Ahhh… there is nothing quite as satisfying as cutting into a perfectly ripe avocado, right? When ripe, avocados are not only delicious but creamy and can be enjoyed on their own, tossed into a salad, added to a smoothie, used for avocado toast, or baked in desserts! There really are endless ways to enjoy avocados. But how can you tell if an avocado is ripe? After all, the last thing you want to do it cut open a rock hard avocado. Follow along as we share all the best tips on how to tell if an avocado is ripe, how to ripen them quickly, and how to store them!
Unlike some other fruits, avocados ripen after they have been harvested. An underripe avocado will often be bright green and sometimes will have a smooth-textured skin. As the avocado ripens it will turn dark green to almost black and the skin’s texture may turn bumpy. However, the color and texture will vary from avocado to avocado so it would be best to go by feel too.
To tell if an avocado is ripe, give it a gentle squeeze. It should feel a little bit soft but not mushy. It’s also recommended that you give the more round end a squeeze test because avocados ripen from the stem-end down. If the larger end is slightly soft you’ll know the avocado is ripe all the way through.
If you feel pretty confident that the avocado is ripe based on its color and the way it feels then cut it open! A ripe avocado will have a light green flesh and a wonderful creamy texture. That said, a rotten avocado will often have brown or black spots throughout the flesh and can often have a stringy texture. Overripe avocados might not look as pretty or have the best flavor but just like bananas, they are still completely safe to eat.
If you buy a rock-hard avocado at the store sometimes it can feel like an eternity waiting for it to ripen. Luckily there are a few things you can try to ripen avocados quickly. First, you can try placing your unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana for about two or three days. This is because bananas and apples give off a gas called ethylene which can trigger the ripening process.
Other people have had success with placing an avocado in a sunny spot which may help the avocado ripen in just a few days. You can also try this hack to ripen rock-hard avocados on-demand which requires tin foil, a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven, and about 10 minutes of your time.
Now that you know how to tell if an avocado is ripe, you’ll want to know how to properly store them! It’s best to store avocados at room temperature on your counter especially if they are unripe. Sometimes it can take up to four to five days for an avocado to fully ripen.
Once the avocado is ripe, it’s best to store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. This is because the cool temperatures from your fridge will slow down the ripening process and will make them last longer. If you’ve cut the avocado but don’t use all of it you can check out this easy hack that will save your avocado from browning! You can also check out how to properly store other fruits and vegetables to help prevent food waste and to keep your produce fresh for longer!
ICYMI: Check out how to pick the perfect watermelon, and how to pick a perfectly ripe cantaloupe! You may also enjoy learning about how to pick and store asparagus.