Cutting an avocado is so quick and easy to do once you learn how to properly pit and peel it! You can then dice it and slice it, or scoop it out to use in a guacamole recipe. A few tips and tricks will also teach you how to determine when an avocado is ripe and how to store it for later to use in your favorite healthy recipes.
How to Cut an Avocado
Ohhhh… avocados – with your creamy, velvety smooth texture, and delicious taste.
When I first met my husband I was not a huge avocado fan. Nor did I know anything about how to pit, peel, cut, or even select them at the grocery store.
But after spending 4 years in San Antonio, and having a hubby that DEVOURS them, I quickly fell in love, too. After all, this delectable fruit comes from Mexico – so we get some of the BEST avocados here in Texas!
Avocados are by far one of THE top 10 items that make a regular appearance on our weekly grocery list now.
So you better believe I quickly realized how necessary it is to know how to cut an avocado. And soon you will, too!
What is an Avocado?
Avocados are technically a fruit since they are a single-seeded “berry.”
However, they are savory enough that some consider like to consider them as more of a vegetable.
They are composed almost entirely of monounsaturated fat and make an excellent, low-carb and creamy addition to your favorite dishes.
Avocados have a relatively tough outer layer called their “skin” that you definitely don’t want to eat. Often you can also find ones with a “stem“.
Once an avocado is cut in half you will see a large brown seed, or “pit“, surrounded by a bright green edible flesh.
Selecting Ripe Avocados
When selecting avocados at the grocery store there are a three things you’ll want to look for in order to pick the best ones:
- Firmness – Avocados are best to eat when they are slightly softened, but not completely mushy. You’ll want them to give a little bit when you apply firm but gentle pressure. Buy slightly harder, less ripe, avocados if you are planning to use them a few days after purchasing.
- Stem – A quick trick I like to use to confirm an avocado’s ripeness is to peel back the stem. If it is a beautiful green underneath and the stem peels easily, the avocado is ripe and ready-to-eat.
- Color – Avocados with a darker skin are generally ripe and ready to eat. Lighter, more green avocados can normally use a few more days to ripen fully.
Removing the Pit
The process for cutting an avocado is actually rather simple and consists of the following steps:
- Slice the avocado in half lengthwise until you feel the knife hit the pit.
- Turn the avocado on its’ side and spin it while continuing to cut it in half with the knife. Be very careful as you’re doing this. Try to keep the knife in the same position around the periphery of the avocado.
- Twist the two halves to separate them once the avocado is completely cut down the center. Just a little twist is all it should take!
- Carefully hit the pit with your knife to remove it. Make sure there are no fingers or hands hanging out on the cutting board as you do this! No one wants to lose a finger while cutting an avocado.
- Rotate the pit until it loosens and pull up. If you’re having a hard time, you may need to hit the pit again and go in a little deeper with the knife.
- Remove the pit by pressing on it from the non-sharp side of the knife with your thumb and your pointer finger. You can also place a paper towel over the knife so you don’t get avocado flesh all over your fingers, but it is harder to see the pit.
Cutting into Slices or Cubes
From this point you can either cut the avocado into slices or cubes.
You’ll want to be extremely careful when doing this so your knife does not slip and cut through the avocado’s skin.
- For slices, use a smaller paring knife to cut thin slices of avocado. (Step 1 above.)
- For cubes, cut slightly thicker strips, about 1/2-inch wide. (Step 2 above.)
- Rotate the avocado 90-degrees and cut additional 1/2-inch wide slices.
- Once the slices and cubes are done, simply scoop them out using a large spoon. (Step 3 above.)
If you’re a little intimidated by holding the avocado and cutting at the same time, there’s an alternative method you can use.
- Once the avocado is cut in half and the pit is removed, cut each halve in half lengthwise.
- Remove and discard the skin from each quarter.
- Place the avocado cut-side down on a cutting board and either thinly slice it or dice it.
It’s best to use freshly sliced and diced avocado immediately after cutting.
But what if you have half of an avocado left and you want to store it for later.
Once an avocado is cut its flesh will start to turn brown due to a process called oxidation. (It’s just a fancy word for the avocado being exposed to the air!)
The best way to store cut avocados is to wrap them in a piece of plastic wrap and press the wrap down so it has complete contact with the surface. You can store the cut avocado in the refrigerator like this for up to 2 days.
Can you eat avocado raw?
Much like any other fruit, avocados taste incredible in their raw and uncooked form. Just add a sprinkle of salt and eat up!
Should you refrigerate avocados?
If your avocados are still unripe, leave them out at room temperature until they are ripe and ready to eat. If you have some perfectly ripe avocados that you won’t be able to get to for a few days, pop them into the refrigerator. Cold temperatures slow down the ripening process and will keep your avocados until you’re ready to eat them.
Can you freeze avocados?
Avocados can be frozen either in slices, chunks, or as a puree. To do this, toss the avocado in a bit of lime or lemon juice. Place cut pieces on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for up to 2 hours. Once slightly firm, transfer them to a freezer safe back and remove as much of the air from it as possible. Store in the freeze for up to 3-4 months.
Healthy Avocado Recipes
There are so many ways you can use this versatile fruit. Here are some of the best avocado recipes:
How to Cut an Avocado
Cutting an avocado is actually so quick and easy to do once you learn how to properly pit and peel it! You can then dice it, slice it, or scoop it out to use in a guacamole recipe.
- 1 avocado
Slice the avocado lengthwise until you feel the knife hit the pit.
Turn the avocado on its side and spin it while continuing to cut it in half with the knife.
Twist the two halves to separate them once the avocado is completely cut down the center.
Carefully hit the pit with your knife to remove it.
Rotate the pit until it loosens and lift up.
Remove the pit from the knife by pressing on it from the unsharpened side with your thumb and pointer finger until it dislodges.
From this point you can either cut the avocado into slices or cubes. (You'll want to be extremely careful when doing this so your knife does not slip and cut through the avocado's skin.)
For slices, use a smaller paring knife to cut thin slices of avocado.
For cubes, cut slightly thicker strips, about 1/2-inch wide. Rotate the avocado 90-degrees and cut additional 1/2-inch wide slices.
Once your slices/cubes are done, simply scoop them out using a large spoon.
Once the avocado is cut in half and the pit is removed, cut each halve in half lengthwise.
Remove and discard the skin from each quarter.
Place the avocado cut-side down on a cutting board and either thinly slice it or dice it.