You know how avocados are…You buy them rock-hard, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…still nada. And then at some point, you forget about them and in a few weeks, you find them wrinkled and spoiled and smelly. To avoid this, today I want to share with you how to ripen avocado fast enough, so it doesn’t spoil and you can actually use it in your favorite avocado recipes in about 2 days.
My friend told me about this trick a few years ago, well who am I kidding it was about 15 years ago when we were students and avocados weren’t social media influencers yet.
I actually started using his tip probably last year for the first time. Before that, I’d wait for an avocado to get ripe for over a week. Sometimes those avocados won’t ripen at all, I’d open them and surprise: spoiled!
How To Ripen Avocado
So here’s what you do to ripen an avocado: you buy a not ready, harder avocado, wrap it in a newspaper, brown paper bag or simply wrapping paper – the one you’d use to wrap plates when you buy them. I also read about adding an apple or banana to that paper bag, but haven’t tried it myself.
Leave that avocado wrapped like this on the counter and check on it in 2-3 days. Should be ready, you can tell by touching and gently pressing it. If the avocado is soft, but not mushy or too firm – it’s a good ripe avocado. If you press lightly and your finger disappears into the avocado – it’s overripe.
Why It Works?
The reason this works is called ethylene. That’s right, it has a name. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone that avocado and other plants produce when they’re ripening. According to Wikipedia, it’s often used in agriculture to make fruits ripen faster.
So essentially, when you wrap that avocado in a paper bag or just an old newspaper, you concentrate the ethylene that avocado forms naturally. You basically let that avocado sit in its own juices (or gasses), which speeds up the ripening process. If the avocado isn’t wrapped, ethylene, which is a gas, will escape and it will take longer to have a ready-to-eat avocado.
How To Store Ripe Avocado
If you’re not going to eat the ripe avocado right away (not judging, but…come on!) put it in the fridge to prevent it from becoming overripe and spoiling. It will keep like this for about 3 more days.
- 1 avocado, not ripe
- paper bag or newspaper
- Wrap avocado in newspaper or place it in the paper bag.
- Leave it on the counter for 2-3 days and enjoy.
- If you're not ready to use the ripe avocado yet, put it in the fridge to extend shelf-life.