Picking avocados can be a frustrating venture. Pick one not ripe enough and you’re left with a useless piece of fruit. Pick one too ripe and it’s in the trash before you know it. To help you pick the perfect avocado every time, I did some research and here’s what I found.
The best way to pick an avocado is by its color AND firmness. Unripe avocados will be green and firm, while ripe ones will be dark purple/black and soft to gentle pressure. The different stages of an avocado is explained in more detail below.
The 4 Stages of an Avocado
An unripe avocado will be bright green and firm to the touch. At this stage, it will take about 4-5 days to ripen at room temperature. So, if you’re shopping ahead of time, this is the right one for you!
RIPENING HACK! Ripen avocados faster by putting them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana!
Breaking - - Almost there!
This is like the midway point of the ripening process. Things are starting to look good, but it’s not quite ready for use just yet. The firmness test will be the best indicator of ripeness here. It might start to give to gentle pressure, but it’s still not soft enough yet. If you try to use an avocado at this stage, the seed will be difficult to remove and the avocado itself will be to difficult to prepare. You’ll want to wait another day or two and leave it out at room temperature until it’s ripe. Patience! It’s almost ready!
Ripe - - Let’s eat!
Ripe avocados will have a darker skin color and be soft to gentle pressure. Avocados at this stage are perfect to eat that day.
STORAGE TIP! Extend the life of a ripe avocado by a day or two by placing it in the refrigerator!
Over Ripe - - No bueno!
At this point, avocados are past their best by date. They are dark in color and really soft to gentle pressure. Indentations will be visible and they might even feel like they’re filled with air. Avocados that are just a bit over ripe can still be used by adding them as an ingredient to scrambled eggs or add to your brownie batter for rich, moist brownies!
How to test the firmness of an avocado.
Place the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Do not use your fingertips to apply pressure. If the avocado gives to gentle pressure then it’s ready to eat!
Now you’re a professional avocado picker, right?? Hopefully, this helps you decide what avocado is right for you the next time you’re in the market for one. If you have any other tips and tricks for picking avocados share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear them!