At this point, we’ve been burned by avocados so many times—one day they’re rock hard, the next day they’re countertop sludge—we just assume they’ll inevitably have some brown spots when we slice in. We perform avocado surgery and move on. So when our daily TikTok scroll sesh led us to yet another tempting hack that promised to keep our avos perfectly ripe for days, we were skeptical…but also intrigued.
This TikTok Hack Promises to Keep Your Ripe Avocados in Perfect Condition, But Does It Really Work?
The claim is that you should store whole, ripe avocados submerged in cool water in a container in the fridge to keep them at their peak. The origins are unclear: It’s circulated on Facebook in addition to TikTok, and the original video has since been deleted. But many testers now swear by the trick, including Twitter user Ashley C. Ford. The Facebook poster, Lisa Couch Williams, claims her avocados stayed fresh for two weeks in the fridge. We had to try it.
Does It Work?
To test the method, we picked up a few avocados at the store and watched them like a hawk for ripeness on our kitchen counter. When they reached their ideal softness, we plunked one avo in a container of cool water and transferred it to the fridge. The other ripe avocado stayed put on the counter as our control group.
One week later, and the countertop avocado was unsurprisingly past its prime—shriveled, mushy and mostly brown inside. But the fridge avocado? It looked like this:
The hack kept the avocado gorgeously green and ideally firm, free from browning and mushiness. But why?
Why It Works
Confession: We can’t quite figure out why this method works, even after scouring the internet. But our hunch is that the water protects the avocado from both oxidation and exposure to ethylene gas, which increases ripening. (If you’ve ever stored an avocado alongside a banana and watched it go bad at lightning speed, you’ve witnessed this effect.)
But wait—in our research, we also found a tidbit from the Today show that made us pause.
The FDA Doesn’t Recommend This Storage Method
According to Today, the FDA says that storing avocados in water for prolonged periods of time is a bad idea. That’s because any potential pathogens that might be residing on the avocado skin (like Listeria or Salmonella) could multiply during storage in water. What’s more, those pathogens could then infiltrate and contaminate the avocado flesh, so even if you wash the whole fruit before slicing, it could still cause foodborne illness. We’ll pass.
So if this method is too good to be true, what’s the best way to store a ripe avocado?
How to Store Ripe Avocados
In our experience, the best way to preserve ripe, whole avocados is also super easy: Just pop them in the fridge, away from other fruits and vegetables (remember, ethylene gas). They’ll keep for up to five days even without a tub of water.
And if you’re trying to prevent a sliced avo from browning, it’s all about reducing oxygen exposure and oxidation. You can coat the exposed flesh with a little bit of olive oil, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or brush it with citrus juice to keep it as green as possible. No method is 100 percent foolproof, but it will extend the life of your leftover produce by a day or two.
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