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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Ripen Avocados Quickly



Ripe, creamy, delicious. How do you ripen avocados faster?
Ripe, creamy, delicious. How do you ripen avocados faster?

OK, so lately I have been on a huge health kick. Now I’ve always been an active guy and all, you know going to the gym, hit the weights and get some post workout cardio in. But recently I’ve hit a plateau, and so I decided to get my diet in shape as well, this is where the avocado comes into play.

Avocados are what nutritionists call a super food, and their reasoning for this is simple. Avocados are packed with nutrients and quite possibly the most nutrient dense fruit on the market today. It has twice the potassium as a banana — a fruit that is highly touted for its potassium-rich content.

Because of this superfood tag that the avocado enjoys, it has made its way into several — and I do mean several — of my daily meals. From guacamole for appetizers to a chicken avocado club at dinner time, I use this delicious fruit to its full potential.

Where are all the ripe avocados?

But there is one slight problem I have, and that is I can never seem to find a fully ripe avocado at the store. So, I have scoured the web for ways to make them ripen faster, and I would like to share them with you.

How to make an avocado ripen faster

In my research, I found that there are so many different techniques that people use to ripen their avocados. Honestly, some of them seem a little on the side of “hogwash.” But in any case, here are the ways:

  • Put your avocados in a bag (add a banana or apple to speed up the process)
  • Microwave your avocado
  • Place the avocados in flour (bury the sucker)
  • Throw it in the oven and bake it

Remember the “hogwash” comment I made earlier? Yeah, I imagine you can guess which methods I was talking about. But let us discuss these methods further.

What are the best foods for a picnic date? I’ll show you.

Brown-bagging your avocado

(find brown bags at Amazon)

This method is said to speed up the ripening process by a few days, leading to a fully ripe avocado in 1-2 days (keep checking on it so it doesn’t get overripe). This method is actually pretty legit, especially considering that this is done with bananas and apples quite often. Plus, if you back that up with the science behind why this helps it reach peak ripeness quicker, that is when it actually becomes an acceptable method.

Science, please

Right now you are probably wondering, how does the science work? I’m glad you asked. Avocados – like bananas – release a gas that is known as ethylene, this is a gas that is produced to help ripen the avocado. So, putting this delectable treat in a paper bag keeps this gas in contact with the avocado via the “dutch oven” method, giving the avocado a much shorter timeline to ripeness.

Next time you make guacamole, try using a mortar and pestle from Amazon.
You’ll like it, I swear.

Pro tip:

You can also add in a banana or an apple in the bag to speed up the process even further. Because the fruits also let off the same gas, throwing them in the bag together adds additional gas to the bag.

Only ripe avocados get to be in my guacamole.
Only ripe avocados get to be in my guacamole.

Putting the avocado inside a bowl of flour

This method also is stated to bring your fruit to full ripe in about 2 days. It may seem silly at first, but once you see the effectiveness of it, you will quickly become a believer. The flour method works for the same reasons that the paper bag method works. The ethylene being released from the avocado stays in contact with the fruit forcing it to ripen faster.

What’s the best way to slice an avocado?
This OXO slicer at Amazon.

But, the part that is particularly interesting about this method is that the flour also acts as an anti-molding agent. When the gas is constantly in contact with the skin of the food, it can cause moisture. What the flour does is wick that moisture away ensuring that your fruit doesn’t become soggy and molded.

King Arthur’s flour. Flour royalty. Get some at Amazon.

Microwaving Avocados

Hogwash Alert!!

This seems like one of the silliest methods that you could possibly come up with. First of all, the reason we love avocados is because of the creamy texture and delicious flavor profiles. Cooking an avocado changes all that.

Yes, after 45 seconds, the avocado is softer. But not good eating, being mushy in some areas while still being hard in others.

To be fair, the few parts that were still edible didn’t taste horrible, but it certainly is not on par with a ripe avocado.

But if you want to microwave other things,
here’s my post on the best microwaves and the best microwaves for dorm rooms.

Put your avocado in a conventional oven

Hogwash alert… or is it?

This method seems like you’re just baking your avocado. When I heard about this one, I didn’t feel like I even needed to dignify it with further investigation. But, upon closer inspection, there’s a little something to it.

First, you wrap your avocado in aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 200ºF. Once it has been preheated and your avocado is wrapped in foil, throw it in the oven for 10 minutes.

Get your aluminum foil from Amazon and stop running out.

Finally, after the 10 minutes is up pull it out of the oven, let it cool. It won’t take long to cool as the heat was relatively low. What happens is, the heat makes the ethylene gas emit faster, speed-ripening the avocado. What you’ll get is a slightly softer avocado. But don’t expect magic. This is a piece of real fruit, not a TV dinner. Good things take time.

Take that guacamole to the beach!
Here are my top recommendations for coolers with wheels for the beach.

Wrap – up

Avocados are great in so many different recipes, and each one of those recipes will always call for ripe avocados (if you’ve ever tried an unripe one, you know why). You’ve seen four of the methods that I have come across, and I recommend trying the first two and possibly the last one. Just don’t expect to get a ripe avocado after cooking it in the oven.

While no good for avocados,
microwaving a sweet potato is great.

Additional Resources

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Alexis DeAnda

Alexis DeAnda is a food fanatic, library card user, and cast iron hunter, in that order. She has been cooking for anyone that will taste it ever since her mom let her make doughnuts on Saturday mornings at the age of 7.

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