Can you refrigerate avocados? Yes, refrigerating avocados is possible and advisable for preserving their freshness after reaching full maturity. Avocados continue to ripen at room temperature, and a perfectly ripe one can last up to three days in the fridge.
Avocados’ rich nutrients, such as healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, make them a nutritious addition to your diet. Once deemed fattening and unsuitable for consumption, avocados have thankfully shed this misconception and are now celebrated for their health benefits and creamy texture.
Instead of avoiding these delicious, green fruits, most of us worry about them spoiling before we have the chance to enjoy them.
If you buy avocados in bulk, you may be curious about the storage options available to keep them fresh. Proper storage can be challenging, as avocados can quickly go bad if not managed correctly.
To prolong the life of your avocado, the best way is to store them securely and coolly within your refrigerator.
In this article, we’ll cover various storage techniques for avocados, whether they are unripe or fully ripe. We’ll discuss best practices for storing whole avocados and cut pieces to ensure they remain fresh and delectable.
In This Article
Can You Refrigerate Avocados?
Do avocados need to be refrigerated? While not always necessary, it’s ideal when avocados are at or near ripeness. Be ready to consume them promptly, as they can quickly turn mushy from perfect ripeness.
Refrigerate avocados when their skin is mostly dark green or black, featuring a slightly bumpy texture that tastes bitter and unpleasant flavor.
Gently press the fruit; if it yields slightly, it’s ripe enough for refrigeration. If soft when pressed, consume immediately or refrigerate if not eaten right away.
Why Shouldn’t You Refrigerate Avocados?
Why should you not refrigerate avocados? Avocados that aren’t ripe can be stored in the refrigerator, but it’s best to be patient and wait until they’re near ready before freezing them.
Keeping avocados cold until they’re ready can delay the process of ripening until they may become rotten before they’ve even begun to ripen and defeat the point of refrigerating them at this moment.
How To Store Avocados
Storing avocados is an art form. You need to monitor your avocado’s quality daily, even checking it multiple times throughout the day to ensure its freshness.
If you store an unripe avocado at too cold a temperature, it might not ripen. But, ripe avocado in a hot environment can quickly become an unrecognizable black mush.
There are many ways that can help prolong your avocado’s life, but care is key to determining its ripeness.
An extremely green, unripe avocado can be left on your countertop, away from direct sunlight, for up to five days before becoming overripe. To accelerate ripening, place it on a sunlit windowsill or near the oven.
If your avocado is just a few days from ripeness, consider refrigerating it, even if you don’t plan to eat it immediately. Store it in a stable spot, avoiding temperature fluctuations from an open door.
When your avocado approaches ripeness, it’s best to refrigerate it. This slows down the ripening process but won’t halt it completely. Aim to consume your avocado within a week or two of reaching maturity, whether stored in the fridge or not.
How to Store Avocados Long-Term
If you have a vast assortment of avocados and can’t eat them before overripening, the best option is to freeze them for long-term storage.
Ensure the avocados are fully ripe or just a day away from ripeness before freezing.
If you plan to use avocados for a dip or spread soon, it’s best to purée them first in a food processor with some fresh lime or lemon juice. The citrus helps preserve the avocado’s freshness in the freezer.
If you are stuck for ideas, the list of avocado recipes by Love and Lemons can give you plenty of ideas!
After blending thoroughly (if needed), transfer the purée to a freezer-safe bag, spreading it into a uniform, thin layer. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and label it with the date. Mashed avocados can last for 3 to 6 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to serve, the avocados may have a different texture. However, after stirring the mash well and adding your choice of spices, the taste should be virtually indistinguishable from a fresh avocado.
Best Way To Store Avocados To Last Longer
What is the best way to store avocados so they last longer? Refrigeration is among the best ways to store ripe avocados, preserving them until you’re prepared to savor them.
Various storage options exist if you plan to cook avocados or lack fridge space. Below, we provide an easy-to-follow chart detailing when and how to store your avocados optimally.
|Cool dark location||Avocados that are not ripe and have time to mature.|
|Sunshine||Green avocados in a hurry to ripen.|
|Countertop||Avocados take 2-3 days from perfect ripeness.|
|Freezer||Too many ripe avocados.|
Ideal Avocado Storage Temperature
The ideal temperature for storing avocados is around 68 F. A freshly harvested avocado should take 3-5 days to ripen in this environment, provided they’re not exposed to direct sunlight.
Do avocados last longer in the fridge or on the counter? Most refrigerators maintain 40 F, significantly cooler and capable of slowing the ripening process. Depending on how long you need to store an avocado, this may be the optimal temperature.
How To Store Half An Avocado
If you’ve consumed only half of an avocado, you can store the other half for 3-5 days, depending on its ripeness when cut.
To maintain its quality, keep the pit within the avocado, preventing browning from air exposure.
Alternatively, brush the exposed area with fresh lime or lemon juice. If you don’t have citrus, apply a small amount of olive oil.
Wrap the remaining avocado in plastic wrap and place it securely in the refrigerator to avoid squishing.
You can also place the avocado in a Tupperware container, filled 3/4 with cold water. Seal and refrigerate. The water may extend the avocado’s life by a few days without browning.
Can You Refrigerate An Avocado After Cutting It?
Absolutely, after cutting an avocado, the best preservation method is refrigeration. Retain the pit until the entire avocado is eaten.
Keeping the pit in the avocado after cutting reduces browning, even for sliced pieces.
Once you’ve decided to store your avocado, limit its air exposure to prevent browning.
How long can you keep cut avocado in the fridge? Make sure to eat the cut avocado within the next day for optimal quality.
Refrigerating Sliced Avocado
If you have citrus juice in your fridge, use a brush or pastry brush to lightly coat the exposed surfaces of the avocado slices. If citrus juice is unavailable, you can use olive oil, but be aware that it may alter the flavor and texture when you’re ready to enjoy the avocado.
Take a sheet of plastic wrap and arrange the avocado slices in an orderly fashion, ensuring they are neatly placed and touching each other. This minimizes air exposure, helping to preserve freshness.
If you still have an empty pit, place it in the center and arrange the slices around it as effectively as possible.
Carefully wrap the avocado slices in the plastic wrap, pressing gently to eliminate any air. Store the wrapped avocado in an airtight container like a Tupperware, to protect it from being squashed while in the refrigerator.
You may be surprised that Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed sliced avocado for her breakfast!
Refrigerating Chopped Avocado
For cubed avocados, transfer the pieces into a Tupperware container that’s just large enough to accommodate the avocado without leaving excess space.
If you have lime or lemon juice, add it to the container and shake gently to coat the avocado.
You can also use olive oil if citrus juice isn’t available, but this may affect the taste and texture when you’re ready to use the avocado.
If you still have the pit, place it with the chopped avocado. Ensure the Tupperware container is securely sealed before refrigerating.
Refrigerating Mashed Avocado
Mashed avocado is perhaps the easiest to store. Mix lime or lemon juice into the mash and transfer it to a Ziploc bag.
Lay the bag on your counter, pressing down to evenly distribute the avocado and remove any air. Seal the bag securely and store it in the refrigerator, ensuring it won’t get crushed.
Mashed avocado is perfect for use in lettuce wraps or spread on toasted sourdough.
How Do You Ripen An Avocado Faster?
To ripen an avocado faster, place it in a paper bag with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas emitted by these fruits will speed up the ripening process. You can place it near a sunny windowsill or close to a heat source. Avoid trying to microwaving an avocado as it does not ripen them.
What Are The Signs That An Avocado Is Ripe?
Signs of a ripe avocado include dark green or black skin with a slightly bumpy texture, a gentle yield to pressure when squeezed, and a subtle fruity aroma near the stem. The stem should also come off easily when the avocado is ripe.
How Long Do Avocados Last?
Unripe avocados can last up to 7-10 days at room temperature, while ripe avocados will last about 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Cut avocados can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days if properly wrapped and protected from air exposure.
How Can You Use A Ripe Avocado?
A ripe avocado can be used in various ways, such as making guacamole, spreading on toast, topping salads, blending into smoothies, or incorporating into desserts like avocado chocolate mousse. Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it a versatile ingredient.
Can You Freeze Avocados?
Yes, you can freeze avocados. Make sure they are ripe or near-ripe, and consider puréeing them with some lime or lemon juice before freezing. Store in airtight freezer-safe bags or containers, and use within 3-6 months for the best quality.