Have you ever had a bumper crop of cucumbers from your garden or overbought cukes at the market? If so, it’s probably crossed your mind to wonder, Can you freeze cucumbers?
It’s a legitimate question because vegetables high in water content, like cucumbers, could become mushy after thawing out. But that doesn’t have to be the case if you learn the proper freezing methods.
So can you freeze cucumbers? The answer is yes. Keep reading to learn the steps to freeze cucumbers and still maintain most of their taste and texture!
Step One: Wash
Water is all you need to clean garden-grown cucumbers. But with wrapped, store-bought cucumbers, you’ll need not only water but also vegetable wash to get rid of wax coatings.
For a homemade vegetable wash, mix four cups of water, a cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray your cucumbers. Let them sit for two to five minutes before rinsing them off.
Finally, dry them with a paper towel to avoid freezer burns unless you’re brining them.
Step Two: Slice
There are three ways to cut your cucumbers for freezing: rounds, spears, and cubes. Get your cutting board and knife ready!
- Rounds: Slice a cucumber width-wise into rounds so they’re about a fourth or half an inch thick.
- Spears: Slice a cucumber in half length-wise and slice those pieces in half length-wise again. Cut the pieces in half width-wise if they’re too big.
- Cubes: Make the first cut like you would when cutting for spears. Then keep the halves together and cut them width-wise into thick pieces.
After you’re done slicing, place your cucumbers in or on the following items of your choice:
Take out a cookie sheet and put parchment paper on it. This will prevent the cucumber slices from sticking. Next, place the slices in rows on the paper.
Ice Cube Tray
Can you freeze cucumbers in ice cube trays? No sweat!
Stick your cubed slices in each of the squares of the tray. In addition to filling the tray with water, add some lemon juice for more flavor. Ice is no longer just for cooling your drinks!
Can you freeze cucumbers while brining, or pickling, them? That’s another yes; what better way to freeze them and retain their taste and texture? Here’s how to do it:
1. Place your sliced cucumbers in a bowl and add two tablespoons of salt to them. If you want more flavor, add chopped onions.
2. Let the cucumbers sit in the fridge for two hours. After that, transfer them to a colander and rinse them in cold water.
3. Mix a half cup of vinegar, a cup and a half of sugar, and a teaspoon of celery seeds. Stir until the sugar dissolves. (Another option is to mix the first two ingredients along with vegetable oil—each added from a two-thirds cup.)
4. Put the cucumbers in a mason jar and pour in the brine mixture. Leave at least an inch of headspace in the jar so the mixture can expand when freezing.
Step Three: Freeze
Before storing the cucumbers in the freezer, if you’re using a cookie sheet, check that the shelf is level. Uneven storage will result in your freezing cucumbers sliding onto each other on one side.
Let them set in the freezer for about two to three hours. After that, you’ll need to put them in some kind of storage container:
Freezer Bag or Airtight Container
Transfer your cucumber slices from the cookie sheet or ice cube tray to a freezer bag or airtight container. Be sure to label them with the date you froze them and what they are!
Are your cucumbers cut in spears? As a space- and time-saving option, skip the cookie sheet step and freeze them directly in freezer bags or containers!
When brining the cucumbers, you won’t need to take them out of the mason jar. You’ll still need to provide a freezer label, though.
Step Four: Thaw
Now that you know how to freeze cucumbers properly, let’s discuss the proper way of thawing them out.
Transfer the frozen cucumbers from their bag or container to a bowl. Then place them in the refrigerator for six to eight hours. Afterward, drain the water in the bowl.
If you brined your cucumbers, wait a week before transferring the jar from the freezer to the fridge. Let it thaw for 24 hours, and drain the water and brine mixture.
Ways to Use Frozen Cucumbers
Though their texture may change when thawed, frozen cucumber rounds and spears are perfect for cold snacks on hot days.
You can blend frozen or thawed cucumbers for soups and smoothies; that even goes for frozen whole cucumbers! And because you can eat these out of the freezer, you can add them to your drinks, salads, and sandwiches.
Here are some recipes with frozen cucumbers you can try:
Also, if you’re in the mood for a spa, you’ve got cool, refreshing rounds to put on your eyes!
FAQs on Freezing Cucumbers
1. Can you freeze cucumbers without slicing them?
You can, but know that without slicing, your cucumbers will be mushy and soggy after thawing out.
Should you plan on using those cucumbers as soon as possible, though, freezing them whole is an option! Rinse it, wrap it in plastic, store it in an airtight container, label it, and put it in the freezer.
2. Can you freeze cucumbers right after you harvest them?
Of course! Your chosen freezing method will work with the cucumbers from your garden just as well as the ones you bought.
3. Should you peel cucumbers before you freeze them?
You could, especially for brining; it’s a matter of preference. However, the skin is abundant in vitamins and minerals. So freezing cucumbers with the skin is more beneficial than doing so without!
4. How long do frozen cucumbers last?
Frozen cucumbers can last for six to 12 months if you freeze them properly.
Yes, You Can Freeze Cucumbers!
You no longer have to ask, Can you freeze cucumbers?. Not after you just learned a few ways to freeze them! A slight change in texture will occur, but frozen cucumbers will still taste good as refreshing snacks and in meals.
Visit our Cucumbers page to learn about more ways to prepare your cucumbers, whether from a garden or a store!