When I was in high school, my dad informed me that I needed a job and that it would be good for my character. Turns out pretty much the only jobs for high school students are in the food industry and, between the ages of 16 and 22, I put in WAY more than my fair share of food-service industry dues, all in the name of improving my character. And paying my rent.
I worked for 3 years at Kneader’s in Provo, Utah as a little sandwich slave. One of my favorite things to do there was to prep avocados. They’re so pretty and silky and yummy. Well, until you get the box of shriveled, black ones with fuzzy interiors.
Which brings me to my first point: how to pick a good avocado. Now…picking a pretty avocado can be hit and miss, especially when the selection isn’t that great in the first place. And nothing makes me MORE mad than to spend $1.69 on an avocado only to come home and find something gaggy under the black shell. So here are some things to look for when trying to find a good one:
1. Make sure it’s firm, but not hard. If it is hard and you don’t need to use it immediately, you can let it ripen on your counter for a few days.
2. Make sure the black skin is taut across the avocado. Wrinkly, sunken spots pretty much guarantee something gross is inside (although I know some people who would argue that avocados ALWAYS have something gross inside…).
3. Most grocery stores have small and large avocados at different prices. If you’re not getting good results with one size, try the other, as much as it may pain you to do so. It’s better to spend more money on a good avocado than to spend less on one that you’re going to throw away.
4. If all else fails and you NEED an avocado, but you can’t find a good one, see if you can find some pre-made guacamole at the store. Definitely a last resort, but hey, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
5. To keep your avocado from going brown after you’ve cut it, sprinkle a little lime or lemon juice on it. Also, if you’re only planning on using part of it, cut only what you need away from the pit; the avocado around the pit should stay relatively un-brown.
And, apparently, you can even grow your own avocado tree using one of these. Crazy!
Okay, now that you have your pretty little avocado, how do you cut it up?
Take a small, sharp knife and cut down to the pit.
Run the tip of the knife around the pit so you’ve cut the avocado into two halves.
Carefully remove one of the halves so the pit remains in the other half. To remove pit, hold the avocado half securely and whack it with a large knife. Twist the knife gently and the pit should slip right out attached to the knife.
At this point you can just use a spoon to scoop the fruit out if you don’t care what it looks like, for guacamole for example. (Or spoon it out nicely if you do care what it looks like and cut it from there.)
If you are going to slice or dice, there are a few ways to do it and it seems like everyone has their own preference. One way is to slice the avocado in the skin. Take a small paring knife and make slices, or dices, through the fruit but not through the skin. Then take a spoon and gently slide it between the fruit and the skin to remove the pieces.
Another way is to slice the avocado into quarters. Once quartered, use your fingers to peel the skin right off. From there you can make slices for sandwiches or salads, or dice it up into cubes.
Some recipes to try with avocado:
Spicy Honey Chicken Salad
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
Chili-Lime Steak Salad
Steak and Mango Salad
Chicken Tortilla Soup
White Chicken Chili
Grill Roasted Salsa
Spa Week: Avocado Hair Mask
Smokey Grilled Guacamole — as found in our popular Grill Guide eBook!
*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.
I love avocado! A couple tips I’ve learned along the way may also be useful…
1. When removing the pit with your large, sharp knife, hold the pitted half with a damp cloth between it and your hand, helping to avoid slips or flesh wounds.
2. To easily remove the pit now impaled on your large, sharp knife, instead of whacking it haphazourdly on the counter and launching the pit across the kitchen (not that I’ve ever done that…) simply reach around the blunt side of the knife with your thumb and pointer finger to where the pit is lodged and pinch it off by pinching the blade right up next to the pit… hopefully that make sense.
3. Finally, if you save the pit and toss it in with your finished guacamole, or the container with your leftovers, it will actually stop, or at least significantly slow, the browning process.
I love your blog ladies and have recommended it to many!
I’ve always scooped the avocado out with a spoon, then diced or sliced it. I love the idea to dice it in the skin, or quarter it, then peel the skin. I can’t want to try it! Also, my sister-in-law serves her guacamole with the pit in the bowl. When I asked her about it, she said that the guac doesn’t turn brown as long as the pit is in there. I haven’t tried it yet, but hope to soon!
If you’re only going to use half an avocado, it will turn less brown if you store it in a tupperware, versus a plastic bag. And the brown part still tastes fine, though if it really bothers you, you can just skim it off.
YES! This is how I do it. And I honestly believe that it is the most intuitive method. But I am shocked at how few people seem to agree. Hugely validating to see it here.
Great tutorial! I just referred my readers here in my post for my Guacamole Recipe:
Mmm . . . Kneader’s. I worked at the one in Lindon for 2 whole days. The manager was EVIL. She fired me because she thought I was ‘incompetent’. And now I run 2 businesses. Ha! take that evil witch! Thanks for the tutorial Ü I LOVE avocados
genius kate! can’t tell you how many times i’ve cute up avocados and i’ve never thought of doing it like that. nice tip!