How to Store English Cucumbers

How to best store English cucumbers, saving you money, and fighting food waste. They have a short shelf life, are practically seedless, and are different than regular cucumbers. Here's how to store them for optimal freshness.

What is an English Cucumber

An English cucumber is a variety of common cucumber specifically bred for ease of eating. It is generally longer and thinner than its counterparts, which makes for more uniform slices. Its skin is thinner and less waxy, reducing the need for peeling and creating a more pleasant mouthfeel. The seeds have been bred to be smaller, making it basically seedless, which cuts down on the bitterness found in other cucumbers. These features result in a very mild and pleasant vegetable that lends itself well to both cooking and eating raw.

How to Buy English Cucumbers

The first step in preserving your English cucumber is picking the right one. In your produce aisle, you’ll find that these vegetables typically come wrapped in a plastic sheath. The skin of this variety is thinner and more susceptible to humidity, so the plastic wrapping helps maintain the crispness of the cucumber. When selecting your English cucumbers from the store, perform the three following checks:

  1. Check that the plastic packaging is intact and not broken
  2. Check that there is no moisture buildup on the inside of the plastic
  3. Check that the cucumber feels firm, particularly at the ends of the vegetable

How to Store English Cucumbers

Now that you’ve got your well-selected produce home, let’s keep it fresh. English cucumbers’ pleasantness comes with the drawback that they are more sensitive than other cucumbers. This means you’ll get about a week of peak freshness if you follow these tips:

Keep the Plastic

The plastic wrapper is key to protecting your cucumber from humidity. Be sure to keep that on. And if you only use part of your cucumber, rewrap the remainder with the plastic sheath to maintain freshness.

If you purchased your English cucumber from a farmers market, it likely came unwrapped. You should wrap those too.


Most cucumbers don’t need refrigeration. English cucumbers do. But since they are susceptible to humidity, it’s best not to keep them a humid part of your refrigerator. Instead, select a low-traffic spot on a refrigerator shelf where it won’t get bruised. You can use the cirsper drawer, if it allows you to control the drawer humidity.

Evaluating Freshness

When English cucumbers start to wilt, they soften up at the ends. If you feel this happening with your cucumbers you can always trim off the soft parts and use the still firm middle. If you feel that the length of the vegetable has lost some rigidity, you can still salvage them. English cucumbers lend themselves well to pan-frying with the seasoning of your choice, making for a good solution for cucumbers past their prime. You can also add them to smoothies, where their thin skin helps with texture and you’ll have a pleasant melony-cucumber flavor.

Fight Food Waste

You have an important job when it comes to preventing food waste. Knowing how to buy good produce, how to store it, and utilize food at all levels of freshness will help keep our planet and community healthy. Thank you for reading and Bon Appétit!