Should You Store Cucumbers in the Refrigerator? Experts Weigh In

updated May 5, 2022
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Cucumbers are a cool vegetable staple in my kitchen. A crisp, healthy snack and a mainstay in salads, I usually have a few lingering around. Although I have to admit I’ve spent most of my life storing them the wrong way. Turns out the best place to store cucumbers isn’t where I thought it was. How about you? Do you know the right place to keep your cukes?

Until now I’ve been keeping my cucumbers tucked away in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator. But there’s a much better place for them.

Is It Okay to Store Cucumbers in the Refrigerator?

Cucumbers should be stored at room temperature — not in the refrigerator, according to a post at Root Simple.

Root Simple cites the University of California, Davis, which determined that cucumbers are sensitive to temperatures below 50°F. When stored at room temperature, cucumbers thrive and last longer. Stored below 50°F , they’re prone to developing “chilling injuries,” including water-soaked areas, pitting, and accelerated decay.

But if you absolutely insist on chilling your cucumbers, limit it to no more than three days and eat them as soon as possible. We also suggest keeping them towards the front of the shelf, where temperatures are warmer, and off the bottom shelf, which is usually the coldest part of the fridge.

One more thing to keep in mind is that cucumbers are highly sensitive to ethylene, a natural gas that causes the certain foods to ripen (and eventually spoil) very quickly. Not only should you keep your cukes on the counter, but be sure to keep them separately from bananas, tomatoes, and melons, which are all high ethylene producers.

4 Cucumber Recipes to Try

This post has been updated — originally published June 2012.