How to Quickly Ripen an Avocado in 4 Easy Ways

Tale as old as time: You’re craving guac, but when you get to Trader Joe’s, there’s a pile of totally unripe avocados taunting you. But, don’t settle for the store-bought stuff. Here are four foolproof tricks for how to ripen an avocado in no time. Bring on the chips. 

1. Use the oven

Wrap it in tinfoil and place on a baking sheet. Pop it in the oven at 200°F for ten minutes, or until the avocado is soft (depending on how hard it is, it could take up to an hour to soften). As the avocado bakes in the tinfoil, ethylene gas surrounds it, putting the ripening process into hyperdrive. Remove it from the oven, then put your soft, ripe avocado into the fridge until it cools and you're ready to enjoy. Guac and avocado toast for all!

2. Use a brown paper bag

Stick the fruit in a brown paper bag, roll it shut and store on your kitchen counter. Avocados produce ethylene gas, which is typically released slowly, causing the fruit to ripen. But you can speed up this process by putting avocado in a container (a paper bag is ideal since it allows the fruit to “breathe”) that concentrates the gas. Bought that hard-as-a-rock avocado on Wednesday but want to dish up a Mexican fiesta this weekend? No problem. With this method, your avocado should be guacamole-ready in about four days (or less, so keep checking every day).

3. Use another piece of fruit

Repeat the same process as above, but double up on ethylene gas by adding a banana or an apple to the brown paper along with the avocado. Since these fruits also release ethylene, they should ripen even faster.

4. Fill a brown paper bag with flour

Fill the bottom of a brown paper bag with flour (about two inches should do the trick) and place your avocado inside, making sure to roll the bag shut. This method concentrates the amount of ethylene gas, while protecting the fruit from mold and bruising.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.