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How to Ripen an Avocado Quickly

Published on
22 April 2019
Chef Silvano
Chef Silvano

Once upon a time in a cozy little kitchen, there lived a young chef named Emma. Emma was known far and wide for her culinary skills, but she had a secret weapon that set her apart from the rest – her ability to ripen avocados perfectly and on demand.

One sunny morning, Emma received a phone call from her friend Sarah, who was coming over for lunch. Sarah had a special request – she was craving Emma’s famous avocado toast. There was just one problem: all the avocados in Emma’s kitchen were as hard as rocks.

Determined to satisfy her friend’s craving, Emma sprang into action. She knew the art of ripening avocados better than anyone in the village. She rushed to the market and selected the finest, unripe avocados she could find, each one as green as the leaves on a spring tree.

Once back home, Emma gathered her ripening tools. She needed a brown paper bag, a ripe banana, and a little patience. She placed the avocados inside the brown paper bag, ensuring they were snug and cozy. Next, she added a ripe banana to the bag. Bananas release a natural gas called ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process.

Emma sealed the bag and left it on her kitchen counter, where it would receive just the right amount of sunlight and warmth. As the day went by, she couldn’t help but wonder if her magical ripening method would work its wonders in time for lunch.

As Emma and Sarah chatted and sipped tea in the kitchen, the hours passed by, and the anticipation grew. The avocado bag seemed to be just an ordinary bag, and Sarah was starting to lose hope.

But then, as the clock struck noon, Emma reached into the bag and pulled out an avocado. To Sarah’s amazement, it was perfectly ripe. Its once rock-hard exterior had transformed into a creamy, luscious texture. Emma’s secret had worked its magic once again.

With a smile, Emma began to slice the ripe avocado, delicately arranging the slices on a plate of toasted bread. She added a sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. The result was a masterpiece of avocado toast that left Sarah speechless.

As they savored every bite of their meal, Sarah marveled at Emma’s avocado-ripening skills. “You truly are the avocado whisperer,” she said with a grin.

Emma chuckled, realizing that her talent for ripening avocados had become one of her most cherished kitchen secrets. With her trusty brown paper bag and a ripe banana, she knew she could turn even the hardest avocados into culinary perfection, making every meal a delicious adventure in her cozy kitchen.

And how to do it Quickly

Ripening an avocado quickly is often a matter of a few days rather than minutes, as avocados naturally take some time to soften. However, if you need to speed up the ripening process, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Right Avocado: Start with an avocado that is mature but still firm. Look for one with dark green skin that yields slightly to gentle pressure when you squeeze it. Avoid avocados that are extremely hard or overly soft.
  2. Paper Bag Method: Place the avocado in a brown paper bag. Adding a ripe banana or apple to the bag can further accelerate the process, as these fruits release ethylene gas, a natural ripening agent. Seal the bag tightly.
  3. Warm Environment: Keep the bag at room temperature, ideally in a warm spot like on top of your refrigerator or near a sunny window. The warmth helps speed up the ripening process.
  4. Check Progress: Check the avocado daily to monitor its ripeness. Depending on how ripe it was when you started, it can take anywhere from 1 to 5 days to ripen using this method.
  5. Use Ethylene-Producing Fruits: If you don’t have a ripe banana or apple, you can use other ethylene-producing fruits like kiwi or a ripe tomato. Simply place one of these fruits in the bag with the avocado to help it ripen faster.
  6. Check for Ripeness: Once the avocado has reached your desired level of ripeness (usually indicated by slight give when gently squeezed), remove it from the bag and place it in the refrigerator. This slows down further ripening and preserves the avocado for a few days.
Please Note
Remember that while you can accelerate the ripening process, it’s still not an instant transformation, and avocados may ripen at slightly different rates depending on their initial state and ambient conditions. Be patient and check regularly to ensure you catch it at the perfect ripeness for your needs.

How to Select a Ripe Avocado

Selecting a ripe avocado is a crucial step in ensuring your avocado is ready to eat or use in your recipes. Here’s how to choose a ripe avocado:

  1. Check the Color: The color of an avocado can vary depending on the variety, but generally, ripe avocados will have a dark, almost blackish-green skin. However, this alone may not be a reliable indicator, so don’t rely solely on color.
  2. Feel for Firmness: Gently squeeze the avocado in your hand. It should yield slightly to gentle pressure but still feel firm. If it’s too hard, it’s underripe. If it feels very soft or mushy, it’s overripe. The ideal ripe avocado should have a slight give when you press it.
  3. Stem Test: This is a more precise method for checking ripeness. Remove the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. If it comes off easily and you see green underneath, the avocado is ripe. If it’s difficult to remove, or you see brown, the avocado is either underripe or overripe.
  4. Look for Uniformity: Examine the avocado for any large indentations or bruising. Minor blemishes are okay, but if you see significant dark spots or bruises, it might indicate overripeness or damage.
  5. Size Matters: While not a foolproof method, generally, larger avocados tend to have a longer ripening time, so choose the size that matches your timeline.
  6. Consider Your Use: If you plan to use the avocado immediately, look for one that is slightly softer to the touch. If you need it to ripen in a day or two, choose one that’s a bit firmer and allow it to ripen at home.

How to Safely Cut Avocados

Alright, let’s tackle the avocado, folks! It’s a kitchen essential, and cutting it safely is key. Here’s the play-by-play:

Step 1: Gear Up
First off, make sure you’ve got your gear ready: a trusty, sharp knife, a sturdy cutting board, and your favorite spoon.

Step 2: Clean the Avocado
Before we start slicing, show that avocado some love by giving it a quick rinse under the tap. We want it clean and ready to roll.

Step 3: Slice Lengthwise
Now, grab that washed avocado and place it on the cutting board. With a firm grip on the avocado in one hand, wield your knife in the other. Carefully slice it lengthwise, starting from the top where the stem was, and go all around the pit. Maintain a steady hand, and you’ll do great.

Step 4: Give It a Twist
Next, give the two halves a gentle twist in opposite directions. One of them will still have the pit hanging out.

Step 5: Pit Removal
Here comes the tricky part – removing that pit. Take the half with the pit in one hand and, with your other hand, give your knife a gentle tap into the pit until it catches. Then, carefully twist the knife, and the pit should pop right out. Be super cautious here, safety first!

Step 6: Slicing or Scooping
With the pit out of the way, you’ve got options. You can scoop the flesh out with a spoon, or if you’re feeling fancy, make slices right in the skin. For slices, use the knife’s tip to create a crosshatch or diagonal pattern without piercing the skin. Then, scoop out the diced or sliced avocado with your trusty spoon.

Step 7: Dispose of the Pit Safely
When you’re done, make sure to toss that pit safely. I recommend wrapping it in a paper towel and giving it a cozy spot in the trash. Safety in the kitchen is our priority!

Step 8: Clean Up
Last but not least, show your cutting board, knife, and any utensils you used some TLC with a good wash, and you’re golden.


How to Ripen Avocados in the Microwave

Ripening avocados in the microwave is not the ideal method, as it can lead to uneven results and may affect the texture and flavor of the fruit. However, if you’re in a pinch and need to ripen an avocado quickly, you can use this method cautiously. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare the Avocado: Start with a firm, unripe avocado. If the avocado is too soft, this method is unlikely to work effectively.
  2. Poke Holes: Use a fork or knife to gently poke several holes in the skin of the avocado. These holes will allow steam to escape and prevent the avocado from exploding in the microwave.
  3. Wrap in Paper Towels: Wrap the avocado in a damp paper towel. This will help create steam, which can aid in ripening.
  4. Microwave in Short Bursts: Place the wrapped avocado in the microwave and use the lowest power setting or the “defrost” mode. Microwave the avocado in 30-second intervals, checking its ripeness after each interval.
  5. Check for Ripeness: After each interval, carefully remove the avocado and gently squeeze it to check for ripeness. It may take several rounds (usually 1-2 minutes, but it can vary) until the avocado reaches the desired level of ripeness.
  6. Use Immediately: Once the avocado is ripe, use it immediately in your recipe or meal, as this method may result in a slightly different texture than naturally ripened avocados.
Please Note
Keep in mind that microwaving avocados can be risky, and the results may not always be perfect. Over-microwaving can quickly turn your avocado mushy and unappetizing. It’s best to use this method only when you’re in a hurry and have no other options. Whenever possible, opt for more natural ripening methods to ensure the best flavor and texture.

How to Store Ripe Avocados

Storing ripe avocados properly can help extend their freshness and prevent them from overripening. Here’s how to store ripe avocados:

  1. Refrigerate: Ripe avocados should be stored in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. If you want to keep them at their current level of ripeness, place them in the refrigerator’s main compartment, usually around 40°F (4°C). This will typically extend their shelf life for a few more days.
  2. Use Plastic Wrap: To further protect your ripe avocados, you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. This helps reduce exposure to air, which can cause the fruit to oxidize and turn brown.
  3. Lemon or Lime Juice: If you’ve cut open the avocado and only used part of it, squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh. Citrus juice helps slow down browning due to oxidation. Place the unused portion in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the avocado’s surface to minimize air exposure.
  4. Store with Onion: Some people find that storing a cut avocado with a piece of cut onion can help preserve its freshness. The onion’s sulfur compounds might slow down browning.
  5. Airtight Container: If you’ve already cut into the avocado, store the unused portion in an airtight container to minimize air exposure.
  6. Avoid Refrigeration for Unripe Avocados: If you have unripe avocados, do not refrigerate them until they ripen. Keep them at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness, and then transfer them to the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.
Please Note
Remember that even when stored properly, avocados will continue to ripen, albeit at a slower rate in the refrigerator. It’s a good idea to check them periodically and use them promptly to enjoy them at their best.

So, you’ve got some ripe avocados on your hands, and you want to keep them in good shape for a bit longer. No worries, I’ve got you covered.

First, you’ll want to pop those beauties into the refrigerator. That’s the best way to slow down the ripening process and buy you a few extra days of freshness. Just place them in the main fridge compartment, usually around 40°F (4°C).

Now, to prevent them from turning brown too quickly, here’s a little trick: wrap them in plastic wrap. This keeps air out and helps maintain that lovely green color.

But wait, there’s more! If you’ve already cut into an avocado and only used part of it, squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh. Citrus juice is like avocado’s best friend – it helps keep them looking and tasting their best. Then, pop the unused portion in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right onto the surface of the avocado to minimize air exposure.

So there you have it! Refrigeration and a bit of plastic wrap can work wonders for keeping your ripe avocados fresh and fabulous. Enjoy your avo creations!