can protect the flesh inside to stay longer.
Specifically, sliced cucumbers can only stay for a few hours before spoiling, even if you store them in the refrigerator.
If possible, you should put them all in an airtight container; they will last in the fridge for at least 48 hours.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Cucumber?
Of course, spoiled cucumbers are inedible, and you may get sick after eating them.
The water content inside would be great for bacteria to multiply quickly during spoilage. Specifically, you risk getting salmonella in your intestines when you eat rotten cucumbers.
You may have food poisoning and even severe health issues after consuming them. The symptoms include nausea, constipation, stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting.
What’s The Difference Between An Overripe And Bad Cucumbers?
When cucumbers are left on the vine for too long, they will get overripe, much firmer, and turn yellow.
Overripe cucumbers are not suitable for eating, but they are edible if there is no choice. Meanwhile, eating spoiled cucumbers can cause severe health problems.
If you notice the flesh inside is fine (though its skin doesn’t look too good), you can peel the skin and remove the seeds to lessen the bitterness.
Otherwise, you can grind or cut them into small parts, then combine with onion and some spices to make your homemade pickle relish.
How To Buy The Best Cucumbers?
Knowing how to buy the best cucumbers can enhance the flavor of your food while also lowering the risk of eating rotten cucumbers. Let’s take note of these pointers when you go to the market!
Firm and Green
When purchasing cucumbers, you should choose those with dark green skin and firm to the touch. The lighter-colored cucumbers are usually older and lack crispness and freshness.
As always, the cucumbers should not have any flaws on the skin since they will last longer.
Spongy spots are a sign of old cucumbers. So pick them up and check if they have any sponges.
The Wax Issue
You may not know this before, but many growers use wax on the skin to extend the shelf life of their veggies. So it’s best to use your nails to inspect the cucumbers thoroughly!
Small and Slender
Good cucumbers should be small and slender since this variety is fresher and contains fewer seeds.
Where To Buy
It’s also worth noting that cucumbers will gradually lose their freshness and taste if stored at low temperatures. So rather than choosing cucumber in the supermarket, you should visit farmer’s markets.
We do not recommend buying cucumbers online since they may bruise easily, affecting the flavor and texture.
How To Store Cucumbers Properly?
Though cucumbers do not last long, you can extend their shelf life by applying proper storing methods:
Wash your fresh cucumbers thoroughly, then place them in a cool, dry place.
Containers with ventilated lids are a good way to improve air circulation while preventing mold development.
Before putting your cucumbers in the fridge, wrap them loosely in a zip lock bag or plastic wraps. You should place them on the middle shelves to avoid high temperature and moisture.
In The Freezer
Due to the short shelf life of cucumbers, many people wonder if they can put them in the freezer. So, can you freeze cucumbers?
You should only freeze sliced cucumbers because fresh cucumbers tend to lose their flavor when defrosted.
Once frozen cucumbers are thawed, they turn into ice and have a mushy, wilted texture due to their high water content and wetness.
- Cucumbers should be kept away from fruits that generate ethylene gas, like bananas and apples. Otherwise, they will speed up the ripening process.
- Do not store the whole and sliced cucumber together.
- Always inspect the signs of spoilage before you eat any cucumber.
Cucumbers are a healthful and low-calorie vegetable that many home cooks include in their everyday meals. Still, they can quickly get spoiled without good storage methods.
Thus, it’s critical to know how to tell if a cucumber is bad to avoid unpleasant-tasting experiences and the risk of food poisoning!
We hope you’re now satisfied with our answers and our helpful tips on buying and storing cucumbers.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!