If you love avocados, you will understand the sheer disappointment of slicing into one too many overripe, brown and mushy ones. These temperamental fruits sure do a good job of keeping us on our toes! I did some research into storing avocados in either the fridge or on the counter.
Avocados last longer in the fridge as opposed to the counter. Ripe, uncut avocados can be preserved in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. The cold temperature and airflow will prevent the build-up of ethylene gas, which accelerates ripening.
Remember that unripe avocados may struggle to ripen if placed in the fridge when hard. It’s best to ripen at room temperature and then move to the fridge to extend their lifespan, otherwise, they might never get soft.
What can be done to prevent avocados from turning into a nasty brown tragedy? Read on to discover the best ways to store and preserve avocados so that you can enjoy the creamy deliciousness of each and every one.
Check out my 10 things to make with half a leftover avocado!
Why Do Avocados Ripen So Fast?
Several factors can accelerate the ripening process:
Avocados only begin to ripen once picked from the tree and are fully ripe in around 2 weeks. It takes a substantial duration of time to get the avocados from the farm to the store and eventually to your home. This leaves you with only a matter of days before they fully ripen.
Avocados produce ethylene gas, a plant hormone that activates ripening. Storing avocados near fellow ethylene-emitting fruit, such as bananas, tomatoes, and apples will accelerate ripening even further.
Avocados are also highly sensitive to their environment. A warmer climate will activate and accelerate ripening, while cooler temperatures slow it down. The most ideal climate for optimal ripeness is room temperature
Softer avocados become more vulnerable to bruising, which will speed up ripening. Bruising weakens the cell wall, enabling contact with air. An enzyme underneath the fruit’s skin (polyphenol oxidase) is triggered
Bruising will also result from mechanical injury during harvest or transportation, dropping the avocado, or pressing it with your fingers. So be gentle!
Counter Vs. Fridge: How Long Do They Last?
Ripe, uncut avocados will last for approximately 3-4 days on the counter, according to eatbydate.com. This is ideal if you intend to enjoy them within the next few days.
If you are sitting with an abundance of ripe avocados, you can extend their shelf life by storing them in the refrigerator for as long as 7-10 days.
Firm, unripe avocados should be stored at room temperature on the countertop. Avocados generally ripen within 4-5 days, and they can remain on the counter for an additional 2-3 days.
The refrigerator is not recommended for storing unripe avocados, as they will not ripen properly at lower temperatures. Uneven ripening will leave the fruit without its usual delicious flavor and creamy texture.
How Long Does Avocado Last Once Cut?
Cut avocados will remain fresh for 2-3 days if stored correctly. Sliced avocado should not be stored at room temperature. Seal the sliced avocado in plastic wrap or an airtight container and refrigerate.
The air will cause the avocado to brown because of oxidization. I’ve got some tips on preventing this below, but the easiest way to do it is to reduce air contact and use lemon or lime juice on the surface. Store airtight or wrapped up.
How Long Does Mashed Avocado Last In The Fridge?
When stored properly, mashed avocado will last approximately 1-2 days in the fridge. Sprinkle a generous amount of lemon or lime juice over the mash and mix thoroughly. Pack the avocado mash tightly in an airtight container or use plastic wrap to reduce air contact.
Mashed avocado has the most surface area contact with the air, so it’s no surprise this goes brown really quickly. Using extra lemon or lime does really help here. But I recommend eating it as soon as you can as it doesn’t keep well!
How Do You Store Avocados In The Refrigerator?
Ripe, whole avocados can be stored and preserved in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for 7-10 days. They will ripen, but at a slower rate than if left on the counter. The cooler environment and airflow will prevent the build-up of ethylene gas.
Sliced avocado will have a considerably shorter lifespan, as the flesh will oxidize and turn brown once it comes into contact with oxygen. The pit should remain intact in the half that will not be eaten, and you can apply a method from the list below before refrigerating.
How To Keep Avocados From Browning
Avocados will begin to oxidize once exposed to oxygen in the air, which will make them turn a darkish brown color. Despite its unappealing appearance, the green areas of flesh remain edible, as long as there is no mold or musky smell.
Prevent further browning and spoilage by storing cut avocados according to one of the following methods:
1. Add Lime Or Lemon Juice And Seal In Clingwrap
Add an acidic component such as lime or lemon juice before covering the avocado in plastic wrap:
- Sprinkle or rub lemon/lime juice on the avocado flesh. The citric acid will slow down ripening because it hinders the enzymes that cause oxidation.
- Prevent browning (from exposure to oxygen) by tightly covering the exposed avocado with cling film.
- Place in the refrigerator and use within 1-2 days.
2. Add Red Onion
Layer a few wedges of red onion in a storage container and arrange the cut avocado over the sliced onion. The onion will release gases that will prevent the avocado from browning.
3. Cover The Flesh With Oil
You can create a barrier that will protect the flesh from oxygen exposure using oil. Lightly brush a fine layer of olive or vegetable oil over the surface of sliced avocado. Cover tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
4. Submerge The Avocado In Water
Place the avocado half (with the pit intact) face-down in a bowl and immerse in water. Store in the refrigerator for 2 days. Since water protects the flesh from air exposure, it prevents the avocado from turning brown.
5. Freeze The Avocado
Did you know that your precious avocados can be frozen?
Freezing will extend its shelf life to 4-6 months. This method is excellent for bulk purchases and to prevent food waste. Freezing enables you to enjoy avocado throughout the year, and it will come in handy for last-minute recipes such as guacamole, smoothies, and salad dressings.
Whole Avocado – Leave the skin on and cover the avocado tightly with plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze.
Avocado Halves Or Slices – Brush lemon or lime juice over the flesh. Seal with plastic wrap and place in a resealable bag or container before freezing.
Avocado Mash – Squeeze a decent amount of lemon juice into the mash or puree. Mix well and freeze individual portions in an airtight container, freezer bag, or ice cube tray.
How To Use Overripe Avocado
Overwhelmed by the number of overripe avocados sitting on your counter?
You can prevent food waste by incorporating overripe avocado into other dishes such as:
Use mashed avocado as a delicious and healthy alternative to butter and oil. The avocado will give the brownies a luxuriously creamy and moist consistency. You can also add avocado to other baked treats such as cupcakes and muffins.
Burritos, Smoothies And Eggs
Enhance the flavor, nutrients, and creaminess of dishes such as burritos, smoothies, omelets, or scrambled eggs.
Sauces, Dips And Salad Dressings
Blend avocado with other ingredients such as olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, tahini, and spices and enjoy as a rich and creamy salad dressing, sauce, or dip.
Blend overripe avocado with berries, banana, honey, and cacao powder. Chill and consume as a thick and creamy pudding, or freeze and enjoy as guilt-free ice cream.
Avocado can be a difficult fruit to manage! Hopefully, now you know whether to store your avocados in the fridge or on the counter. Remember that the temperature is key to controlling ripening – so use that to slow down or speed up to get better avocados. They will last much longer in the fridge, but don’t put them in there too early or they will stay very hard.