Introduction: Longterm Avocado Storage

Picture of Longterm Avocado Storage

As a born and raised Californian, I have a hard time not incorporating avocados into every meal and snack but they are one of the more expensive fruits you can buy, especially in colder climate states. There are certain times of the year when avocados go on sale and I usually buy a multitude of them. Even though I can eat them nonstop, I still end up with some becoming over ripe in the process. I was looking for a way to store the avocados longterm so that I could really stock up and enjoy them longer, so I created this Instructable to share two methods I have found.

Step 1: Ripe Avocados

Picture of Ripe Avocados

You'll want to preserve avocados at the peak of their ripeness to maintain your avocado's fresh flavor. I have found this to be especially important since it is nearly impossible to preserve the texture. To identify a ripe avocado, hold the avocado in your palm with your thumb on the stem. Roll your thumb on the stem away from the fruit. If the stem rolls off and away from the fruit easily and reveals a bright green patch then your avocado is ripe! If the stem rolls off easily but reveals a gray or dark patch of the avocado flesh, your avocado is over ripe and not an ideal candidate for storing longterm. If the stem does not roll away from the fruit easily, then the fruit is not yet ripe and should sit at room temperature until it is and can be stored longterm.

Step 2: Wash

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Wash your avocado skin gently under lukewarm water. One out of the two techniques for storing avocados detailed in this Instructable does not remove the skin, so you'll want to clean it thoroughly.

Step 3: Halve Your Avocado

Picture of Halve Your Avocado

Using a sharp knife, cut your avocados in half lengthwise by rotating the knife around the avocado. Once halved, separate the avocado halves by placing a hand on each half and rotate, twisting your hands in opposite directions.

Step 4: Removing the Avocado Pit

Picture of Removing the Avocado Pit

To remove the pit of the avocado, hold the avocado half in your non-dominant hand (Ideally, place a dish towel between your hand and the avocado as a commenter mentioned. This will help you grip the avocado and create a barrier between your hand and the blade). With your dominant hand, carefully whack your knife into the pit until it sticks firmly. Keeping the knife firmly stuck into the pit, twist the knife until the pit rotates and comes loosely away from the fruit.

The avocado pit should now be stuck to the blade of your knife. To safely remove the knife from the pit, place your fingers against the pit from the back of the blade. This way when you apply force to remove the pit from the blade you are working in a direction with the blade, not against it. Apply force to the back of the pit, until it releases from the knife blade.

Step 5: Method 1: Freeze Avocado Halves

Picture of Method 1: Freeze Avocado Halves

In this first method, we are simply going to freeze the avocado halves. This is the simplest method as it takes the least amount of work and still results in an acceptable outcome.

First things first, using a permanent marker, label your freezer safe ziplock bag with the date so that you know how long your avocados have been frozen. Cut a lemon in half so that you can juice it. Squeeze it over your avocado halves, making sure to coat the exposed fruit flesh with the lemon juice. Gently place your avocado halves in your ziplock bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible and seal the bag. I could comfortably fit 5 and maybe 6 avocado halves (if I hadn't eaten the sixth) in one gallon freezer safe ziplock bag. Place in your freezer and store away until you need to brighten your life with some fresh avocado.

Step 6: Method 2: Mashed Avocado

Picture of Method 2: Mashed Avocado

The second method involves storing your avocados once they've been mashed. For this method, you'll want to use a tablespoon to scoop all of your avocado fruit out of their leathery skin and into the container you'd like to store them in. Using a freshly halved lemon, liberally squeeze lemon juice all over your avocados. This will slow the process of browning with your avocado. Mash and mix thoroughly with a fork. Cover with a tight fitting lid and store in your freezer. Whip it out when you're ready to make some last minute guacamole!

You can also store the mashed avocados in a ziplock bag to reduce the amount of air while they are being stored. I prefer the tupperware method because it later doubles as my guacamole vessel.

Step 7: Final Notes

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A couple of final notes about your longterm stored avocados.

1. When you are defrosting your stored avocados, it's best if you defrost them slowly. The best way to do this is by placing them in your fridge, to allow them to slowly defrost in a colder temperature. It will take longer than simply placing your avocados at room temperature but it will produce better results in terms of texture and color. Another method you could try is floating your ziplock or placing your tupperware in a large bowl of cold water. Again, this will allow your avocados to thaw but it will slow down the process significantly preserving some of the texture and color.

2. The texture will change after your avocados have been frozen. This is why they are best used in guacamole or mashed on toast. This Instructable is not detailing the way to perfectly preserve ripe avocados but it is the best I've found to maintain most of the texture and flavor of a ripe avocado!



denewf (author)2016-02-21

Portion mashed avocados into (cheap) sandwich bags.

A spray of lemon juice.

Freeze them and then vacuum pack.

Still very good a year later. Did it to prove a point.

denewf (author)denewf2016-11-17

Further to vac pac avocado: Before defrosting, remove frozen avocado from vac bag. Rinse vac bag and dry. Bag can be used several times as it gets smaller and smaller. Bag used twice reduces cost of bag to half. Used four times cost of a $1.00 bag is now $.25 depending on your dedication to saving a penny. Another anti oxidization agent I use is a light spray of common peroxide rather than lemon or lime juice. A small bottle, diluted 1 - 10 and sprayed as with lemon juice. Much more effective than citrus juices.

Again to prove that it could be done, I've used the peroxide spray on romaine lettuce and found it will keep up to three months with a bit of judicious trimming, rinsing and respraying. Only using a simple burper vac container.

I wonder how many $$$'s I've saved over the last 10 or so years?

This part of the country a head of romaine can cost up to $4.00 in the off season and not a great deal less the rest of the year.

GradyH3 (author)denewf2017-06-03

Peroxides are oxidizing agents. I would stick with the lemon/lime juice.

Marycarlucci (author)denewf2016-02-21

Great idea.

kelleymarie (author)denewf2016-02-21

Nice denewf. Vacuum packing would definitely remove the risk of oxidation from air exposure. I can't believe they lasted a year...mine generally don't last that long since I eat them. :) It's good to know though.

cocco.gianni (author)2016-11-01


pamboni (author)2016-06-09

Found page 2 and rest of pages.

Quadrifoglio (author)2016-06-05

If you are going for short term storage, use the avocados that have lost their stems first. They will go bad, starting at the pit left by the stem.

mdeblasi1 (author)2016-02-20

Do y suppose it would help to microwave just long enough to disable the enzimes?

dbuckley6 (author)mdeblasi12016-05-03

No, that would not work. It an oxidation reaction , like rust on steel, but obviously far quicker. Enzymes are not involved, just oxygen from the air and the avocado. Low pH from lon etc will delay reaction.

crazy like a Fox (author)2016-03-11

I've found that for some reason lime juice works better than lemon. Plus the guacamole is even more amazing. :-)

sl0j0n (author)2016-03-04

Hello, all. I haven't tried this, but Ma says it works. When you what to store your avos w/out them turning, Ma says to put the pit in the container w/ the avo.

Also, haven't tried this one either, avos being somewhat expensive here, but smooth off the top of your guac/mashed avo & gently run/pour a thin layer of water over it to seal out the air.

Hopefully helpful,


Rainastra (author)2016-02-22

I SO envy you having been able to purchase 2 avos for $2. I guess one has to reside in a tropical climate to obtain 'specials' like that. For me - on the southern coast of South Eastern Australia - a rare special price would be $2 for 1 avo. Have learned here about freezing them. Never knew it to be possible. sewcraftyme -

Kenno79 (author)Rainastra2016-02-27

In Denmark it's not uncommon to pay $4 for 3 avocados :/

thundrepance (author)Rainastra2016-02-26

i live in new york state. avocados are always 67¢ to $1 each @ ALDI, year-round. if aldi stores are international, go there for great prices. ☺

dbicher (author)2016-02-21

Thanks for a great tip on preserving avos. We live in an area of old avocado groves, so everyone has at least a few huge 80 year old trees in their yard. When they all come in at once, its nearly impossible to keep up with the harvest. Many bags of avos mysteriously appear on doorsteps as everyone tries to get rid of their excess and not to waste the ones they can't eat. You CAN get sick of avos morning, noon and night! Now I know what to do with excess and will pass the word in the neighborhood. I've lived here for many, many years and have never hear this tip!

thundrepance (author)dbicher2016-02-26

ha-ha-ha! we do that here with zucchini!!

danielhwolf (author)2016-02-21

If you cut the avocado twice around, i.e., into quarters, the pit will remain stuck to one quarter and can be removed with your fingers if it hasn't already just fallen loose. Then you can easily scoop out all the meat in one swipe, either to mash or to serve on a plate to eat without mashing. No mess, no fuss.

Callie Lea (author)danielhwolf2016-02-26

Huh! Great idea.

What an obvious solution. Thank you for sharing since I never would have thought of it.

You're welcome.

I also have a similarly scientific way of opening and extracting pomegranate. Never a drop of stray juice. :~)

Callie Lea (author)2016-02-21

I didn't realize they could be frozen. Thanks for the info.

kelleymarie (author)Callie Lea2016-02-25

They definitely can be frozen, but heads up, the texture will change slightly when you defrost them which some people don't like.

Marycarlucci (author)Callie Lea2016-02-21

Me neither

AdrianaG (author)2016-02-23

i have traditionally used the "rub exposed flesh with lemon juice" method, with ok but not great success. I recently teied a new method which seemed to provide better color protection. Squeeze hal a lemon over a paper towel (I used a 6" section) and wrap it around the cut avocado, put in a zip top back amd refrigerate. The results were superior to the previous method.

ducktoes (author)2016-02-22

This is great. I'm going to try it. Thanks!

PJSolarz (author)2016-02-22

Great tips all through the post.... Thanks!

Poshfreebies (author)2016-02-18

I've grown up on avocados and eat them almost every day and have always wanted to know how to preserve them.
Thank you very much! ?

dromedarius (author)Poshfreebies2016-02-22

I live in Africa, and have avo trees growing in my back yard they produce fruit from March to October. I find that before peeling the avo and making a avo salad or guacamole, the following method works.

Place the avo into a bowl cover with boiling water let stand for 2 minutes remove avo from boiling water then plung into a bowl of iced cold water stand again for 2 minutes,

I find that the avo does not go black in a salad or guacamole, the avo stays green for a week.

dmadam (author)2016-02-22

Great tips from all here and kudos to the author for bringing this up. Love your method for determining ripeness too. I grew up in New England but lived in the Southwest, including CA, for thirty years and now back in Maine I miss the easy access to avecados.

patsfanpete (author)2016-02-21

Best hack I ever came across with avacado flesh, be it halved or diced or mashed is submerge it in a container using fresh water to drive out all pockets of air. Say you've made guac and want to store it for a few days (I have had this work for up to a week). Make your guac in a container that is almost full with your made product, then drizzle in water till there is about 1/4" water covering what's in the container. Then cover with cling wrap, then with whatever container cover you're storing the gauc in (optional). When ready to eat, gently poor off water, whisk up gauc with a fork, and enjoy! You can do this with a large batch for about a week.

kaddigart (author)patsfanpete2016-02-22

I use a similar method in the restaurant I work at - we make batches of guac in 1/6 hotel pans (plastic, never metal), take a layer of cling wrap and press it into the container pushing out all of the air pockets, and then cover the top as you normally would with another layer of wrap. They keep for around 7 days in the cooler (maybe longer, but we never keep anything with fruit, meat, dairy or egg ingredients beyond that). Not sure how long frozen since they never stay in the freezer longer than a couple of weeks. Thawing in the cooler is key to keeping it nice and green as well, but it does take a couple of days.

It can even be opened and resealed without turning so long as you don't let it get warm and use fresh wrap every time.

EdwinR32 (author)2016-02-22

Thanxs for the Info

clazman (author)2016-02-21

Great! wish I knew this 40 years ago (dating myself)

Could lime juice be used in place of lemon?

It wouldn't impart a lemon flavor but rather a lime which is used in making guacamole.

agdobias (author)2016-02-21

When we store them in the fridge or freeze them, we always do it with the pits. I don't know why, but it seems to help keep the avocado from turning.

noparallel (author)agdobias2016-02-21

Yes, the best and easiest way to keep from turning brown. You can also put it in guacamole you've made, especially if it's for a party and you make it ahead of time.

kelleymarie (author)agdobias2016-02-21

Hi Agdobias! The pit generally helps keep the avocado fresh longer, just like lemon juice. I've never frozen an avocado pit though!

Patrik (author)kelleymarie2016-02-21

If the pit helps that much, *and* you want to keep all air out, why not simply freeze the avocados whole?

Bit harder to check what condition they're in, but it seems to me that cutting them in half and removing the pit would both be counterproductive.

Would make for a much shorter instructable of course:

Step 1: Freeze the avocados :-)

Paladin JGS (author)2016-02-21

In the situations where you are storing half an avocado in the fridge, lightly spray the flesh with a cooking oil to prevent browning and wrap in a cling wrap.

Cat00x (author)Paladin JGS2016-02-21

A neat trick I once observed for mashed avocados you plan to make into guacamole is to put a layer of mayonnaise on top, thereby sealing air away from the fruit. Then you can mix it in when you are making the guacamole. I wonder if the mayonnaise would freeze?

Marycarlucci (author)Cat00x2016-02-21

I don't use mayo but u can try. I go to this Mexican restaurant that comes over to your table and makes it fresh for u. They are always whole and they don't mash them. They half them remove pit and dice them right in shell before the flesh is scoped out. They ask you what else u want in it. They have onion,tomatoe cerlantrio hot mild and med ingredients. Thats the only place i would order it. I have to ask them how they keep them fresh. They make their own natcho's. Nothing like u would buy in the supermarket. Also i live on the east coast in n.j. Big difference.

kelleymarie (author)Paladin JGS2016-02-21

Awesome Paladin JGS! I had wrapped it in cling wrap or spritzed it with lemon juice but I've never tried cooking oil. I'll have to give it a shot. Thank you for the tip!

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-02-21

Excellent! I adore avocados and hate losing any to over-ripening, but I can't eat all I can buy when they are cheap/in season. I have one suggestion: In lieu of lemon juice, I suggest trying powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C). For the halves or quarters, dissolved 1/2 teaspoon in 3 Tablespoons cold water and use it just like the lemon juice. For the mashed or pureed avocado, add 1/8 teaspoon of the undissolved .powder to the avocado being mashed/pureed. (The second instruction is nearly verbatim from the 'old' classic, Putting Food By; the first is the proportion suggested for dry pack apples slices given in the same Putting Food By, and should do quite nicely.)

Catley (author)2016-02-21

Thank you! As a child in New England, many many decades ago, I used to find just 1 avocado in my stocking at Christmas every year because they were so expensive. I loved them and would grow the seed into a little potted tree, wishing it would get big enough to produce avocados, but of course, it never did. Now, living in the land of avocados, at last I have my dream: a boughten self-pollinating bacon avocado, and a hass avocado I grew from a seed, which apparently gets pollinated from the bacon tree and produces delicious buttery fruit with few "threads". We give some away, but in a good year, there are always some that suddenly turn over-ripe before we can do that or eat them. It's going to be great to be able to freeze them at the peak of deliciousness.

The explanation of how to judge ripeness is also going to be a big help.

barlowrg (author)2016-02-21

Great ideas. Here's another one. I mash the avocados and add I/4 to 1/2 tsp of lemon juice then fill up ice cube trays. When frozen I dump them and put them in freezer bags in the freezer. Found some 6 months old and they are great.

dragon fllyer (author)2016-02-21

I've tried freezing avocado with lemon, both halved and mashed. They looked pretty nice after thawing in the fridge, but turned grey-ey brown almost instantly when I opened the container...

MaggieV2 (author)2016-02-21

When storing a cut avocado in the fridge, placing it in a ziploc or sealed container with onion will keep it from discoloring. I'm thinking that a silica gel pack would work well too.

raleesii (author)MaggieV22016-02-21

I don't know for sure.....but seem to remember that silica-gel packets are placed in many things that could be damaged/altered by moisture. The silica-gel absorbs moisture vapors in the air thereby preventing rust/oxidation on electronic parts and chemical alteration of medicine in bottles. I don't believe it absorbs Oxygen so it wouldn't likely help preserve the least if Oxygen sets the enzymatic process rolling. What I would be most concerned about is potential contamination of the Avocado flesh with the silica-gel (every packet/container of which I have ever seen cautions against ingestion).

GrandmaTerri (author)2016-02-21

How long can they be stored once they're frozen?

kelleymarie (author)GrandmaTerri2016-02-21

Hi GrandmaTerri,

I've stored them for up to a month using these two methods. Reading denewf's comment above yours however, it looks like it can be up to a year!

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