How to Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes or Less

Amy Mitchell
Photo credit: Getty

From Country Living

If your friends and family laugh every time you volunteer to bring a covered dish, it's time to change that. You don't have to enroll in culinary school—you just have to pick up a few tricks of the trade. Wow them with your deviled eggs by learning how to master how to make perfect hardboiled eggs . Or impress them with an easy slow cooker recipe. Or if you really want to get the party started, bring guacamole! But let's say the only avocados on-hand are harder than rocks. We're here to share tips on what to do if you've ever found yourself needing to ripen a hard avocado in 10 minutes or less, including tips and tricks and pros and cons for each method.

Try these no-fail avocado-softening hacks and get ready to add all these avocado recipes to your arsenal in no time.


How to Ripen an Avocado in the Microwave

First, cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Wrap each half with microwave-safe plastic wrap and cook for 30-second intervals on medium-high, until desired softness is achieved. Check softness between each interval. Once cool enough to handle, unwrap halves and place them in the refrigerator for about six minutes (allowing for an extra 2 to 3 minutes for very hard avocados).

Why it works:

Avocados produce ethylene gas, which helps them ripen. When a firm avocado is wrapped in plastic, the plastic traps the gas close to the fruit, causing it to ripen faster.

The best method to ripen an avocado in 10 minutes:

When using the microwave, expect to sacrifice the avocado’s naturally buttery taste and silky texture. This method may cause a bit of a stink (seriously!); the microwave should only be used as a last resort.

How to Ripen an Avocado in a Paper Bag

To ripen an avocado in a paper bag, enclose it with an apple or banana. Leave no holes or gaps in the bag, and check ripeness only once daily. Expect ripened avocados in 2 or 3 days.

Why it works:

Again, it's the ethylene gas. Apples and bananas emit this gas as well, so when a hard avocado is paired with an apple or a banana inside a paper bag, the ethylene becomes more concentrated, therefore yielding ripe avocados faster.

The best method to ripen an avocado in a couple of days:

This is not the best choice for super fast ripening, but if you can wait 48-72 hours, you'll get the best result with this method.

Photo credit: Cathérine - Getty Images

Try flour in a paper bag.

If you don’t have an apple or banana, try filling the bottom of the bag with 2 inches of flour. Place the avocado on top; tightly seal the bag. The flour absorbs excess moisture while helping trap the ethylene. The wait time is 2 to 3 days.

How to Ripen an Avocado with Aluminum Foil in the Oven

Tightly wrap avocado with aluminum foil; place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Bake at 200°F, checking every 5 to 10 minutes, until the desired softness is achieved. Let cool, then unwrap the avocado and place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit for at least an hour (longer if it's super hard).

The best method to ripen an avocado in a few hours:

The foil-oven method is best when you need an avocado quickly but not immediately. Be warned that the taste and texture of the avocado will be somewhat compromised.

Why it works:

As with the microwave and the paper bag methods, the increased ethylene gas ripens the fruit. Wrap the foil close for maximum gas exposure.

Photo credit: THAI YUAN LIM / EYEEM - Getty Images

Is it safe to eat an unripe avocado?

Yes, you can eat an unripe avocado, but if the velvety, buttery texture of an avocado is what you love, you'll be disappointed. However, a hard, unripe avocado is best for recipes that call for baking or cooking the avocado.

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