A reader recently asked me how to pick a perfect avocado. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it’s time to up your avocado shopping game.
I happen to think picking out avocados is a special gift of mine so I’m happy to share my tips!
How to Pick a Perfect Avocado
Tip #1 – Plan ahead
My very first tip is to plan ahead and shop for your avocados a couple of days before you need them. By “a couple,” I mean two to three days, definitely not more. This ensures they are ready on the day you want to use them. If you don’t have time to do that, or if they are rock hard, check out this article I linked to a few months ago.
Assuming you’re shopping ahead of time, here are the rest of the tips.
Tip #2 – Check the firmness
When you’re at the store, don’t be afraid to pick an avocado that’s hard. If it’s too soft in the store, it’s going to be too mushy when you go to use it. I like to buy avocados that are harder because you can always ripen them up but you can’t ever go back!
They should be soft to the touch but not soft enough where you can push your fingers in. If you can push your fingers in, it’s too soft. You want to be able to press it just a bit with your whole palm.
Firmness is key. This is the most important thing to keep in mind when buying avocados!
Tip #3 – Check the color
Look for an avocado that’s light green in color. That means that by the time you get home and let a day or two go by, it’s going to be perfect. If it’s too dark, it’s too ripe. And if it’s too light, like neon green, it’s too hard.
(It should be noted that my husband disagrees with me on this one, so it’s better to go by feel than color.)
Tip #4 – Look at the stem
Does the avocado still have the little nub attached to the stem? If yes, get that one. But only if it’s still slightly secure. If the little nub pops off too easily and looks brown underneath, don’t buy that one. If you can’t move that nub, don’t buy that one either. If it pops off and looks green, it’s a good one.
Tip #5 – Buy more than one
I like to buy two or three avocados at a time. They will help each other ripen by releasing ethylene gas. I also know I’ll use two or three within a few days. If you won’t use more than two, only get two! And, if you’re going to make guacamole for a party or Cinco de Mayo, for instance, buy four or more.
Tip #6 – Leave them on your counter, or in a dark cupboard
I keep the avocados on my counter for a day or two, away from other fruit. I have to check them each day to make sure they haven’t gotten too ripe.
If you plan to buy other fruits that release ethylene gas, like bananas, you may only need a day for those avocados to ripen.
Tip #7 – If they’re ripening too quickly, throw them in the fridge
Yes, you read that correctly. If you find your avocados are ripening too quickly, throw them in the fridge. Or, at the very least, separate them and spread them around your kitchen. Then pull them out when you need them.
As you can see, buying avocados is not for the faint of heart! You have to play around with what works for you in your own kitchen. Some kitchens are warmer than others so you may notice that your avocados ripen faster. You can adjust your methods the next time you buy your avocados.
What do you think? Are you ready to shop for avocados like a pro now?