How to Store Avocados

Avocados have to be one of my favorite foods. I love putting them in my smoothies after a morning workout, or slicing one open to put on my sandwich for lunch. And they’re a creamy garnish for a hearty and flavorful vegetarian burrito bowls.

Heck, I’ve even been known to use them as a base for pudding.

How to Store Avocados | Foodal.com

Fun fact that many readers out there might not realize: It’s actually a fruit, not a vegetable.

One of the wonderful things about living in California is that I can get this fruit year round, for a very affordable price. And in the summer, I can get twenty of them for five dollars!

That being said, it’s crucial that you know how to properly store them, so they don’t go bad before you can enjoy them. You should also know that no two are the same.

With more than seven different varieties commercially available (at least in California), there are many different types to choose from. Hass is the most popular and it’s available throughout the U.S., but Reed is my favorite – it’s larger, and the flesh is very creamy.

The counter is best

When it comes to storing this fruit, if you plan to eat it within the next 1-2 days and it’s already ripe, you’ll want to leave it on your counter.

Another time when you’ll want to leave it on your counter is when it’s still hard, before it has had a chance to ripen.

The Right Way to Choose and Store Your Avocados | Foodal.com

This green, pear-shaped fruit is very unique in the fact that it only starts to ripen after it’s picked. If you buy a few and they’re still hard, leave them on the counter, as they’ll continue to mature.

It’s hard to say exactly how long it will take for them to ripen up. However, there a few things you can do to speed up the process, like placing them in a paper bag with bananas or apples.

When to use the refrigerator

There are a few times when you’ll want to store this fruit in the refrigerator instead, typically whenever you want to slow the ripening process. If you purchase a big bag of these that are precisely right (i.e. perfectly ripe), place them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

Also, if you cut one in half, place the unused half in the refrigerator.

As soon as you cut one open, it will start to oxidize and turn brown. While this doesn’t affect the flavor, it might not be something you want to serve to others.

If this is the case, keep the pit with the avocado half you’re saving, and drizzle a little lemon or lime juice on the cut flesh. From there, place it in a plastic bag with the air sucked out, or an airtight sealed container in the refrigerator.

This should keep it from turning brown for a couple of days, but the longer you keep it in the fridge, the more discolored it will become.

Two tips for picking the perfect avocado

I picked my fair share of rotten or under-ripe items in the past, until finally I discovered two tricks that never do me wrong.

How to pick the perfect avocado | Foodal.com

If you remember these techniques, you’ll be able to pick a good one every time.

Tip #1: The Stem Test

There is usually a little stem at the top, the narrow portion of the fruit. You can see if you have a good one by removing that tiny plug.
If you take off the stem without any difficulty and it’s green underneath, that’s a good sign that it’s ripe and ready to go. If it’s brown in the area, it’s probably brown on the inside too, and you don’t want that.

If it doesn’t come off easily, it’s most likely not ready yet. Leave these on the counter to ripen a little longer.

Tip #2: The Squeeze Test

Give it a gentle grip – it should budge a little and feel slightly soft, a good indication that you’ll want to take it home because it’s perfect.
Just beware of brown spots or discoloration, signs that the fruit has been bruised, and is most likely brown on the inside.

To recap, be sure to remember these two things and you’ll be fine: if it’s slightly ripe and you plan to eat it in 1-2 days, counter is best.

But if it’s really ripe and soft, store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to dig in.

Use your now perfectly ripened produce in our zesty version of deviled eggs, filled with guacamole!

I hope this article helps you! Feel free to share your best tips and advice below.

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About Sarah Hagstrom

Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.

15 thoughts on “How to Store Avocados”

  1. Thanks so much Sarah sharing such wonderful insight! You know, I’ve had terrible luck with avocados. I’ve been through so much trial and error, that it’s not even funny, and always ending with the same results……brown fruit. I could never buy more than 5 at a time for fear of having them go bad, even when there have been great supermarket specials. The techniques you’ve shared with us look super easy and simple to follow. The one I would like to try first is the one where you apply the lemon. Thanks again for the share.

  2. Twenty for five dollars! That’s amazing, where I live we get them two for five dollars…although I can’t complain, being able to have fresh avocados when there’s snow on the ground is totally worth it 🙂 I’m going to have to remember the trick with the stem, I always seem to pick them when they’re a little bit too soft. Luckily it still works great for guacamole!

  3. There are different types of avocados worldwide. The variety that is grown in my country is called ‘nexus’. No one knows how the name came to be considering the fact that it is not related to anything edible. Far from that, i have always had troubles with this variety. The care required for it is very stressful. I guess that is why most merchants dealing with this product have shifted to other alternatives. I have tried most of the preserving measures stated in this article except one. If that still doesn’t work then i will have to cancel avocados among my list of groceries.

  4. Lucky you to be able to get 20 avocados for five bucks!! Where I live I can only get five at that price. If I’m lucky, I might be able to buy one avocado for $.69, but most of the time I can find them for a dollar.

  5. I love avocados! I notice you didn’t touch on freezing avocados, have you tried it? I have read that you can freeze them after they are peeled and sliced, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it. I’d love to eat half and freeze half but I’m not sure how they would be once defrosted.

  6. When I was starting to introduce my first baby to solid food, I followed the rule of one new food every few days. I had found a sequence of food to introduce and avocados were within the first month or so. I made my own baby food and was able to freeze the pureed avocado with really no troubles. It did turn slightly brown. I added a small amount of lemon juice to the baby food before freezing to keep it from turning and I think it helped. The freezing had an impact on the acids ability to stop of oxidation. It turned out the my son ate it the first few times but then refused. I had a whole ice cube tray of pureed avocado. Not wanting to waste it, I tried using as a spread on sandwiches. I popped it in the microwave for about 5 seconds and then was able to spread it easily. It was delicious and a perfect amount. It was a great discovery and I still do it today five years later.

  7. Wonderful article on avocados; apart from the fact that they are high in nutrients, I love them with sliced bread but I am poor at selecting the good ones when buying. This article has educated me and I think I would become a better buyer.

  8. I absolutely LOVE avocados, but I’ve always found a challenge in that I buy them and it seems like they’re spoiled within a day. Luckily, with experience I’ve learned just when to use them so they’re at peak ripeness. I wish I could get 20 for $5! The best deal I’ve gotten recently is 4 for about $6.99, but then again, I’m in the midwest and it’s not exactly peak season.

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

  9. It is always so hard to find avocados that are ripe enough but not too rotten at the same time.

    I usually try to ripen them on the sunny windowstill but I also hear about several things, like ripening the in brown paper bags with bananas or putting them in the oven for a little while.

  10. I love avocado, but hate how fast it goes bad. I actually didn’t know that I should be putting it in the fridge to slow the process. Thanks for the tip.

  11. One major problem I’ve had with avocados is having them spoil before they’re actually ripe. I’ve grown up around them and get them right off the tree but still haven’t figured a way around this. Not sure what kind we grow but it’s a little fibrous. The tips in your article look great, though. Will have to give them a shot and see if I have better luck!

  12. Avocados are my favorite when it comes to salad and sandwiches in general, their taste is just unique and unforgettable. But the sad thing about this is that I usually store them in the refrigerator and they don’t last too long, especially when I leave half of them just hanging around, when this happens my mom puts them on plastic bags and they last a little bit more, but sadly, still not enough.
    I will take these tips to count the next time, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  13. I wouldn’t really recomend using the refrigerator for saving or storing avocados since the cold air would get them harmed, however, many people recommend wrapping them around with some paper in order to preserve them for longer amounts of time.

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