How To Ripen An Avocado
Most avocados in the grocery stores are a light green color and very firm, not yet ripe. They ship better this way, bruising far less than if they were ripe. But you can’t do much with a hard unripe avocado, it’s the creamy texture that makes them so versatile and delicious.
Because of this natural ripening process, it’s usually best when you’re preparing to make guacamole to shop a few days in advance so your avocados have time to ripen at home. It’s also usually a good idea to buy an extra avocado if you are buying them from a grocery store, that’s an unusual comment coming from us, but the chances of cutting into a rotten avocado from a grocery are actually quite high.
Since a ripe avocado is the basis of guacamole dip and a great addition to many other dishes, this natural ripening answer does you no good if you have a immediate craving for guacamole! So, here are some suggestions to speed the avocado ripening process:
- To quicken the ripening process, you can store the avocados in a paper bag to contain the gases and thus speed the ripening process. You can also ripen different kinds of fruits within the same paper bag. Bananas and Avocados together in a paper bag will both ripen faster. (never use plastic)
- Some suggest that to quickly ripen an avocado you can wrap it tightly in tin foil and then place it in a warm (200°) oven for 10-15 minutes. This will soften the avocado, but it is cooked rather than naturally ripened and the taste is slightly altered.
- If you are in a pinch and really want guacamole but your avocados are still firm, then bring out your blender or food processor. Add some defrosted frozen peas to the mixture before blending to add creaminess. Chances are you won’t notice any change in taste, unless maybe if you despise peas.
How To Ripen An Avocado
How Long Does It Take To Ripen An Avocado?
Most avocados will ripen nicely on the countertop within a few days from purchase. If you live in a hot humid environment, your avocados will ripen slightly faster.
How To Pick A Ripe Avocado?
Avocados are creamiest and tastiest when they are ripe and look like the Haas avocados pictured here. Most types of avocados will darken in color as they ripen. A ripe avocado looks a very dark green – almost black but not black or it is overripe. You want to stop the ripening process before it turns completely black.
Not all type of avocados turn color when ripe, so you should also test if the avocado gives slightly when gently pressed. An avocado should be slightly soft to the touch, but your finger should not leave an indent. If your thumb breaks the skin, then your avocado has gone beyond ripe.
How Do You Store A Ripe Avocado?
Once your avocado has ripened, it’s time to either use it or place it in the refrigerator. The ripening process will stop once your avocado is placed in the fridge. The hydrator drawer of the fridge is a great place for avocados. See our page on avocados for more on how long avocados last.