What’s the best way to ripen an avocado?

September 24, 2012 | By | Comments (5)

If you eat avocados often, you know the sheer disappointment you feel when the market only has hard, green fruits. They are truly ripe and filled with buttery goodness when the outside turns black, and you feel that it’s slightly squishy when squeezed. When it starts to shrivel and becomes very soft, you’ve let it ripen too much and it may be brown inside.

There are those times when we need them to ripen fast! Like if you’re hosting taco night or need to bring a tub of guac to a potluck in the morning. But how? Putting them in the microwave is not the answer unless you like hot green goop.

After purchasing 3 unripe Hass avocados at the store, I experimented with putting each one in a different place to see which would ripen first. Here is where I placed them:

  1. Sealed in a paper bag, in a dark cabinet.
  2. Out in the open in a dark cabinet (no sunlight).
  3. Out in the open on the counter (sunlight).

The Best Way to Ripen an Avocado

As you can see in the picture, the avocado in the brown paper bag (left) ripened the quickest (2 days).

The avocado left in a dark cabinet (middle) and left in the sunlight (right) took the same amount of time to ripen (3 days).

So there you have it: there’s no magic technique for ripening avocados overnight – unfortunately – but the paper bag trick does speed the process.  So your guacamole cravings will have to wait a full 2 days if you have a paper bag handy or 3 if you don’t.

The best strategy is to keep some handy. The fridge stops the ripening process, so once they are to a desirable state, pop them in there and let them wait for you. They should last about a week without browning.


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    […] What’s the Best Way to Ripen an Avocado? […]

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  2. Carol

    I cut the avocados in half, removed the seed, placed them in ziplock plastic bags, closed tightly with no air and placed them in the sunny window. They ripened in 3 days.

    September 15, 2014 at 9:17 am
  3. Carol

    Great tip…thanks!!!

    September 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm
  4. Kristina

    I love this tip! Wish I would’ve seen it a couple days ago… 🙂 The grocery store only had super ripe avocados this week and I needed them for a sweet potato skin recipe for Wedn.! Will use the paper bag trick next time!

    October 5, 2012 at 12:26 am
  5. Afrobutterfly

    What are these morning potlucks with “tubs of guac” you speak of, and how do I get an invite? On a separate note, best fifth grade science project everrrr.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:39 pm

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