If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that avocados are a delicious and nutritious addition to our meals.
However, storing them properly can be a bit of a challenge. Have you ever bought a perfectly ripe avocado, only to find it overripe and mushy the next day?
Well, today, we’re going to dive into the best methods for how to store avocados to keep them fresh and ready to enjoy.
Best ways to store avocados
To store avocados, consider their ripeness. Unripe avocados can be kept at room temperature until they ripen. Ripe or almost ripe avocados should be stored in the refrigerator to extend freshness. For sliced or mashed avocados, add lemon or lime juice, wrap tightly, and refrigerate.
It’s essential to understand that avocados don’t ripen on the tree. Instead, they ripen after being picked, which means their ripeness can vary when you buy them.
To get the most out of your avocados and ensure they’re stored correctly, let’s look at the different stages of ripeness and the best storage methods for each.
If you’ve just bought some avocados that are still hard to the touch, they’re not ripe yet. The good news is that they’re easy to store at this stage.
Simply place your unripe avocados on the countertop at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Depending on how firm they are, they’ll likely ripen within 4-7 days.
You can also put them in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process, as the bag traps the natural ethylene gas released by the avocados, which encourages ripening.
Almost ripe avocados
When you have avocados that are just starting to soften, you can slow down the ripening process by placing them in the refrigerator.
The cold temperature will extend their shelf life for a few days, giving you more time to enjoy them.
Just make sure to keep them in the crisper drawer or in a designated area where they won’t get squished by other items.
When your avocados have reached that perfect stage of ripeness, it’s time to enjoy them! However, if you’re not quite ready to use them yet, you can still store them in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness for a couple more days.
Sliced or mashed avocados
If you’ve already cut into your avocado or mashed it up for guacamole, the storage method changes a bit.
To prevent browning (which happens due to oxidation), add a little bit of lemon or lime juice to the exposed avocado flesh.
Then, wrap the avocado tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Sliced or mashed avocados should be stored in the refrigerator and enjoyed within a day or two.
|Ripeness Stage||Storage Method||Expected Shelf Life|
|Unripe (firm)||Countertop at room temperature or paper bag||4-7 days|
|Almost ripe (slightly soft)||Refrigerator||A few days|
|Ripe (soft but not mushy)||Refrigerator||A couple more days|
|Sliced or mashed||Refrigerator (with lemon or lime juice)||1-2 days|
Learn how to store apples as well in my next post!
Freezing Avocados for longer storage
Sometimes, we end up with more avocados than we can use right away. The good news though, is that freezing them is a great way to store them for later! Here’s a quick guide to freezing avocados:
- Sliced or cubed avocados: Cut, peel, and coat ripe avocados with lemon or lime juice. Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Store for up to three months.
- Mashed avocados: Mash ripe avocados, add lemon or lime juice, and store in a freezer-safe container or bag. Leave some space at the top for expansion. Store for up to three months.
For the best ways to cut an avocado head over to my post that will explain the different ways of how to cut an avocado.
When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen avocados, thaw them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Keep in mind that the texture of thawed avocados may be softer than fresh ones, making them ideal for smoothies, guacamole, or similar recipes.
Frequently asked questions about how to store avocados
Storing avocados properly is essential to prolong their freshness and make the most of their delicious flavor.
By understanding the various stages of ripeness and applying the appropriate storage methods, you can ensure that your avocados stay fresh and ready to enjoy.
And if you find yourself with an avocado surplus, remember that freezing is a fantastic option for long-term storage.
With these helpful tips in mind, you can confidently stock up on avocados and savor them in your favorite recipes without any worries. Happy cooking, and enjoy those tasty avocados!