How to Pick and Store Avocados

I love avocados and have been known to eat an avocado with a spoon. I’ve got all our best tips for how to pick an avocado, how to cut avocados, and how to store them when they’ve been cut. I’ve also included a few of our favorite avocado recipes, as well.

Two avocado halves

How to Tell if an Avocado is Ready to Eat

Are you tired of cutting into underripe avocados? I was, too. That’s why I made it my mission to figure out the best ways to choose them. I go into a bit more detail below, but remember this: unless you are really lucky, the avocados you find at the store will need a few days to ripen.

An avocado is ripe when it gives just slightly when squeezed. If it’s really soft and dented in spots, it’s probably past its prime and if it’s unripe, it will feel quite hard.

How to Pick Avocados

Here’s an easy guide for determining when avocados are ready to eat:

  1. Gently squeeze the avocado with the palm of your hand, avoiding using fingertips as they can bruise it. If it yields slightly when pressed, it’s ready to eat. It needs a day or two to ripen if it feels firm and doesn’t give. If it gives too easily, it’s likely overripe and may have brown spots inside.
  2. Check under the stem. Use your fingers to gently pull the stem at the top of the avocado. If it easily comes off, and the area underneath is green, you’ve found an avocado ready to eat. If the stem is hard to remove, it needs a couple of days to fully ripen. The avocado is likely overripe if the area under the stem is brown.

How to Cut and Remove the Seed

When it’s go time, cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the seed. Make sure you have control over the avocado and be sure you know where those fingers are!

Cutting an avocado in half

Once cut, twist and separate the two halves. To remove the seed, fold a kitchen towel then use that to securely hold the avocado half with seed. Then, gently tap a chef’s knife into the seed. You will need some force here, but don’t whack it. Then twist a little and remove the seed. Go for the wider section of the knife, don’t use the tip.

Removing an avocado seed with a knife

If the previous method isn’t your cup of tea, just use a spoon. You may loose a bit of flesh, but do whatever you feel more comfortable with. It’s your avocado!

Removing an avocado seed with a spoon

At this point, you could use a spoon to scoop out all of the flesh, or if you want slices, use a knife to slice through the avocado flesh without cutting through the outer skin. We use slices of avocado for topping tacos, like these shredded beef tacos.

Cutting avocados into slices

You could slice the other way for cubes, too. I do this when making our avocado salad.

Cutting avocado into cubes

Then, use a spoon to scoop out the cut pieces.

How to Store Avocados

For whole avocados, store them at room temperature (especially f they are unripe). Only use the fridge for avocados that are ripe.

For cut avocado, you’ll need to follow a few extra steps. The basic idea is to prevent oxygen from getting in, since oxygen will cause any cut flesh to brown.

One option is to use a little acid. Just sprinkle a bit of lemon or lime juice over the cut areas of the avocado. You don’t need a lot… a spritz or two will do it.

Then, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. The avocado should stay green for a day or two.

Another option is to leave the seed in. We don’t know all the specifics, but have tried and hey, it worked! So, just leave the seed in and wrap with plastic wrap.

That’s it. Do you have any tricks for cutting or storing avocados?

Our Favorite Avocado Recipes

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14 comments… Leave a Review
  • Jane August 16, 2020, 11:08 am


  • Mary June 11, 2016, 9:30 pm

    I look forward to receiving your newsletter of recipes.

    • Joanne October 11, 2023, 5:29 pm

      That’s great! Welcome.

  • Vicki May 24, 2015, 9:13 am

    I freeze the avocado. Scoop out of skin and put in a baggie. We use them for breakfast shakes every morning. The avocados freeze well and retain their color.

    • Joanne October 11, 2023, 5:29 pm

      We have never frozen avocado before. Does the texture change at all?

  • Gabe November 2, 2014, 5:15 pm

    I use a Foodsaver on my avocados there good for a week or so when vacuum sealed.

  • Nancy Long August 17, 2012, 4:25 pm

    we never have any leftover – hubby inhales it

    • Joanne October 11, 2023, 5:30 pm

      It is rare!

  • Marcy February 24, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I have a dwarf Avocado tree, it’s is full blossoms at this time. I hope the spring storms and wind don’t knock them off. The plastic wrap you show are how I store mine. In a San Diego restaurant the waiter came with two table knifes and cut across the avocado one way and then another way. I prefer my guacamole lumpy and not smooth. Cover your bowl and press the plastic wrap until it press’s against guacamole with pit in bowl add a little lime or lemon juice so it won’t turn black..

  • Marcy February 24, 2012, 1:14 pm

    My husband I went to Avocado Festival in Carpenteria, California, they were giving away a tool to cut your avocado, take the pit out , it could cut it and scoop the meat of the avocado out. I used to do it way your way but now with handy tool it’s great. You can toss it in the dishwasher and it is plastic, firm but flexible. Marcy

  • Jessen February 24, 2012, 9:24 am

    Very Helpful Tip about the seed staying in a “leftover half” of avocado. I’ll try that trick the next time~ Thanks

  • Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips February 23, 2012, 11:19 pm

    This is great! I love avocado! I will definitely give it a try. I’ve attempted everything to keep avocado fresh including submerging it in water (ya-didn’t work!).

  • erin February 23, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Onion! Store your avocado with an onion – it works better than anything I’ve ever tried!

    • Adam February 24, 2012, 8:48 am

      we’ve heard of this, does the avocado smell/taste like onion at all?


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