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How to Ripen Avocado Fast

We’ve all been there – you pick up a fresh avocado at the store to make a nice guacamole or perhaps some delicious avocado tacos, only to discover when you get home that it’s totally unripe and as hard as a brick! So what do you do? Is there a way to ripen avocado fast?

Well, we have good news and bad news.

Avocado Chicken Salad Photo

The bad news is that it’s impossible to instantly ripen an avocado so that it’s ready to use there and then.

But you can certainly hasten the process and cut a day or two off the ripening time – and the purpose of this article is to show you how!

How to tell if an avocado is ripe

Before we cut to the chase, let’s just look at how to avoid making the same mistake again!

When buying fresh avocados, there are a two main signs to look for that indicate their ripeness – the way they feel and their color.

Chicken Avocado Tacos Image

In general, avocados with a darker skin will be riper than those with light green skins. This isn’t always the case, so it’s important to check the way they feel too.

A ripe avocado will yield a little if you press it gently. If it feels squashy, it’s overripe and past its prime – and if it refuses to yield to pressure at all, it’s unripe and definitely not ready to eat.

The best way to ripen avocado fast

Without a doubt, the best way to ripen avocados quickly is to use a brown paper bag!

How quickly this method works will depend on how unripe the avocado was in the first place!

Fennel Avocado Salad Picture

A very firm, unripe avocado will still take 2 to 3 days to ripen using the paper bag method. But an avocado that’s almost ripe (also known as ‘breaking’) may be ready in just a day.

To use this method, all you need to do is place the unripe avocado in a brown paper bag along with an apple or a banana.

So how does this work?

Well, both bananas and apples produce a natural plant hormone called ethylene. Luckily for us, ethylene kickstarts the ripening process – and by trapping the avocado with the ethylene in a paper bag, you give the entire process an extra boost!

The second way to ripen avocado fast

As mentioned above, the paper bag method is the best one. This is because it allows the avocado to truly ‘ripen’. 

Instead of ripening the fruit, this method tends to slightly cook and soften it. Whilst not ideal, it may save your recipe in a pinch, although the avocado may taste a little bitter because it’s not truly ripe!

Cheesy Avocado Egg in a Hole Pic

Oven method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the unripe avocado in foil and put it on to a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 mins, until the avocado feels soft.
  4. Cool, then use as required.

Once your avocado is ripe and ready, why not use it to create this healthy Avocado Pasta or these Smoked Salmon Avocado Cream Cheese Bagels? Delish!