How To Ripen Avocados Faster

From guacamole to salads to taco toppings, fresh avocados can make any dish better. Still, we all know the frustration of wanting to make sure our avocados are fresh and ripe before adding them to our favorite meal or snack. Fun fact: Avocados don't ripen on the tree; they only ripen after they are harvested. So, if you find yourself with avocados that aren't quite ready for greatness, you can help them along with these easy tips.

avocado cut in pieces

Before you start, you might be interested to know how avocados ripen to help you understand what you're working with. They ripen because of the presence of ethylene, which also ripens other fruits like apples and bananas.  You should also know what to look for to tell if your avocado is ripe or not. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure, but is not mushy, and has a slightly darker color, it is ripe and ready to use.

avocados in bag

To ripen your avocados, place them in a paper bag with other fruits like apples or bananas and close it. Leave it in a spot that is room temperature. Making sure the spot isn't too cool is important. In fact, if you ever need to SLOW down an avocado from ripening, just place it in your fridge. It will buy you a little time.

Once your avocados are in the paper bag and the fruit begins to ripen, they will produce more of that ever-important ethylene, and they should ripen within a day or two. Capturing the ethylene in the bag speeds up the process instead of having them out in the open, where it can dissipate.

You may find other tips and tricks online that say you can ripen avocados overnight, or even faster, like using an oven or microwave, but we do not recommend those techniques and have not found them effective. If you need to use an avocado immediately, the Old El Paso Kitchen team recommends that it is best to choose a ripe avocado at the store.

So next time you want to make your favorite dish and your avocados aren't ready, just pull out a paper bag and give it a day or two. You'll soon be ready to taste the delicious flavors of fresh, ripe avocados.