wikiHow to Ripen and Store Avocados

Avocados are a unique fruit in that they do not ripen on a tree. They become ripe after they have been harvested, and this oftentimes occurs at your residence. Unless you are going to enjoy your avocados immediately, it is best to purchase them when they are still hard so you can control the ripening process. Once you learn how to ripen and store avocados properly, you can enjoy the tasty fruit that is loaded with nearly 20 essential nutrients, including vitamins, potassium and fiber.


  1. Image titled Ripen and Store Avocados Step 1
    Select and purchase your avocado. Cup the fruit in your hand, and gently feel it with your fingers. Don't squeeze it with your fingertips. Ripe avocados yield to the gentle pressure you've applied. Unripe avocados are hard to the touch and can take 4 to 5 days to ripen at room temperature, which is around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.9 degrees Celsius).
  2. Image titled Ripen and Store Avocados Step 2
    Place your unripe avocado in a brown paper bag along with an apple or banana if you want your avocados to ripen faster. Ethylene, which is found naturally in both apples and bananas, triggers the ripening process. Since all the fruit is contained in the paper bag, the ethylene gases are trapped, causing all the fruit to ripen quicker.
  3. Image titled Ripen and Store Avocados Step 3
    Keep the avocado and other fruit in the bag for 2 to 3 days for best results. You can tell when the avocado is ripe when the skin gives a little bit when squeezed.
  4. Image titled Ripen and Store Avocados Step 4
    Place the ripe, uncut avocado in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it. Ripe avocados will last 2 to 3 days when refrigerated. Leaving them in the refrigerator too long will cause them to lose their flavor. If your avocados are ripe and you still aren't ready to enjoy them, storing avocados in the refrigerator can prevent over-ripening.
  5. Image titled Ripen and Store Avocados Step 5
    Sprinkle a cut avocado with lemon or lime juice or even white vinegar. The acid can prevent the avocado from turning brown. Additionally, if you're making guacamole, add some lemon or lime juice to the mixture to prevent the avocados from turning brown. Place the avocado in an air-tight container or plastic wrap, and set it in your refrigerator. By covering it, you slow down the oxidation process.


  • Color alone cannot be used to determine if an avocado is ripe. There are more than 500 different varieties, and some will turn dark green as they ripen while others retain a light-green skin when ripe.
  • Avocados can be frozen for up to 2 months if you want to use them later. It is best to freeze them as a puree rather than in whole fruit form or in slices.


  • Avoid purchasing avocados that rattle when you shake them, as this means the pit has pulled away from the flesh and is now overripe. Some overripe avocados may also have a rancid odor. If that has happened, it's best to not eat the fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Avocado
  • Brown paper bag
  • Apple or banana
  • Lemon or lime juice or white vinegar
  • Air-tight container or plastic wrap

Article Info

Categories: Food Selection and Storage