Avocados make great additions to a salad.

How to Test for Avocado Ripeness

by Alicia Bodine

Avocados are an oily fruit that contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. They taste great when tossed in a salad or used to make guacamole dip. One interesting fact about avocados is that they do not ripen on the tree. Instead, they are picked when they mature, and may ripen by the time they reach your grocery store. Whether you buy them at the store or you're growing avocados in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, you'll need to be able to tell when they are ripe so you don't cut an avocado open too soon and end up wasting it.

Look the avocado over and examine its color. The darker the avocado skin, the riper it is. This alone doesn't determine if the avocado is ready to eat, but it's a good place to start.

Squeeze the avocado gently. This is the best way to determine ripeness. A ripe avocado will be somewhat soft, yet will bounce back when you remove your fingers.

Set avocados that still feel hard in a brown paper bag for a few days. This will speed up the ripening process. If the avocado is really squishy, it's too late. The avocado is overripe.

Refrigerate ripe avocados for three to four days if you aren't ready to eat them right away, recommends the University of Hawaii Manoa Extension.


  • Test avocados for ripeness in the grocery store before you buy them.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables, including avocados, before eating.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

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