How to Hasten the Ripening of an Avocado

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We can all relate to the desire for avocado toast in the morning or a bowl of homemade guacamole during happy hour at home. The only thing that's stopping us Hard as a rock avocado

Regular consumers of avocados are likely familiar with the many "hacks" available online for hastening the fruit's ripening. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method for rapidly ripening an avocado.  

I researched different ways to rapidly ripen avocados online and put seven of the most common ones to the test to determine which one worked the best. Each technique, besides the two controls, involved putting the avocado in a brown paper lunch bag with some kind of ripening agent. Once the evaluations were complete, two winners emerged.  

To hasten the ripening process, a paper bag containing an avocado, an apple, and a banana is the best option. Keep reading to find out why these two techniques are superior, as well as how the other methods fared in comparison.

For the purposes of this Skills Showdown, I went out and bought the firmest, least ripe avocados I could find. When selecting avocados, I looked for ones that were bright green and firm when pressed with my thumb. I stuffed a banana, apple, kiwi, uncooked rice, and all-purpose flour into separate brown paper lunch bags, labeled them, and then folded the tops over three times to seal them.

All of these techniques share a common mechanism: they subject the avocado to ethylene gas, a plant hormone that speeds up the ripening process. Flour and rice are thought to "trap" the natural ethylene gas from avocados and hasten the ripening process, though this claim does not appear to be supported by a great deal of evidence or research. The fruits (kiwi, apple, and banana) produce ethylene gas themselves. I also conducted tests with a single avocado placed in a brown paper bag and on the counter to serve as a control.  

I used the rate at which each avocado ripened to determine how I felt about each technique. Each avocado was checked for ripeness three times a day, at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. m the middle of the day, and late at night (around 10:30 p m Furthermore, I ranked the viability of each strategy.  

  • A 3 out of 10
  • Third day of ripening

If you're looking for a simple way to ripen avocados, look no further than Well Good's explanation of how to do so. To make the avocado crust, I used a brown paper bag and enough all-purpose flour to barely cover the fruit. As a final step, I labeled the bag and folded the top over three times to seal it.   

This method resulted in the longest time for the avocado to ripen, at three full days. On the basis of its usefulness, I also rated this approach poorly. Every time I went to check on the ripeness, I had to wash the flour off my hands, and there was always some left on the counter. Finally, if an avocado didn't ripen quickly, it seems pointless to use several cups of flour just to submerge it. (An FDA representative advised against eating the avocado after using the flour to ripen it because the flour could have been exposed to human pathogens like listeria or salmonella. )

  • Opinion: 4.5/10
  • Time to maturity: 2 5 days

California Avocados,, and all recommend putting an unripe avocado and a whole kiwi in a brown paper bag and then folding the bag up to speed up the ripening process.  

The results showed that this technique required the second-longest ripening time of the several tried. As a result, I wouldn't use this technique again, kiwis or no kiwis.

  • Rating: 4 5/10
  • Age at maturity: 2 25 days

Submerging the avocado in uncooked rice is another popular technique recommended by food bloggers like Good Housekeeping and The Pioneer Woman. In a paper bag, I stuffed an avocado and added just enough uncooked rice to cover it. After that, I put the bag away and used the aforementioned methods to determine when the fruit was ripe.

The outcomes showed that this technique required 2.5 days to ripen, which was only slightly faster than the kiwi technique. The technique also failed because it was inefficient, eating through a lot of rice for a result that was slow and only so-so. (As with the flour, it's not a good idea to cook and eat the rice after using it to ripen an avocado due to food safety concerns. )

  • Review: 0.7/10
  • The ripening period lasts for 2 days.

This method was the easiest of the bunch, second only to simply leaving the avocado out. I marked the bag, folded it up, and placed an extremely unripe avocado inside. Well, that settles it. McCormick and The Spruce Eats both discuss this technique.

In conclusion, if you happen to have some paper bags lying around and can wait two days, this is a reasonably quick method for ripening an avocado. My suspicion is that this avocado was perfectly ripe sometime between the time I checked it at noon on the first day and again that night.

  • Score: 8.2/10
  • 2 days is the ripening time.

For this experiment, I simply set an avocado on my counter and let it ripen naturally. To my knowledge, this is the simplest approach, since it calls for neither unusual tools nor ingredients.  

As a result, this strategy is a prime example of the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." By the end of the second day, this avocado had reached full ripeness (just like the one in the bag), and it was already noticeably softer than the avocados with the flour and rice at the first morning check. Between the two times I checked it, it most likely ripened to perfection. This method's ripening time was comparable to that of the avocado in a paper bag, but I rated it higher because you only need an avocado; no need to run around looking for paper lunch bags at Target!

  • Approval rating: 10 out of 10
  • Approximately 1 year is the ripening time. 5 days

To use this technique, simply remove one banana from the bunch and place it, unpeeled, in the same bag as the avocados. As usual, I labeled and folded the top of the bag. Many sources, including EatingWell and America's Test Kitchen, recommend this technique.

As a result, the total ripening time using this technique was slightly over two days. When I checked the ripeness of all the avocados that morning, I found that this one was noticeably softer than the others. This avocado was the softest of the bunch by the end of the first day, but it wasn't quite ripe yet. However, this avocado was perfectly ripe by noon on the second day. Although I had to spend more money on materials and ingredients, the quick ripening of the avocado was well worth it. It's also worth noting that the banana was perfectly edible after it served its purpose.  

  • Full marks!
  • Time to maturity: 1 5 days

The only preparation I had to make for this method was to purchase an apple; I went with a sweet Honeycrisp, but any apple will do. I bundled up the apple and the avocado in a bag, labeled it, and tested it three times a day, just like I did with the other strategies., Country Living, and Thrillist are just a few examples of publications that have mentioned this technique.   

The evidence shows that apples have magical properties. This strategy, like the banana, was highly effective. After what seemed like no time at all, I not only had a perfectly ripe avocado, but also a delicious treat. That first day's evening, I was taken aback by how supple the avocado had become after only 24 hours. By day two's midday, this avocado had reached its peak, becoming exceptionally ripe and easy to slice. Though I think this one was fully ripe sometime between morning and midday on the second day, I still prefer the banana method. Both the apple and banana approaches worked similarly well, and they are both simple and inexpensive, so I gave them the same rating.

In sum, I found a few approaches to hastily ripening avocados that I'd employ again. To speed up the process of making guacamole, avocado toast, or a nice avocado salad, I often throw an avocado into a bag with a piece of fruit like an apple or banana. The avocado would be better off if I just left it out on the counter and let nature take its course if I had a little more time.

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