Cucumbers are a delicious, green vegetable, which is long and thin in actual shape and size. It is extremely popular with many consumers who consider it to be filled with healthy nutrients and vitamins. It is a very versatile food product, which can be used in salads, sandwiches, and as a side dish to a main meal. Cucumbers, even if they are out of season, remain quite popular and a staple of outdoor markets and supermarkets. If you see a big sale on cucumbers during the winter, and you want to buy them in bulk, would it be worth the savings in money? Would cucumbers be able to be stored for the long-term, especially if you have leftovers? The ultimate question remains; can you freeze cucumbers?
Can You Freeze Cucumbers?
Surprisingly, some consumers would actually answer ‘No’ to this question of whether or not cucumbers can be frozen. However, it is entirely possible to freeze cucumbers successfully despite the skepticism of some consumers of its’ actual plausibility. There are indeed a couple of satisfactory options when it comes to freezing cucumbers but it takes a little bit of work to have great results. Cucumbers contain a lot of water so a lot of care must be taken in order to freeze them correctly.
Cucumbers should be eaten fresh and can get mushy if they are not frozen right after initial purchase. Still though, it is very possible to freeze cucumbers but necessary steps must be taken. One option when it comes to freezing cucumbers successfully involves cutting up the cucumbers into pieces and dipping them into some brine in order to preserve their taste and texture.
You can also wash, slice and put the cucumbers on the baking sheet (line them on the parchment paper so you can get them off easier) and place them in the freezer. You can place them in a freezer bag after they are frozen. These type of frozen cucumbers are best to add in smoothies or make a cucumber infused water.
You could also freeze the cucumbers after they have already been put into the food dish and have been prepared for eating. In this article, we’ll talk about using brine in order to best freeze your cucumbers under those circumstances. If you don’t want to freeze the cucumbers after they have been put into a prepared dish, using brine is your next best option.
The Freezing Process
When it comes to successfully freezing the cucumbers with brine, there are necessary steps to adhere to in order to get the best results:
- It’s important to wash each of the cucumbers individually for health precaution and safety reasons.
- Next, peel the cucumbers and then cut them into even and thin pieces.
- To make the brine, it’s important to add oil, vinegar, sugar, and some celery salt in order to create the mix.
- You should mix the contents together in order to create the brine, and then refrigerate it overnight after you cover the contents with some plastic wrapping.
- Once the brine mix has been made, you can then move the cut up cucumbers into freezer-safe containers or jars where you can begin to pour the brine over the cucumbers.
- It’s important to leave some open space in the containers or jars because adding the brine may cause the cucumbers to physically expand in size during the freezing process.
- Please close the jars or containers tightly and let all of the air out first before sealing them. It’s important that they be sealed tightly before being placed in the freezer.
- When you put the cucumbers with brine into the freezer, you need to keep them there for about a week or more in order to ensure the best possible results.
- Don’t forget to label the containers. Write with a permanent marker the date of first freezing for each individual container and/or jar of cucumbers.
The Thawing Process
Like most other types of food products, frozen cucumbers with brine will last in the freezer for up to six or so months. This is the best possible option for long-term freezing when compared to freezing fresh cucumbers or ones that have been prepared in other types of dishes. Frozen cucumbers with brine should be frozen for at least a week before being removed from the freezer. After removing the cucumbers with brine from the freezer, you’re going to want to place the jars and containers directly into the refrigerator for de-frosting and thawing out. The de-frosting process for these frozen cucumbers should take about twenty-fours hours and should be kept overnight at least. The amount of de-frosting needed also depends on how many jars and containers of brine cucumbers have been frozen. It may be useful to de-frost the cucumbers within the refrigerator at the inside door section where it is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit as well.
Coming back to the original question, yes you can freeze cucumbers. However, while they are difficult to freeze and thaw out, using brine with the cucumbers is the best option in terms of keeping your food product safe and tasty for many months at a time. Remember to never re-freeze those cucumbers that have already been frozen and thawed out before. Enjoy this delicious and popular juicy snack especially now that you have learned to preserve it for the long-term!