Interested in knowing how to ripen avocados? Here, you’ll learn the best ways for taking an unripe avocado and getting it to the ideal taste and texture. You’ll read about what to do and what not to do when you want to achieve that perfect ripeness. Use these methods for the next time you’re making a bowl of guacamole or smothering it on your morning toast!

Two whole avocados and two avocado halves to show how to ripen avocados.

How to Tell a Ripe Avocado vs. Unripe Avocado

There are 3 ways to know if you have a perfectly ripe avocado or one that’s not quite ready yet: touch, stem, and color.

Touch

  • A ripe avocado will feel the same as cold butter; not soft like room temperature butter, and not hard like frozen butter. Ripe avocados are heavier than unripe ones, as well.
  • If your avocado is hard, wait up! It’s not yet ready to be eaten yet.

Stem

  • Ripened avocados give a little when pressed, and are soft where the stem is located on the top if gentle pressure is applied. 
  • The stem of an unripe avocado will be hard to pick off. On a ripe one, the stem will easily separate from the fruit.

Color

  • Ripe avocados have a darker green color with possible streaks of brown or yellow on the skin.
  • Bright green avocados are underripe and need more time to reach the perfect ripeness.

How to Ripen Avocados

Here are 5 of the best methods to speed up the ripening process of avocados. Try them out for yourself to find your favorite! (And once they are ready to go, make sure you know how to store avocados, too.)

Avocados in a brown bag with a banana.

1. Fruit Bowl

Fruits like a ripe banana release ethylene gases that speed up the ripening process of anything that’s near them. Whether it’s in a fruit bowl or with paper or plastic bags, putting your avocados near these gas-producing fruits might be your best bet.

Just make sure that you close the bag, or place your fruit bowl in a cool dry area in your kitchen.

2. Pantry

Any cool, warm place like your pantry or on top of your fridge is a simple way to hasten ripening time. After your avocados are ripe, be sure to squeeze lemon over the flesh and place plastic wrap over the avocado and put them in the fridge to hinder the process until you are ready to cut in and enjoy!

Avocados in a brown paper bag.

3. Brown Paper Bag

When you put avocados in a paper bag with other climacteric fruit (i.e., fruit that continues to ripen after being picked), the ethylene gas they give off gets trapped and concentrated in the bag, speeding up the ripening process. Bananas, kiwis, and apples are all ideal paper bag buddies for avocados.

This easy way will produce the best avocados in just a couple days.

4. Bowl of Rice

Oddly enough, smothering your fresh avocados in a bowl of uncooked rice (not instant rice) can speed up the process. Rice retains the moisture and warmth that a whole avocado needs to get to peak ripeness. This can take up to 4 days, though you can speed it up by putting the bowl in a big plastic bag with a few holes poked in it. 

5 avocados together on a countertop.

5. Direct Sunlight

Without any hassle, the sunlight method is the easiest method when it comes to ripening avocados. Simply place them on your kitchen counter on a sunny windowsill where the sun hits just right, and you’ll have ripe fruit in a day or two

The warmer the temperature, the faster the avocado will ripen because the sun is, of course, the only way fruit grow in the first place!

4 avocados in a white oval platter.

How NOT to Ripen Avocados

You might’ve heard that you can heat up your avocados in the oven on a baking sheet or on a plate in the microwave. While these two methods might be promising, they are misleading and here’s why.

4 avocados in an oven.

Oven Method

​Some say to wrap up your whole avocados in tin foil and place them on a baking sheet in your oven at 200°F for 10-15 minutes.

Microwave Method

Others say that cutting your avocado in two pieces, removing the pit, covering each half in plastic wrap, and microwaving for 2 minutes will provide a creamy avocado. 

Do the oven and microwave methods actually work?

These methods turn a hard avocado into a soft one, but they do not actually ripen avocados.

The texture will be soft, but the flavor of the avocado will not change—it will still taste unripe. You will not achieve the nutty flavor that avocados bring when they are truly ripe. Additionally, you will miss out on a more buttery texture that makes it easy to mash on your avocado toast or in your guacamole. 

Instead, you’ll achieve a bitter, stringy avocado. The other GREAT METHODS of how to ripen an avocado properly will be well worth your time and will show in the flavors of your cooking. 

What is the best way to ripen avocados?

The best way to ripen avocados is to use the brown paper bag method. You’ll get even faster results if you put bananas, apples, or kiwis in with it too. Be sure to check them for softness every day or so! This is the most natural way and you’ll get perfectly ripe avocados every time.

What is the best way to store avocados?

Once ripe, the best way to store your avocado is in an airtight container in the fridge. Just like the ripening process, though, there are several methods, so read on in this post about How to Store Avocados so you can keep your them from becoming overripe. 

Avocado FAQs

How do you ripen avocados in 10 minutes?

You can use the microwave or oven methods to soften avocados, but they will not produce the perfectly ripe avocado that you’re looking for. For best results, use methods that require at least a day or two, like placing them in a brown paper bag or in direct sunlight.

How long does it take for an avocado to ripen on the counter?

Avocados take about 2-4 days to ripen on your countertop. 

Can you ripen an avocado quickly?

You can ripen an avocado quickly overnight using the brown paper bag method. 

Can you use plastic wrap to ripen avocados?

Yes, then place them next to fruits like bananas, apples, or kiwis. 

How do you prevent avocados from becoming overripe?

Store your avocados in the fridge until you are ready to ripen them.

A hand dipping a corn tortilla chip into a big bowl full of a simple guacamole with tomatoes and onions.

Favorite Avocado Recipes

Have a bag of ripe avocados that you need to put to use ASAP? Look no further than these techniques and recipes:

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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