Many avocado-lovers can attest to one thing – there’s nothing worse than confidently cutting into an avocado, involuntarily salivating as you anticipate eating its delicious flesh, only to find that the avocado is still hard as a rock and completely unripe!
Not only do unripe avocados have a hard, unforgiving texture, but they are also unpleasantly bitter and will not make a good addition to your meal.
However, fret not!
There are many several methods you can use to quickly ripen an avocado, one of which is the super-fast way of microwaving them.
Microwaving avocados can be a tricky thing though, potentially leading to a giant mess, or even a dangerous situation.
Caution! Avocados, like many other solid masses, can explode if it is tightly wrapped and zapped in the microwave.
When the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the microwave hit the avocado, gas and steam is produced by the fruit, causing a buildup of pressure that can potentially explode the skin.
Microwaving only works if the avocado is not rock hard and solid. By microwaving a half-ripe avocado, you’ll get a smooth texture that can be mixed with other ingredients to make dips like guacamole.
However, the taste of a microwaved avocado is significantly different from that of one that has been allowed to ripen naturally.
The flesh will be less buttery and creamy, and while the texture remains similar, microwaved avocados will produce ethylene gas, giving them the same nutty taste of naturally-riped avocaidos.
If you are intending to ripen an avocado in the microwave, be careful! Here are some tips on this convenient, but potentially dangerous shortcut.
- First, prick the avocado with a knife or fork to allow the pressure, steam, and gas to escape
- Then, cut the avocado down the middle and remove the seed, or pip
- Place the halves in a microwave-safe wrap or container
- Depending on the wattage of your microwave, set the power setting to low, or specify a low percentage of 10% to 20% power
- Heat for 20 seconds or so, checking each time if the flesh is turning soft
- Once the desired texture is reached, your avocado should be ready!
- Be very careful and use only the lowest settings, especially if you have a powerful microwave, like one that can deliver 1,000 watts
- Frozen avocado takes longer to defrost and heat up, and again, use a very low setting on the microwave. An overheated avocado can become mushy, with a ruined flesh texture.
- Frozen avocados can also be thawed out in the fridge overnight, or left at room temperature for about an hour (but never more than two hours!).
Microwaving an avocado is a quick way of getting your fruit ready for consumption.
In seconds, your avocado will be ready to eat, as opposed to letting it ripen naturally, which of course, can take several days.
How Do You Ripen Avocados Quickly?
Oddly enough, you can make avocados naturally ripen quickly by placing them next to a banana, kiwi, or apple.
These fruits produce ethene gas, a natural gas that naturally ripens fruit by breaking down internal cell walls and converting carbohydrates to sugar.
Ethene gas can soften hard fruit when placed in close contact.
You can put them in a bowl or paper bag, don’t use plastic because it can make the fruit stiff and unyielding.
Avocados can ripen in one or two days if placed near an ethene-gas emitting fruit.
If you don’t want to eat it immediately, store it in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process, but don’t cut it up, which might hasten spoilage and cause browning due to oxidization.
Avocados that are stored whole can last one to four days in the refrigerator.
However, if you’re not in a hurry to ripen avocados, let them sit on the counter and ripen naturally.
Unripe, greener avocados will ripen in 3-5 days.
In addition, avocados with a darker color will ripen faster.
Cut avocados need to be eaten sooner, in contrast to the avocados that are stored whole and protected by their thick, outer peel.
Sometimes avocados look ripe from the outside and even feel marginally squishy, but the flesh is still firm and unripe when cut.
No worries! You can quickly ripen a cut avocado.
First, apply lime juice to the flesh avocados to prevent the flesh from turning too brown from oxidization.
Then combine them again with the seeds when you’ve removed them.
Put the combination on the counter and wait for a few hours.
If still not ripe after a few hours, wrap the avocado in plastic and place it in the refrigerator.
It will take longer, but you will prevent spoilage and more oxidization.
How Do You Ripen Avocados in 10 Minutes?
Exposing avocados to heat will quickly cause them to ripen.
You can ripen avocados in under 10 minutes by baking, or microwaving.
To bake, wrap avocados in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet.
Place in the oven at 200°F set the timer for 10 minutes, checking the texture every two to three minutes.
To microwave an avocado, first, poke a couple of holes in the fruit to allow the gas and steam to be released.
Be careful! If the pressure buildup is too great, the avocado can “explode” in the microwave, which can be dangerous.
Zap the avocado on a very low setting only and for short periods, like 20 seconds.
The best-case scenario is that the avocado explodes within the microwave and creates one heck of a mess and a potentially hilarious situation, while the worst-case scenario is that hot bits of avocado rain fiery bits all over you.
With either baking or microwaving, harder avocados are less ripe and will take longer.
Once the avocado is squishy enough to be eaten, remove them from the oven and chill in the refrigerator before using it.
Ethylene gas is the catalyst that speeds up the process.
Slowly released by avocados when ripening, the release is greatly sped up when exposed to high heat.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.