How to Check if an Avocado is Ripe


Avocado is a fruit with subtle and amazing properties. Superfood is a term often thrown around for nutritious food items, but with avocado it is a perfect fit.

As healthy as they are for our body, they are equally appealing to our taste buds in their ripened state. However, there is one catch. Even a slightly overripe avocado may look like worm food.

Avocados require care while ripening and expertise in judging their ripeness or you’ll end up with an unfulfilled stomach and a nasty sight.

Avocado ripe or not

Here are three ways to correctly check if an avocado is ripe while shopping so you can enjoy its seductive flavor right away.

Method 1: Color of the Fruit

Color is the primary method to correctly determining the ripeness of avocados. Although this method is not completely foolproof, it should be your first approach.

As is true for many fruits, the color of an avocado is an easy visual method of determining whether it is ripe. The color of the fruit in various stages is as follows-

  • Pale to dark green: Not ripe
  • Dark green to greenish-brown: About to ripen
  • Greenish-brown to dark brown: Ripe
  • Dark brown to black: Overripe

There is a transitional stage between the color of greenish-brown and dark brown when the avocado is brown and is just right to eat.

Comparing Avocados

Now check the avocados with the corresponding color from the above indicators. As seen in the pictures, you can get a pretty good idea about the ripeness of the fruit by its color.

Method 2: Applying Pressure

By applying pressure on the fruit, you can check the accuracy of the color indicators of ripeness.

Step 1. Hold and press a green avocado

Hold and press green avocado

Pick up a green avocado and hold it in your palm. Use your fingers to gently press the avocado.

If the fruit is not ripened, the pressure will have no effect on it. The unripe fruit will feel very tight and firm.

Step 2. Hold and press a brown avocado

Hold and press brown avocado

Use your fingers to gently press on a brown avocado. Do not place it on a hard surface while doing this as it might bruise the fruit. Holding the fruit in your palm and pressing it with your fingers will disperse the pressure throughout the area of your fingers and prevent bruising it.

If the pressure applied by your fingers makes a slight depression on the surface that goes away as soon as you release the pressure, then the avocado is ripe and ready to eat.

However, if your fingers are easily able to push the pulp inside and create a significant and lasting depression, then the avocado is overripe.

Method 3: Check the Stem Base

Always use the color and pressure methods first. When you are unable to tell if an avocado is ripe or not, only then remove the stem button to check the color beneath it. After removing the stem, the avocado will ripen unevenly and rot easily.

Step 1. Remove the stem button from the top of the fruit

Remove stem from fruit top

Remove the stem button

Remove the stem button from the top of the fruit.

Step 2. Check the color beneath the stem button

Now, check the color beneath the stem button.

Check the color beneath stem

Check color beneath stem button

  • If it is green, then the fruit is unripe.
  • If it is greenish-yellow, the fruit is ripe and ready to eat.
  • If it is yellowish-brown or brown, the fruit is overripe.
  • If it is almost black, the fruit is rotten.

Additional Tips

  • It’s best to buy a green and hard avocado and ripen it in your kitchen. Do not buy an avocado if the stem or stem button is already removed.
  • To ripen an avocado, just place it on the counter for 3 to 7 days. To speed up the process, you can keep the fruit with a ripe apple and banana in a brown paper bag. The ethylene gas released from the apple is a growth hormone for plants and cause them to ripen.
  • To check if an avocado is overripe, you can hold it near your ear and shake the fruit vigorously. If you can hear the seed rattling, the fruit is overripe. When the flesh becomes overripe, it is unable to hold the seed firmly, hence the rattling.
  • Avoid using the stem removal method to check the ripeness of an avocado in a store. After removing the stem, it will ripen unevenly and rot easily. You don’t want to spoil the fruit for others who shop after you.

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