How to Ripen Avocados Quickly – 5 Ways to a Ripe Avocado

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Luigi Published: March 1, 2021 Modified: May 10, 2021
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You just got back from the nearest grocery or fruit vendor. However, the avocados you bought aren’t ripe yet. You’re now probably thinking of how to ripen the avocados so you can make a delicious avocado and pesto toast. Well, no worries. In this article, we’ll show you five easy methods on how you can quickly ripen avocados

How to Quickly Ripen Avocados: 5 Fast and Easy Ways

5 ways to quickly ripen avocados

Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits around. They are packed full of nutrients, healthy fats, and vitamin E. These fruits are also capable of regulating your appetite and lowering cholesterol.

Aside from being a good pick for those who want to eat healthily, these fruits are also used as ingredients for different avocado dishes. This shows that these healthy green fruits are not only great for you, they are also flexible when it comes to cuisine.

Method 1: With An Apple and Banana In A Paper Bag

If you also bought some bananas or apples from the nearby farmers’ market or grocery, then good news! You can also use those fruits to ripen the avocados. All you have to do is:

  1. Place the avocados in a paper bag with an apple or banana. 
  2. Make sure that you seal the bag tightly and there are no holes or tears in the bag once you place the fruits in there. 
  3. After two or three days, the avocados will ripen.

This method allows ethylene gas, a ripening hormone found in fruits, to fill the paper bag. This concentrated gas, which comes from all of the fruits within the bag, allows the avocados to ripen much faster.

Method 2: With Flour In A Paper Bag

If you don’t have any apples or bananas, you can also use flour instead: 

  1. Fill the bottom of the paper bag with two inches of flour.
  2. Then, place the avocados on top of the flour. 
  3. Make sure to seal the paper bag shut and watch out for tears and holes. This alternative method allows the flour to absorb unnecessary moisture while also trapping the ethylene gas inside. 
  4. Check the contents of the bag once a day until the avocado has reached your desired texture. 
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Method 3: With A Paper Bag

No apples, bananas, or even flour at hand? It’s alright! You just need a paper bag to quicken the ripening process:

  1. Place the avocado inside a paper bag.
  2. Seal the bag shut and leave it in the kitchen.
  3. Depending on the hardness of the avocado, it will ripen within four days.

Although relying solely on a paper bag is slower than the first two methods, it will still quicken the fruit’s natural ripening process.

Pros of These Methods

Since you are using something natural within other fruits to ripen your avocado, the results are just as organic and healthy as an avocado that was ripened without any rush. Not to mention, the ripening time of the avocado is reduced to about half of its original ripening duration. 

Cons of These Methods

Of all the methods to quickly ripen an avocado, this is definitely the slowest. In exchange for keeping the avocado in the best shape, it will take two to three days for the fruit to be fully ripened. This is not the best option to pick if you want to ripen your avocados as quickly as possible to make your favorite guacamole recipes.

Method 4: Putting The Avocados In An Oven

using oven

If you think a two to three-day ripening period is way too long, then you might want to consider this second method. 

All you have to do is: 

  1. Wrap aluminum foil around the avocado. Make sure that it’s tight! 
  2. Place the foil-wrapped avocado on a shallow dish inside the oven. Additionally, the dish should be ovenproof. 
  3. Set the oven’s temperature at 200 degrees F, then check the avocado every five to ten minutes
  4. Once the avocado has reached your preferred softness, let it cool. 
  5. Unwrap the avocado and place it inside the refrigerator. Let the fruit rest for at least an hour.

Pros of This Method

Depending on the hardness, baking a foil-wrapped avocado inside an oven lets it ripen within just a few minutes or hours. This method allows for an even faster ripening process than the first one mentioned. 

The reason for that is that the ethylene gas in the avocado is trapped inside the foil. A tightly closed foil allows more ethylene gas exposure, therefore ripening it faster. This method is the perfect option for when you need a ripe avocado and you have an hour or two to spare.

Cons of This Method

Since you rushed the ripening process of the avocado unnaturally, expect that there are changes in the taste and texture. An unusually fast ripening process is not normal for the avocado (or any fruit for the matter).

Method 5: Putting The Avocados In A Microwave

If you find the aluminum foil and oven method too much of a hassle, then you might want to keep this third method in mind. 

  1. First, cut the avocado in half. Make sure to remove the pit of the chopped avocado. 
  2. After that, wrap the chopped avocado in plastic wrap. Choose a microwave-safe plastic to avoid accidents. 
  3. Place the wrapped avocado inside and set the microwave on medium or high heat. Cook the avocado for 30 seconds. If it is not soft enough for you, put the avocado inside the microwave again and cook it for another 30 seconds
  4. Repeat this process until the avocado has reached your desired texture. When the avocado is soft enough, let it rest for a few seconds or minutes. Once the fruit is cool enough to be touched, unwrap the plastic from the avocado. 
  5. Then place the avocado in the refrigerator for six minutes.

Pros of This Method

This is the fastest way to ripen an avocado. Putting a plastic-sealed avocado inside a microwave set to medium to high heat allows the fruit to be ripened within a few minutes. The plastic seals the ethylene gas inside the avocado while the gas does the ripening process quickly.

Cons Of This Method

While this is the quickest way to ripen an avocado, it also comes with some negative consequences. If you do this option, expect the naturally silky texture and buttery taste of the avocado to become compromised. Additionally, the avocado may release a foul odor after being heated in the microwave. If you want to ripen an avocado instantly, choose this method as a final option.

How to Tell if Your Avocado Is Ripe

avocado ripening stages

Now that you know three methods of ripening an avocado faster, here are a few notes to help you know that your avocado is ready.

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Not Yet Ripe 

If your avocado is hard and has a bright green color, it is not yet ripe. This texture and color indicate that the avocado is still four to seven days away from ripening. Eating an unripe avocado is inadvisable. That’s because they’re usually hard, waxy, and don’t have any flavor.

Ripe

Is your avocado now dark green in color and has patches or flecks? Is it the right amount of firm when you squeeze it in your hand? Then your avocado is ripe and this is the perfect time to cook and serve them! Dark green or nearly black colors in an avocado indicate ripeness. Additionally, the firm texture when gently squeezed is another indication of a ripe avocado. 

The insides of the fruit should be bright green against the skin. Furthermore, the inside should also be creamy and should easily pull away from the pit

Overripe Or Nearly Rotten

If your avocado is black and has freckled skin, then your avocado is nearly rotten, and eating them is a bad idea. Aside from the color and freckles, overripe or nearly rotten avocados have a dry texture and feel mushy when touched. You can also find brown spots inside the avocado. In terms of taste, the fruit will have a bitter flavor. The best thing to do when you encounter this kind of avocado is to just throw it away. 

How to Slow Down Avocado Ripening

hand holding sliced avocado

Ripe avocados last for two to three days. If you have a ripe or overripe avocado but still want to use it for later, then you might want to slow down its ripening process. Maybe you want to keep it fresh for a chunky avocado salsa or a dark chocolate avocado mousse? Well here is a quick tip on how to preserve your avocado:

  • Refrigerate the avocado – Refrigerating avocados are a great way to store these healthy green fruits. But they’re also good for slowing down their ripening process. Simply place your avocado in a clean container. After that, place the container inside the refrigerator. The cold temperature allows the avocado to ripen at a slower pace. 

Firm and uncut avocados can last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. On the other hand, if you happen to buy ripe, uncut avocados, they can last for a week

If you’re going to store a cut avocado in the refrigerator, make sure to leave the skin and pit intact. The surface area exposed to air is limited when you leave those parts untouched. 

  • Drizzle with lemon or lime juice – To slow down the ripening process of a cut avocado even more, drizzle a few droplets of lemon or lime juice on the avocado. After that, place the drizzled avocado in a sealed, air-tight container. 
  • Cover with a clear plastic wrap – You can also cover the avocado with a clear plastic wrap. Make sure that there is no air exposure in your chosen container or plastic wrap cover for the ripening process to actually slow down.

Conclusion

Avocados are one of the fruits to have if you plan on eating healthy or just have a good meal. They’re delicious and come with numerous health benefits. If you want to avoid the extra work of speeding up an avocado’s ripening process, the safest method is to always buy the already ripe ones you can find. But if not, then you can try any of our handy methods!

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