I used to be one of those people who bought my guacamole pre-made to avoid the dreaded task of buying and cutting an avocado myself. I felt so intimidated by cutting avocadoes that I spent years eating processed guacamole instead of enjoying the smooth, buttery taste of fresh avocado at home.
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It turns out that you only need a few simple skills to cut an avocado like a pro. And once you know how to do it, you’ll reap all the health benefits of avocado, especially the welcomed energy boost that comes from the omega-3 fatty acids found in this heart-healthy fruit.
How to Choose an Avocado
Before we get into how to cut an avocado, it’s helpful to know how to select a good one. When you choose an avocado, press on it to make sure it’s not too firm or too soft. If it’s firm to the touch, it’s not ripe yet. If you cut an avocado too early, the meat will have a tough consistency and won’t be as flavorful. If the avocado feels mushy or has a rancid smell, it’s overripe. The perfect avocado has a slight give when you press on the root end.
How to Ripen Avocados
If your avocados aren’t ripe when you buy them, you can just place them on the counter and wait for them to ripen on their own. To ripen avocados more quickly, place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana and seal tightly. Or fill the bottom of a paper bag with 2 inches of flour, place the avocado inside and tightly seal it. Both of these methods can take 2 to 3 days. If you need ripe avocados right away for a recipe, it’s best to buy them fully ripened.
How to Cut an Avocado
The best way to cut an avocado is to place it on a cutting board (don’t hold it in your hand). Start by slicing it in half lengthwise with a chef’s knife, keeping in mind that you won’t be able to cut through to the center because of the large pit in the middle. Once your knife reaches the pit, turn the avocado slowly and cut around the pit until the avocado is able to be opened in half.
Once the avocado is cut in half, you’ll see a large pit on one side. Hit the pit with the sharp end of a knife and twist to loosen it. The pit should pop right out, embedded in the knife blade. If it doesn’t work on the first try, hit it again with the knife and try to embed the knife deeper to get a firmer grasp. If you feel your knife skills aren't up to the task, you can also pop the pit out with a metal spoon.
Once the pit is out, you can easily scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Dispose of the pit and the outer skin.
How to Slice an Avocado
If you want slices of avocado, after removing the pit use a small paring knife to cut thin vertical slices into the avocado while it’s still inside the skin. Then remove the slices with a spoon.
How to Cube an Avocado
For cubes, cut slightly thicker strips into the flesh, about ½-inch wide. Then rotate the avocado 90 degrees and make perpendicular cuts. Remove the cubes with a spoon.
Delicious Avocado Recipes
Ready to enjoy some avocado goodness now that you know how to cut one like a pro? Here are some avocado recipes worth trying: