Storing Hothouse Cucumbers
I prefer hothouse cucumbers and the least expensive way to buy them is in a three-pack at Costco for around $3.49, it seems. I try to make use of them, but occasionally I forget there is one left and it goes bad on me. I'm still ahead, given that they go for $1.99+ each singly, even if one does goes bad. Does anyone know if it's better to store them wrapped in their plastic shrink-wrapped sleeve or outside the sleeve?
I suspect that there's not really any difference between sleeve on or off. Cucumbers don't last long even in the fridge chiller. We'd rarely use a full one before it went off, so buy the halves in the supermarket
Cucumbers should be in paper bag, or loose in the crisper. They slowly give off their moisture, and if you leave them in the plastic, the moisture causes them to go slimy, or cause indented soft spots. when you cut into them you will see a watery darker flesh on the outside edges, where they have gone off. I just cut off the darker areas if it is slighly mushy. If you are talking about the shorter, thicker skinned cuc's. I find that if they have just started to get slimy, you can just rinse them off, using your hand to rub the skin down, to clean them off. Use a paper towel to dry them off and leave them on the counter to make sure they are dry, before you put them back in the fridge. You will need to use them up sooner rather than later. If you are talking about english cucumber's ( thinner and longer), once they get slimy or indented, you will have to cut off the blemished area, Personally I like the skin on the cuc's. In Toronto, I can usually get the smaller pickling cucumbers, or even the small english cuc's almost all year. I can eat a whole one in a salad or on a sandwich, with the skin on giving you more cucumber flavour. The thicker skinned cuc's can be scored with a fork, along the length of the cuc, before cutting, to break up the skin to make it easier to digest. It also looks flowerlike, and decorative.
You have to watch the shorter thicker skinned cuc's, in the winter months. They can have a thin coating of wax on them to keep the moisture in, so they will last longer. We get that sometimes with apples, and even peppers.
I find that cucumbers stay best in a brown paper lunch bag in the fridge. Don't pack them into the bag too tightly and they'll stay a week or more.