Can you freeze cucumbers? Most of the people would answer no to this question, but that’s not entirely true. There are a few ways to freeze cucumbers, but you need to know that they require some work (some of them quite a lot) and you won’t necessarily be happy with the results you’ll get. Truth be told, cucumbers consist mostly of water and should be enjoyed fresh (as most other veggies).
A whole cucumber definitely won’t freeze well, but similarly to other veggies, there are some other options when it comes to freezing cucumbers. Basically, there are two possibilities. The first one is to slice the cucumber and preserve it in brine or vinegar. The other one is to use those cucumbers in a recipe that allows to freeze the dish once it’s ready. Of course none of the options guarantees you’ll be satisfied with the results.
(credit: Laurel Fan)
Freezing cucumbers in brine
Start off by washing and peeling the cucumbers. Once done, you should slice them thinly (you can use a food processor if you wish). Not it’s time to prepare the brine. Here’s a recipe from ThirtyFun.com:
In a large bowl, mix 2 quarts of cucumbers with chopped onions and 2 tablespoons of salt. Let stand for 2 hours. Rinse well with cold water, drain and return to clean bowl. Add 2/3 cup of oil, 2/3 cup vinegar, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of celery seed. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Once you got the brine ready, transfer sliced cucumbers into plastic containers or glass jars and cover them with brine. Please remember to leave some headspace, because the contents of the jar or container will expand. Close those jars or containers tightly and put into the freezer and keep it there at least a week before defreezing. Thaw in refrigerator.
For more pieces of information about this way of freezing cucumbers, visit ThirtyFun.com. As you can see, it definitely takes some time and hassle to do that, so you need to be sure it’s really worth spending the time and money on freezing cucumbers this way. If you’ll decide to try it, I suggest you freeze only a small amount of cucumbers for the first time to find out if you’re satisfied with the results.
There are quite a few freezer pickles recipes on the Internet, so I will link only a few. Using cucumbers in freezer pickles is probably the best way to freeze cucumbers and therefore extend their shelf life.
As you should know by now, there are at least a few ways to freeze cucumbers, but they need some work on your side and they don’t guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the results you’ll get. If you wish, you might experiment with freezing cucumbers, but they are definitely better when eaten fresh.