If the cucumber harvest is large or some vegetables are left over during preparation, the question arises whether you can freeze cucumbers. We explain how it can be done and what to keep in mind.

Like most vegetables, cucumbers taste best fresh and have a limited shelf life. At room temperature, cucumbers usually only last two or three days. Ideally, they can be stored in a dark, cool basement for two to three weeks. In the refrigerator, whole cucumbers stay fresh for about a week, while those that have already been cut will only last a few days. If you have more cucumbers than you can eat at one time, you have two options for freezing cucumbers. However, you should keep in mind that cucumbers always lose flavor and texture when frozen.

Why shouldn’t you freeze cucumbers?

Cucumbers are healthy and low in calories and should not be missing from a balanced diet. The low-calorie content comes from the fact that a cucumber is up to 95 percent water. What is a plus for nutrition becomes a problem when frozen: when frozen, the water in the cucumber expands, breaking the vegetable’s cell structure. Like lettuce, tomatoes or melons, cucumbers get mushy when thawed if you just put them in the freezer. Then they look less appetizing and are hardly suitable as raw vegetables anymore. Defrosted cucumbers can still be used for cooking, however, and can be made into soup or stewed cucumbers, for example. You can also use frozen cucumbers as an addition to a green smoothie.

What is the best way to freeze raw cucumber?

If you want to freeze cucumbers, you should not leave them whole. In fact, in frozen as well as in thawed state, they cannot be processed properly. It is better to peel the cucumbers first. Then either cut them into thick slices and freeze them that way. Or cut the vegetable in half lengthwise to remove the watery core. The flesh of the cucumber is then cut into evenly thick slices and placed in freezer bags or plastic boxes. For later preparation, add the frozen cucumber slices directly to the cooking pot. Tip: If you like to add frozen cucumber to smoothies, you should puree the cucumber before freezing and freeze the puree in portions. This way, you have iced vegetable puree right at hand. Caution: Since the fruit loses flavor over time, cucumbers stored in the freezer should be used within a year.

Freeze cucumbers: Step by step

Freeze cucumbers for cooking:

  • Peel cucumber, cut in half and seed with a spoon.
  • Cut peeled and seeded cucumber into evenly thick slices.
  • Place cucumber slices in freezer bags or sealable plastic boxes and freeze.

Freeze cucumbers in vinegar:

  • Peel and finely slice cucumbers.
  • Mix vinegar with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.
  • Put the cucumber slices in a freezer tin, pour the vinegar mixture over them, mix everything well and freeze.

Can you freeze cucumbers for salad?

If you don’t want to give up cucumber salad outside of harvest time, there is another way to freeze cucumbers: Adding vinegar can prevent the cell structure of the cucumber from being destroyed during freezing. Peel the cucumbers and cut them into fine slices. Then they add a mixture of salt, vinegar and sugar on top. If desired and to your liking, you can add other spices such as bay leaf, pepper or mustard seeds to the vinegar mixture. The cucumber mixture now goes into a tightly sealed freezer container and then into the freezer. Before eating, let the pickled vegetables thaw slowly and gently in the refrigerator. Then you can use it for cucumber salad, cucumber relish, or as a flavorful topping for burgers and breads.