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How to Store Avocados to Keep Them Fresh

Why it’s important to know how to store avocados to keep them fresh. Slicing open a perfectly ripe avocado and uncovering its creamy, green interior is undeniably satisfying.

While it’s best to enjoy them at peak ripeness, that’s not always possible.

You’ve picked your avocado at the grocery store, now what?

Avocados come with challenges. They have a short window of ripeness and quickly turn brown when exposed to air. Properly storing avocados is essential to maintain their freshness and prevent them from becoming overripe or mushy.

With proper care, you’ll have ripe avocados ready for all your culinary adventures, both sweet and savory. Let’s explore how to store whole avocados and cut avocados:

But first, to know how to store your avocados, first, you need to know if they are ripe or unripe.

How to Tell if an Avocado Is Ripe

A ripe avocado should give in slightly to pressure and display a darker peel compared to an unripe one. However, it shouldn’t feel mushy or have deep indentations, which could signal it’s overripe. Conversely, an unripe avocado will feature a bright green skin and won’t yield to firm pressure.

To select the ideal avocado, consider your usage timeline: a ripe avocado should be consumed within two to three days to prevent spoilage. If you’re not using it immediately, opt for a slightly underripe fruit to allow time for ripening.

How to Store Avocados to Keep Them Fresh

How to Store Avocados to Keep Them Fresh

Storing Whole Avocados

Choose Slightly Unripe Avocados. When purchasing avocados, opt for slightly unripe ones. This allows the ripening process to occur at home, and you can use them when they reach the desired level of ripeness.

Shelf life is generally a couple of days.

Unripe Avocados

If you’re not in a hurry to use an unripe green avocado, the best way is to simply let it sit on the kitchen counter at room temperature or place it in the pantry. Make sure they’re not touching each other to avoid bruising.

To speed up ripening, wrap unripe avocados in newspaper or place them in a brown paper bag with the top tightly closed. Place them on a windowsill in sunlight. Keep them in a warm area (avoid the refrigerator).

Unripe avocados can be stored this way for up to five days. Ripening could take up to five days but be sure to check their ripeness daily by gently pressing on them to see if they yield to pressure.

Ripe Avocados

Once uncut avocados are ripe, they’re at their prime and should be used as soon as possible.

To extend freshness, store ripe avocados in the refrigerator. Place them in the low-humidity crisper drawer of your refrigerator, typically equipped with a vent for humidity adjustment. Stored in this manner, they can remain fresh for two to three days. The cold temperatures helps slow the ripening process.

Avocado in Plastic Wrap

Storing Cut Avocados

Once you cut into an avocado it gets exposed to oxygen. Avocado flesh turns brown when opened to the air because of a reactive enzyme, a process otherwise known as oxidation.

Cut Avocado Halves

For optimal taste and texture, cut an avocado only when you’re ready to use it. The exposed flesh turns brown in the blink of an eye it seems due to the oxidation process.

Storing Ripe Avocado Halves

To prevent browning, coat the flesh with a little bit of lemon juice, lime juice, or a thin layer of olive oil. Next, tightly wrap the halves in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator.

Storing Unripe Avocado Halves

Encountering an unripe avocado can be disappointing, but before giving up on it, consider these remedies. Sprinkle the flesh with lemon or lime juice, then reassemble the halves and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Place the avocado in the refrigerator and check for ripening progress daily.

Can You Store Avocado Slices in Water?

Yes, you can. Actually, storing avocado slices in cool water is an effective method to prevent browning, as it helps slow down oxidation. Simply submerge the slices in a bowl of cold water, ensuring they are fully covered. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to the water for enhanced preservation.

This technique has a very short window of time. It can keep avocado slices fresh for several hours, making it ideal for short-term storage before using them in salads, sandwiches, or other dishes.

However, for longer-term storage, such as overnight or beyond a few hours, it’s best to use alternative methods like wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap or storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

What happens when they reach their peach ripeness, and you are not ready to use it yet? We freeze ours. It’s a good option to keep it fresh for months. Here is how we do it.

Avocado Puree in Container

How to Freeze Avocados

To freeze an avocado half, start by removing the pit and skin. Next, apply a bit of lemon or lime juice to the flesh and tightly wrap the entire half with plastic wrap. For extra protection against oxygen exposure, place it in a vacuum-sealed bag or an airtight plastic bag.

Storing Avocado Puree

Creating avocado puree is a speedy process, and freezing it offers a convenient method for preserving avocados for various uses such as baby food, smoothies, and culinary recipes. Opt to freeze it in cube form or store it in containers for future use.

Store mashed avocado in an airtight container, covering the surface with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation. Use it within a day or two for optimal freshness.

How to Make Avocado Puree for Freezing

Freezing avocado as a puree is highly effective as it allows the citrus juice to thoroughly permeate the flesh, preventing browning. Here’s a simple method:

  1. Place two peeled and pitted avocados into a blender, along with a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.
  2. Blend the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Transfer the puree into a freezer bag, removing any excess air before sealing it.
  4. Freeze for up to five months.
Fresh Avocado Slices in bowl

Speed up Ripening

Here are some handy tips to accelerate the ripening of your avocados while preserving that delightful softness, buttery texture, and rich, nutty flavor we crave.

The Best Ways to Ripen Avocados

According to Avocados from Mexico you can use the brown bag method, rice, or natural direct sunlight.

Brown Paper Bag Ripening Trick

Place your avocado in a brown paper bag and it will ripen faster. Place a banana in the bag and it will ripen even faster. Why? Ripe bananas contain a natural plant hormone called ethylene. This causes ripening in mature fruit and the paper bag traps the ethylene gas that’s produced, which speeds up the ripening process.

Best Ways to Store Avocados


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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