What is the way to store avocados so they last longer?

Quick Answers

Here are some quick tips for storing avocados to help them last longer:

  • Store unripe avocados at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate.
  • Keep ripe avocados in the refrigerator in a paper bag or fruit and vegetable drawer.
  • Sprinkle cut avocado with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
  • Store leftover avocado halves with the seed still in place.
  • Use plastic wrap to cover cut avocado and minimize air exposure.

Selecting Avocados for Storage

When selecting avocados to store, choose ones that are firm and unripe. Avoid avocados that are overly soft, mushy or bruised. The firmer the avocado, the longer it will take to ripen and the longer you will be able to store it before it goes bad. Firm, unripened avocados have the longest shelf life.

Identifying Ripeness

There are a few ways to identify the ripeness of an avocado:

  • Color – A green avocado is typically unripe while a darker black-green color means it is ripe.
  • Softness – Apply gentle pressure with your thumb. If the avocado yields to the pressure, it is ripe.
  • Stem – A stiff stem that does not budge indicates an unripe avocado. A loose stem signals ripeness.

Storing Unripe Avocados

If you purchased unripe, firm avocados, you can ripen them at home. Keep unripe avocados at room temperature. The kitchen counter works well. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, which can over-ripen the exterior before the inside is ready.

Most avocados will ripen within 2-5 days on the counter. To speed up ripening, place avocados in a paper bag along with an apple or banana. These fruits give off ethylene gas that hastens the ripening process. Check daily for ripeness.

Once the avocado yields to gentle pressure, it is ripe and ready to eat. At this point, store it in the refrigerator to slow continued ripening. Ripe avocados stored in the fridge will last 3-5 days.

Storing Cut Avocados

Once an avocado is cut open, oxidation causes it to start turning brown quickly. Here are some tips for storing cut avocado to prevent browning:

  • Keep the pit in the avocado half. The pit helps prevent oxidation.
  • Sprinkle the exposed avocado flesh with lemon or lime juice. The acid in the citrus slows down browning.
  • Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the exposed avocado half to minimize air exposure.
  • If storing both halves, leave pit in one half and keep halves together.

Stored this way in an airtight container in the refrigerator, cut avocado will last 1-2 days.

Ripe Avocado Storage

Once avocados are ripe, they can be difficult to store. Ripe avocados should always be kept refrigerated. Here are some tips for storing ripe avocados:

  • Keep whole ripe avocados in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. This allows air circulation while maintaining humidity.
  • Store in a paper bag in your refrigerator’s produce drawer, if it has one. Paper bags help absorb excess moisture.
  • Choose fruit and vegetable drawers or shelves higher up in the refrigerator. The bottom drawers tend to be more humid.
  • If you have a lot of ripe avocados, spread them out on a tray or plate in the refrigerator instead of stacking them.
  • Wrap cut halves well in plastic wrap or an airtight container.

With refrigeration, ripe avocados will last around 3-5 days before going bad.

Freezing Avocados

Ripe avocados can also be frozen to extend their shelf life even longer. Here are some tips for freezing avocados:

  • Remove pit and skin and mash the flesh before freezing.
  • Add lemon juice to prevent browning – about 1 tablespoon juice per avocado.
  • Pack into an airtight freezer container or zipper storage bag.
  • Exclude as much air as possible and freeze.
  • Frozen avocado will keep for about 6-8 months.

Frozen avocado tends to oxidize and turn brown over long storage times. The texture also becomes much softer when thawed. Frozen avocado works best blended into smoothies, dips and sauces.

How to Tell if Avocados Have Gone Bad

Here are some signs that your stored avocados have gone bad and should be discarded:

  • Dry, brown skin that is cracked or feels mushy.
  • Very soft flesh that feels watery.
  • Off odors like sourness or mold.
  • Brown or gray discoloration in the flesh.
  • Dry layered appearance around the pit.

As long as your stored avocados have not exceeded their recommended storage times, checking for these signs of spoilage is the best way to determine if your avocados have gone bad and should not be eaten.

Maximizing Avocado Shelf Life

Follow these key tips to maximize avocado shelf life:

  • Buy unripe, firm avocados whenever possible.
  • Allow unripe avocados to ripen at room temperature before refrigerating.
  • Keep ripe avocados refrigerated in breathable packaging.
  • Use lemon or lime juice to prevent browning on cut avocados.
  • Properly wrap or seal any cut avocado halves before refrigerating.
  • Freeze extra ripe avocados for longer term storage.
  • Check refrigerated avocados daily and use within 3-5 days.

Storing Different Types of Avocados

There are many different varieties of avocados, each with their own unique storage needs. Here is how to store some of the most common types of avocados:

Hass Avocados

Hass avocados are the most common variety. They have bumpy, pebbly skin that turns from green to purplish-black when ripe. Follow these Hass avocado storage tips:

  • Store unripe for up to 2 weeks on the counter, until ripe.
  • Refrigerate ripe avocados for up to 5 days.
  • Use lemon juice to prevent browning if cutting.
  • Hass avocados are a good choice for freezing.

Reed Avocados

Reed avocados have smooth, thin green skin that ripens to yellow-green. They are larger and rounder than Hass. Here are Reed avocado storage recommendations:

  • Store unripe for 3-5 days max on the counter.
  • Refrigerate ripe Reed avocados for 2-3 days.
  • Use plastic wrap when storing cut Reed avocados.
  • Reed avocados freeze well for smoothies and sauces.

Bacon Avocados

Bacon avocados are small with smooth, thin green skin that turns more glossy when ripe. Follow these tips for Bacon avocados:

  • Let unripe Bacon avocados ripen for 1-2 days on the counter.
  • Refrigerate ripe Bacon avocados for up to 4 days.
  • Sprinkle cut surfaces with citrus juice to prevent browning.
  • Do not freeze Bacon avocados. They become too watery.

Fuerte Avocados

Fuerte avocados have smooth, thin green skin that remains green when ripe. Store Fuerte avocados using these guidelines:

  • Keep unripe Fuerte avocados on the counter for up to 4 days.
  • Refrigerate ripe Fuerte avocados for 1-2 days.
  • Fuerte avocados oxidize quickly. Use lemon juice and plastic wrap.
  • Freeze Fuerte avocados for up to 2 months.

Knowing the variety of avocado helps optimize storage time. Always refrigerate ripe avocados as soon as possible.

How Avocado Storage Affects Taste

Proper avocado storage is not just about extending shelf life. The right storage methods help lock in flavor and moisture content, preventing avocados from becoming watery, stringy or brown. Here is how avocado storage impacts taste:

  • Unripe Avocados – Store at room temperature for the richest flavor when ripe.
  • Ripe Avocados – Refrigerate ripe avocados to maintain texture and taste.
  • Cut Avocados – Use lemon juice, plastic wrap and air-tight containers to prevent oxidation.
  • Frozen Avocados – Best for smoothies. Freezing damages cell walls, causing wateriness.

Avocados are climacteric fruits, meaning they continue ripening after being picked. Allowing avocados to fully ripen before refrigeration develops the fullest flavor. Then refrigerate ripe avocados as soon as possible to lock in taste and moisture before they degrade.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s easy to make mistakes when storing avocados. Here are some common avocado storage errors to avoid:

  • Storing unripe avocados in the refrigerator. This stops the ripening process.
  • Leaving ripe avocados out at room temperature too long before refrigerating.
  • Storing avocados near ethylene producing fruits like apples, which speeds ripening.
  • Not using lemon juice or plastic wrap on exposed cut avocado surfaces.
  • Keeping cut avocado pits in place. This can promote mold growth.
  • Storing avocados in sealed plastic bags, trapping moisture.
  • Assuming softness or color change means avocados are bad. They may just be ripe.

Following proper avocado storage methods requires knowing what stage of ripeness the avocados are in. Avocado storage needs change during the ripening process. Mistakes occur when the wrong storage method is used at the wrong time.

Storing Avocado Oil and Skin Products

Along with the fruit itself, avocado oil and beauty products made with avocado can also be stored for later use. Here are some tips:

Storing Avocado Oil

  • Keep avocado oil in an airtight container in a cool, dark cabinet away from heat and light.
  • Store refined avocado oil for up to 1 year. Unrefined avocado oil will keep for up to 6 months.
  • If the oil smells nutty or looks cloudy, it has likely gone rancid and should be discarded.
  • Consider refrigerating avocado oil after opening to extend shelf life.

Storing Avocado Skin Products

  • Keep avocado face masks, butters and creams properly sealed in the refrigerator after opening.
  • Discard if you notice changes in texture, consistency, smell or color.
  • Avocado products with higher oil content, like masks, will have shorter shelf lives of around 4-6 months.
  • Products like avocado soap will last up to 1 year with proper storage.

Like the fruits themselves, avocado oil and skin products should be stored away from heat, light and air exposure once opened to maintain freshness and shelf life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do avocados last?

With proper storage methods, whole unripe avocados last 2-3 weeks on average. Once ripe, avocados last around 3-5 days refrigerated. After being cut open, avocados will last 1-2 days refrigerated.

What’s the best way to ripen avocados faster?

You can ripen avocados faster by placing them in a brown paper bag together with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas from these fruits speeds up the ripening process, ripening avocados in 2-3 days instead of 4-5 days.

How do you keep cut avocado from turning brown?

To prevent cut avocados from turning brown, sprinkle lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh immediately after cutting. Also store cut avocado tightly sealed in an airtight container after sprinkling with citrus juice.

Can you freeze avocados?

Yes, avocados can be frozen either whole or cut. Remove pit and skin first and mash flesh before freezing. Add lemon juice to help maintain color. Frozen avocados will keep for 6-8 months but the texture becomes watery when thawed.

Why are my stored avocados spoiling so fast?

Avocados spoil prematurely if they are not stored properly. Leaving ripe avocados at room temperature or storing unripe avocados in the fridge can quickly lead to spoilage. Refrigerate ripe avocados as soon as possible after purchasing.

Can you refrigerate an opened avocado?

Yes, opened and cut avocados should always be refrigerated. Seal the exposed flesh tightly in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Add lemon juice before sealing to help prevent browning. Refrigerated, cut avocado will last 1-2 days.


Following proper storage methods can significantly extend the shelf life of avocados. Always start with unripe, firm avocados and allow to ripen at room temperature. Once ripe, refrigerate avocados quickly and use within 3-5 days for best quality. Apply lemon juice and plastic wrap to exposed cut avocado surfaces to keep them from spoiling before you can enjoy them. Storing avocados the right way retains their taste and texture longer.

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