Summer cookouts and barbecues come with a lot of delicious foods, but to me, there's nothing better than dishes heaped with avocados. From guacamole to simply eating an avocado right out of its skin, I devour this fruit constantly—but it's one that can be tricky to find perfectly ripe.
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Often, the selection in grocery stores ranges from rock hard to overripe. If you're left with nothing but unripened avocados that need to be used ASAP, you can speed up their process with just 10 minutes and a little heat.
Like most fruits and vegetables, avocados are a food that ripen quickly when in a warm environment. So, if you need to take an avocado from brick to perfect in just one day, it's going to require turning up the temperature. YouTube user Bare Cupboard Basics suggests using your oven.
Wrap your avocado in enough tinfoil to cover it and make sure it's wrapped so that no air can escape.
Naturally, avocados release ethylene gas, just like bananas. When this gas is released, all other fruits and vegetables surrounding the avocado ripen as well. If you surround only the avocados with their own ethylene gas, the ripening agent that the fruit emits is sent back into its source. This essentially forces the avocado to speed things up by concentrating the gas.
Once your avocado is well wrapped, set it inside a baking dish and pop it into the oven at 200°F. Check the fruit's progress at 10 minutes (or even sooner depending on its current degree of ripeness), and keep it in until it's perfectly ripe. Together, the heat of the oven and the ethylene gas will work to soften the fruit.
Although this ripening method works with the avocado's natural process, it does create a slightly different taste. Because the oven's heat partially cooks the fruit to soften it, both Eat by Date and Focus on Mexico mention that it won't taste exactly like a naturally ripened avocado. So, if you're a stickler for that natural avocado taste, try using this trick when you need the fruit for a recipe.
If you need to ripen other fruits, try tossing them in your oven as well. Food and Wine suggests doing this with bananas, as it creates the perfectly overripe kind of banana needed for banana bread. In a pinch, the oven can help you achieve the texture and ripeness you seek.