“We just wanted to let you know that we’ll be coming over a few days early after all.” Oh dear… this kind of sentence can easily throw your entire meal planning out of order. After all, you wanted to make a colorful avocado salad and juicy guacamole sandwiches for your special guests. However, the avocado that you bought and stored in the kitchen is still hard as a rock and not ready to go. So, what do you do if you suddenly need to get the avocado ready faster than you thought and you want to process it a few days earlier? Well, in this article, we will tell you how to ripen avocados quickly and easily.
In order to avoid panic in such situations, it is time for a little kitchen experiment. This time we’ll explore the most common methods of ripening hard, unripe avocados without having to wait for days.
Avocados are extremely tasty, make you full for a long time and are super healthy. In fact, the tropical fruit has a lot of healthy monounsaturated fats, which your body can easily convert into energy! In addition, they have a low fructose content.
Furthermore, they are packed with vitamin E. This is particularly important for a healthy heart! It also contains many other nutrients that make the avocado a miracle fruit! Usually, avocados are sold in the supermarket in an unripe state. This is a good thing, as the fully ripened fruits usually spoil very quickly.
However, unfortunately, the freshly bought avocados can not be eaten! Then what should you do if you need the fruit for lunch right away? We have done some research for you and figured out how you can eat the avocado as soon as you buy it. Check out our best tips on how to ripen avocados quickly here!
When is an avocado ripe?
It takes about 10 days after harvest for the avocado to be ripe. However, because we all don’t know the time of harvest, as a guide you can look at the color of the skin.
As a rule, green avocados are unripe, while black ones are ripe. If you look at the avocado, the color everywhere should be even and no spots should be visible. When the stump comes off the avocado easily then it is ripe, if not it will need a few more days before you can eat it.
Again, you can check out the color: A brown stalk suggests an overripe fruit, a light stalk indicates an unripe fruit. The perfect avocado is when the stem is greenish.
In addition, you can try the pressure test. Gently press into the avocado, if the skin gives way and the flesh feels soft, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat. If the skin remains pressed in, then the flesh is already mushy.
When it is mushy or black discoloration is already visible in the flesh, then the avocado is already overripe. You can cut away these spots generously, if there is mold the avocado should be thrown away. In general, however, you can trust your senses. Nevertheless, the nutty, mild taste should not be overlaid by rot or mold.
How to ripen avocados quickly
In order to eat your avocado as soon as you buy it and not wait 10 days, we will tell you the best tips on how to ripen avocados quickly.
Ripen avocado with banana or apple in a paper bag
When you want to ripen your avocado, one little trick will help: Put the unripe fruit, together with a ripe apple or banana, in a paper bag or newspaper. Place the fruits together in a rather warmer room, and let them sit at room temperature. (If you need to do it quickly, just don’t put them in the refrigerator!)
Apples and bananas release a ripening gas called “ethylene” that speeds up the ripening process of other fruits. When protected from cold air, your avocado should be “ready to eat” in 1-3 days using this method.
To compare ripeness, we left another avocado alone and without treatment, at normal room temperature, for the same amount of time.
Whoever believes that thanks to this method one can let his avocado ripen perfectly within a few hours, unfortunately, this is where we have to disappoint them. There was no noticeable change in the fruit after the first 24 hours. The outside ripening test was successfully passed by the packed avocado after 3 days of ripening. It was only after 3 days of sitting next to the banana and nestled in the newspaper that the avocado yielded slightly in the test and appeared to be ripe. Needless to say, the other avocado continued to ripen during the same time:
By direct comparison, the fruit that was packed with banana was a little softer than the untreated avocado after 3 days. In terms of time, the banana-paper method gives you about 1 day more time for the avocado to ripen than if it was left to ripen on its own. You need approx. 3 days time – starting from a rock-hard fruit – even with banana.
Texture, appearance and taste
The texture is pleasantly soft and the taste is buttery, just as you would expect from a well-ripened avocado. Moreover, the fruit is not damaged and looks – on the outside as well as on the inside – as usual. Thus, this method has no negative impact on appearance, consistency and taste. However, if you want to ripen your hard avocado and you coincidentally have a banana in the house, it won’t do any harm to add it. By doing so, you’ll get to enjoy the creamy avocado a day early.
Heat avocado in the oven
By applying heat in the oven, the avocado is supposed to be made to emit its ripening gas. When wrapped in aluminum foil, the gas surrounds the entire fruit, making the hard avocado ripen and soften within 20-30 minutes at 90°C in the oven. Hence, wrap the avocado, turn on the oven, open the door, put the avocado in, and close the door.
Within 20 minutes, nothing happens. Past 30 minutes, nothing. At 60 minutes, just a warm, hard avocado and nothing else. Finally, after 90 minutes, you have a warm, hard avocado with brownish discolored skin.
Well, that’s very sobering. We stopped the test after 1 ½ hours since nothing happened besides the color change of the skin. There was no sign of rapid ripening. Once it had cooled down, we decided to cut open the avocado, which was still hard, so that we could inspect it from the inside. There was surprisingly something done. However, nothing good.
Texture, appearance and taste
After the baking, especially in the area around the pit, the flesh is covered with brown spots. That was not the goal and not the point. There are lots of brown spots on the outside and inside – which is not what a tasty, ripe avocado looks like when you want to eat it and offer it to someone.
Unfortunately, it did not become soft and creamy in the whole process with foil and oven. The baked fruit is unfortunately far from the state of a ripe avocado as you know it, even after more than 1 hour in the oven. That does not leave much to be expected in terms of taste.
The baked avocado also has, as expected, not much to offer in terms of taste. That creamy buttery taste is not to be found here. Instead, the fruit tastes rather somewhat bitter and unripe. Clearly, this method has failed all the way down the line.
Ripening avocado by pickling
Combine vinegar and water, and add a little sugar and salt – and you have a simple brine. If you now peel your unripe avocado, cut it into thin slices and pickle it in this brine for 2 hours in the refrigerator, it will supposedly be ready to eat afterwards.
Because of the treatment with vinegar, sugar and salt, water is removed from them and the taste, and texture will change. Although avocados processed in this way are not good for making guacamole because of the acetic acid, they are said to be delicious in a bowl of salad or on a sandwich.
It would be difficult to believe, but it really works. If you like pickles, you will definitely love pickled avocado slices. The green, half-round slices are really enjoyable after 2 hours in the vinegar water.
Texture, appearance and taste
Following their bath in the brine, the avocado slices have really changed their texture. While they were quite hard before the pickling, they turned out soft and creamy, like a ripe avocado – and that’s after only 2 hours.
After the slices have bathed in vinegar for some time, it’s not a surprise that they have now clearly taken on the vinegar flavor as well. They don’t taste quite like avocado anymore, but they don’t taste unripe either, instead, they taste creamy and tart. They are somewhat reminiscent of pickles. You can adjust the mixture of the brine to your personal taste, based on how sweet or sour you like it. If you want to add the avocado to your salad or bread and it has to go fast, this is a good thing.
Which method is the best?
After our experiments, we generally do not recommend baking the avocado in the oven. In all respects, this treatment did the avocado more harm than good. It turns the avocado brown and it stays hard, which nobody wants.
In order to decide which of the other two methods is best for you, you should ask yourself the following questions:
How do you want to turn your avocado?
Do you want your avocado to turn into creamy guacamole? In that case, it’s better to go for the banana method. In this way, the avocado will ripen naturally and its taste will not be altered. Because of the strong vinegar taste, processing pickled avocado into guacamole would be really tricky and wouldn’t have much to do with classic avocado cream, at least. While sour makes merry, good guacamole is much more benefited by a bit of lime than vinegar-soaked avocados.
Would you like the avocado on bread or in a salad? Then you absolutely should try the pickled avocados! They can really add a kick to a fresh salad or sandwich – provided you like the tart vinegar note. If you don’t, though, you won’t be a big fan of the pickled slices.
Do you want a pure, buttery, creamy avocado flavor?
In this case, too, instead of pickling your avocado, you may want to let it ripen naturally or next to a banana for a few days. Just give it the time it needs to develop its typical taste. Then you will have buttery avocado enjoyment.
How fast do you want it?
If you want your avocado to be ready for consumption within a few hours, the only option is to pickle it. Then, you can process and eat it after 2 hours. If you just want to save about a day, which your fruit should be ripe faster, the best way to let the avocado ripen is to wrap it with a banana on paper.
In this article of Gazettely, we tested the three most famous ways about how to ripen avocados quickly, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below.