Learn how to ripen avocados so you can enjoy them at their best! This is my favorite method for getting perfectly ripe avocados.
Avocados are great for adding to recipes, buddha bowls, or enjoying on their own. Choosing a ripe avocado, or letting them ripen at home can seem tricky and expensive. I’m going to help you get perfectly ripe avocados (almost) every time!
How to ripen avocados
I always purchase my avocados 4-8 days before I plan to use them. I know, this takes a lot of pre-planning, but I eat at least two avocados every week so it fits easily into my shopping routine.
When purchasing avocados, I always recommend buying them bright green and rock hard. Every time I buy what feels like a ripe avocado at the store it comes out stringy and brown.
When you get your avocados home, place them in a brown paper bag and fold over the top. Check them in two days. If they’re still hard fold the top back over and check again every day until softened.
I find it usually takes about 4 days for my avocados to become perfectly ripe in a brown bag. If you would like to ripen avocados quickly, place a banana or apple in the bag with the avocados to speed things up.
How to know when an avocado is ripe
An avocado is ripe when the skin has darkened and it gives to gentle pressure. If it looks sunken, wrinkly, or feels like the skin has pulled away from the flesh, it has become over ripe.
Ripe avocados have smooth, bright green flesh when cut open. If it’s still a little hard it’s ok to eat but won’t taste very good.
When you cut into an overripe avocado it will have brown and/or stringy spots. You can still eat the good looking parts of an overripe avocado that are bright green and tender, just discard any brown, stringy portions.
How to stop avocados from ripening
If your avocados become ripe but you’re not ready to eat them, take them out of the paper bag and put them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The refrigerator will slow the ripening process, keeping them fresh and ready to eat!
How to store a cut avocado
If you only need half an avocado, try to leave the unused half in tact with the pit. You want to expose as little of the flesh to air as possible, since that is what will cause oxidation and browning. I have tried several methods for storing avocados and found an airtight plastic bag or reusable container to be the best at keeping the avocado green.
You could also rub the exposed flesh with a little olive oil or lime juice to prevent browning, or press a piece of clear plastic wrap against it, but I find that it usually browns a bit no matter what. If you do experience browning, just scrape off the brown part before consuming.
Getting avocados to ripen is really an easy, hands-off process if you’re willing to plan ahead! Here are a few of my favorite avocado recipes so you can enjoy your newly ripe avocados!
- 1 avocado
- 1 brown paper grocery bag
- Place the avocado in the brown paper bag and fold over the top.
- Check the avocado every day until ripe. It usually takes mine 3-4 days to ripen. The avocado should give to gentle pressure but not be overly soft or mushy.
To speed up the process, add an apple or banana to the bag with the avocado.
You can add several avocados to the bag, but adding too many may make it take longer for them to ripen.
Avocado Chimichurri Chip Dip
Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad
Green Avocado Sauce
Pico de Gallo with Avocado
Mango Avocado Salsa
Black Bean Burger with Avocado Whip
Sweet Potato Tacos