Home Articles How to Ripen Avocados (4 Quick Methods)

How to Ripen Avocados (4 Quick Methods)

Make those rock-hard stone fruits soft and tender with instructions on how to ripen avocados!

So you see some avos at the farmer’s market and decide to grab a few. 

As you drive home, your mouth salivates at the idea of eating avocado toast or guacamole.

Whole and Sliced Ripe Avocados

When you finally get home and cut into the fruit, alas, it’s nowhere near as ripe as it’s supposed to be.

You’re not alone. I’ve also had my fair share of disappointments with unripe avocados. 

If you, just like me and are fed up with frustration, this walkthrough is for you. 

Here, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to ripen avocados. 

With four ripening methods, as well as storage instructions, you’ll never have a pit-iful experience ever again.

Ripe Avocados

How to Tell If an Avocado Is Ripe 

Avocado is a tricky fruit. One minute it’s too green, and the next minute, it’s already starting to brown. 

But don’t worry, with these tips, you won’t miss that small window again! 

When in doubt, here’s what you need to look for to see if the avocado is ripe:

  • The color – A perfectly ripe avocado will have a dark hue, with patches of bright green in some areas.
  • The feel – When pressed gently, It should be firm with a slight give.  
  • The stem – If the stem comes off effortlessly, and the spot where the stem used to be is green, the avocado is ready to eat. If you have to pry to get it off, it’s not ready yet.

How Long Does it Take for an Avocado To Ripen?

Another important thing you need to know is the avocado’s life cycle, which comes in three stages. 

Knowing which stage it’s in will help you gauge how much time it has left before you can finally use it.

This is helpful especially when you don’t plan on using the fruit right away.

The Avocado’s 3 Stages

1. Underripe

At this stage, the avocado is hard with a bright green hue. It’ll be waxy and bland, so don’t even bother trying to eat it.

A bright green, underripe avocado needs 4 to 7 days before it fully ripens.

2. Ripe

Once the avocado has turned dark, with patches of green on its skin, it’s ready to dig in. 

The flesh will be bright green and so creamy you can scoop it with a spoon.

Consume it right away, as it’ll be past its prime in no time!

3. Overripe

An overripe avocado has dark, blotchy, and wrinkly skin. It is overly soft and almost mushy when squeezed.

The flesh will have brown streaks and will taste bitter. 

Bunch of Avocados

4 Best Ways to Ripen Avocados

Now we know how to tell if an avocado is ripe. But what do you do if it’s not?

Let’s take a look at a few simple methods to ripen the fruit, so you don’t have to worry about hard avocados in your guacamole!

1. The Brown Paper Bag Method

This is one of the best and fastest methods for ripening an avocado. 

Made of thin, porous material, it allows enough air to pass through while also trapping ethylene gas.

Ethylene gas is the magic ingredient that helps speed up the ripening process. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the unripe avocados into a paper bag and fold down the top loosely. This way, some air can still get in. 
  1. Leave the bag in a warm spot (but away from direct sunlight) for about 2-3 days.
  1. Check back daily until your avocados reach your desired level of ripeness. 

2. On the Counter (Sunlight Method)

Placing underripe avocados on the counter in direct sunlight is a great way to speed up their ripening. 

The sun helps break down the cell structure of the fruit, helping to soften it.

For this method, simply:

  1. Leave the avocados on the counter, in an area where they’ll be exposed to sunlight.
  1. Check them regularly. They can go from unripe to wrinkly pretty quickly.

Tip: Leaving an avocado in direct sunlight risks overheating it. Keep the fruit out of intense heat spots like your windowsill. 

3. Pair with Other Fruits (Like Banana)

Ethylene gas from other fruits, like apples and bananas, helps accelerate the ripening process. 

This same technique applies to other fruits as well, such as mangoes and peaches.

You can simply place the fruits together in a bowl, but it’s more effective to combine this technique with the paper bag method.

Here’s how:

  1. Place unripe avocados in a paper bag with some ripe fruit, such as a banana or an apple.
  1. Leave the bag in a warm spot (but away from direct sunlight) for about 1-2 days.
  1. Check back daily until your avocados reach your desired level of ripeness. 

4. In a Bowl of Rice 

This technique uses the same concept as the paper bag method. 

Uncooked rice will act as an absorber of ethylene gas and direct that gas to the avocados. 

This will help them ripen faster than simply leaving them out on their own. 

Here’s how:

  1. Bury the unripe avocados in a bowl of uncooked rice. You want them to be fully submerged.
  1. Check back daily until your avocados reach your desired level of ripeness. 

How to Store Cut Avocados

Unfortunately, avocados will turn brown quickly once sliced.

To ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible, keep these storage tips in mind. 

  • If possible, keep the skin and don’t remove the pit. This will protect the flesh from air exposure.
  • If storing two halves, place them back together. 
  • Wrap them together as tightly as you can with plastic wrap. This will prevent air from coming into contact with the fruit.
  • Place the wrapped avocados in an airtight container and refrigerate them for 1-2 days.

How to Ripen Avocados (4 Quick Methods)

Wondering how to ripen avocados? There are 4 easy methods you can try! Learn what they are, and you can enjoy a tasty avocado in no time.


  • Unripe Avocados


  • Method 1: Place the unripe avocados inside a brown paper bag and fold it down loosely. Leave the bag in a warm area of your house for 2 to 3 days. Check regularly for ripeness.
  • Method 2: Leave the unripe avocados on the counter, in an area exposed to sunlight. Check regularly for ripeness.
  • Method 3: Place the unripe avocados in a paper bag along with ripe apples or bananas. Leave the bag in a warm area of your house for 1-2 days. Check regularly for ripeness.
  • Method 4: Bury the unripe avocados completely in a bowl of uncooked rice. Check regularly for ripeness.
How to Ripen Avocados

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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