While avocados can be a favorite part of many dishes, timing their ripeness can certainly be a struggle. Avocado ripeness occurs in a very specific window that is often easy to miss! This can mean wasted money as you are left with a mushy, inedible mess instead of a tasty, ripe avocado.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks that you can use to make your avocados last longer, giving you more of a chance to enjoy your avocados before they go bad.
Do avocados last longer in the fridge? While waiting for your avocados to ripen, leave them at room temperature. But once they are ripe, avocados last longer in the fridge, for about 3-5 days. Your refrigerator will slow down the chemical processes within the avocados, keeping them from aging too quickly.
Outside of simply placing your avocados in the fridge, there are a few other tricks that you can use when storing your avocados.
Find the Right Avocado
When you are at the store, you may not know what to look for when it comes to selecting the right avocado. At first glance, it is difficult to tell which ones are ripe and which are not. The freshest avocados will actually be the hardest, as avocados do not ripen until they are off of the plant. Unripe avocados will gradually ripen at room temperature, so if you pick up a few unripe fruits, you can just wait for them to finish the ripening process before using them.
Be careful not to choose avocados that are already too ripe. These avocados will be soft to the touch, and easily press in. Avocados that have soft patches are no good, as well as fruits that have loose pits. You can shake the avocado and listen to see if the pit moves around.
You can buy ripe avocados at the store or market if you are planning on using them later that day, but otherwise it is best to get them while they are still unripe to control their ripening process at home.
How to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe?
Avocados indicate their ripeness in a variety of ways. While they may appear to be a mysterious green monolith to the untrained chef, you can easily tell if an avocado is ripe from its peel color and hardness.
Ripe avocados have a dark green peel. This is contrasted by the brighter color of an unripe avocado peel. The peel should not be wrinkled, but will have a bumpy texture.
Ripe avocados also are slightly softer than their unripe counterparts. They will give with a little pressure. However, overripe avocados will be soft, and barely require any kind of pressure on their skin to cave. Overripe avocados will feel mushy, and you may feel their insides slipping about upon inspection. Stay away from these fruits!
How to Store Unripe Avocados
If you have purchased an unripe avocado for later use, you can manipulate the ripening process to make sure that it will be ready for use when you need it. Unripe avocados should be stored on the counter. While they should not be in direct sunlight, your unripe avocados should be at room temperature to make sure that they are ripening correctly. Depending on the avocado, they may not become ripe for up to five days. You can monitor the ripening process of your avocados by testing their firmness.
If you need your avocado to step on the gas when it comes to ripening, you can use this old trick: a paper bag. Ripening fruits release a compound called ethylene gas. This gas actually accelerates the ripening process for fruits as well, so if you trap it around a fruit, that fruit will ripen exponentially quicker.
Put your unripe avocado in a paper bag. If you really need it to ripen ASAP, you can put other fruit (like an apple) in the bag with it. This will intensify the speed at which both fruits will ripen, so make sure you monitor their progress.
How to Store Ripe Avocados
Once your avocado has successfully ripened on the counter, you need to move it to the fridge. If you do not put your ripe avocado in the fridge, it runs the risk of ripening even more, creating a gross, mushy fruit that is wholly unappetizing. Put your ripe avocado in your vegetable crisper if you have one. The cold of the fridge will preserve your avocado for up to three days, much longer than if it was left on the counter.
Cut Avocado Storage
Once you cut your avocados open, they will need a little extra care to stay fresh. You may have noticed that cut avocado slices turn brown very quickly. If you want to stop this process form happening, you can use citrus to slow the oxidization of the fruit.
If your avocado is ripe, you can sprinkle some lemon juice on it before putting it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can place the cut half face down in a container with a little water in it. This prevents the flesh from being exposed to the air, and keeps it moist.
Sometimes, you may accidentally cut an unripe avocado. To save your fruit, brush some lemon juice on it and tightly seal it in plastic wrap. Put it back in the fridge, and keep an eye on it.
Once an avocado is cut, you should use it quickly.
For the best avocados, it is recommended that you choose an unripe specimen at the store, and ripen it at your home. This way you can keep a close eye on it, and use it as soon as its ready. Once the avocado is firm, but still gives in to pressure, it is ripe and ready for use or refrigeration!
If you do not use your avocado completely, you can preserve it in the fridge with some lemon juice, but you should still use the leftovers as fast as you can.
With these tips, you are certain to be a master at selecting and ripening avocados for any kind of dish!