Avocados are fickle. Sometimes, they seem like they’re ready to eat, and at other times avocados look like they’ll be rotten before you get them home. This unpredictability isn’t just expensive ($1.25 each for medium, $2.50 each for large at my local supermarket, as I write); it also contributes to wasted food.
No magic gadget will tell you when an avocado has ripened fully, but there are ways to help your avocados last longer, so they’re ready for guacamole or toast toppings. Depending on several factors, including how ripe your avocado is and what you plan to use it for, there are different ways to store avocados.
How to Store a Whole Avocado
If you’ve bought an unripe avocado in the hope that you can perfectly time your avocado toast craving, the best thing to do is to keep the avocado whole and place it on a countertop, away from any other fruits and vegetables.
4 to 5 days
Avocados usually last four to five days before they spoil on your kitchen counter. Avocados are tricky, so it’s important to check them daily. You’ll know your avocados are ready when they yield easily under light pressure from your fingers and boast a dark green to black flesh with a bumpy texture.
If your avocado is fresh ready to eat, you can put it in the fridge, where it will hold for several days. Put it in an airtight container or the produce drawer. If your avocado is in the produce drawer next to bananas or apples, the gas produced by these fruits will speed up its ripening process, so be sure to check it often.
How to Store Cut Avocado
Let’s say you cut into that ripe avocado, only to discover your eyes were bigger than your stomach. There are ways to keep a cut avocado from going bad too quickly.
Without skin and pit
If the avocado is not already diced or mashed, either cut it into cubes or mash it. Next, wrap it in plastic wrap, making sure that the wrap covers the avocado directly and there are no air bubbles. This will help keep oxygen out of your avocado and stop it from turning brown. You may also want to add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.
With skin and pit
You can also store half of an avocado with the skin and pit intact. Leaving the skin on actually prevents oxidation and keeps the interior flesh fresh. You can buy some clever avocado storage solutions. Still, the easiest way to preserve an avocado half of an avocado is to rub some olive or lime juice on the avocado flesh, cover the entire thing (even the skin) with plastic wrap, and put it on in the fridge. This will help prevent oxygen from seeping into the avocado and spoiling it, and should keep it intact for two days.
You can also store half an avocado by placing it (pit side down), in an airtight container, with a little bit of water on the bottom. Water keeps the flesh and pits moist without speeding up the aging processes. You’ll likely notice some of the outer skin has turned brown, but you can easily remove it.
You Can Freeze Avocado
Yes, ripe avocados can totally be frozen. There are a few ways to do that. Just understand that freezing an avocado reduces its creaminess, so although you can still use frozen avocados in guacamole and in smoothies, don’t plan to consume them plain.
Remove skin and pit
To freeze an avocado, remove the pit and peel. After that, sprinkle some lemon or limes on the flesh and cover it tightly in plastic wrap. Store the avocado from spoiling too quickly in a sealed plastic bag or a vacuum seal.
If you plan to thaw and eat your frozen avocado straight out of the freezer, you’re better off puréeing or blending it first. Using a blender, blend the avocado with a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Place the purée into an airtight freezer bag and store it in the freezer. It should last for about four months.