Avocado has become a staple in everyone’s pantry thanks to the variety of recipes that it can be used in, such as avocado toast, salads, and sushi.
However, determining whether one is ripe at the grocery store might be difficult.
So, what should you do if you have an unripe avocado at home and want to use it immediately? Continue reading to learn how to ripen avocados in the microwave.
How Can You Know Whether An Avocado Has Ripened?
According to Healthline, avocados are a nutritious food option since they include a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, B6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, folate, and magnesium (1).
Therefore, if you want to add more avocados to your diet, you will likely bring home unripe avocados.
The best technique to determine whether an avocado has ripened is to gently press it in your hands.
Instead of using your fingers, squeeze with your palms.
This will keep the avocado from becoming damaged or bruised. If the avocado is very firm, it is unripe; if it feels mushy, it has ripened; if it is very mushy, it has become too ripe.
Just to be sure, remove the avocado’s stem cap and if it comes off easily and there is a green tint within, the avocado has ripened. But, if you have difficulty removing the cap the best is to wait a day or two.
Suppose you remove the stem cap and notice a brown tint signals that the avocado is overripe.
You can still use overripe avocados, depending on your recipe and how ripe the avocado is. We recommend placing the avocado in a fridge if you have leftovers since that helps slow the ripening process.
Placing the leftover avocado in a plastic or glass container filled with water (nearly to the top) is the ideal method to preserve avocados in the refrigerator.
When putting the avocado in the container, ensure its skin faces up. Next, cover it with the lid, and put it in the fridge. This will prevent the avocado from becoming brown. However, use the avocado within a day or two.
The Three Stages of Avocado Ripening
Here are the three phases of ripening that avocado goes through to assist you in choosing the best avocado and determining if you need to wait for it to ripen or not.
- Hard and bright green in color: Avocados that are bright green and hard to squeeze with your palms are most likely unripe. If your avocados are at this stage, it is preferable to wait four to five days before eating them. Avocados will be waxy and brittle in texture and flavorless, so avoid eating them
- Dark with green dots: If you are looking for avocados to consume right away, these are the avocados you need to be on the lookout for. These avocados will be dark green, almost black and have a bright green color from the inside. You will also be able to take off their stem cap easily
- Black and wrinkled skin: If your avocados are black and the skin feels wrinkly, it is best to throw them away later since they have over-ripened. When cutting up, the avocados will reveal a brown and spotty inside. These avocados taste bitter and flavorful, and if your avocados reach this point in the ripening process, there’s nothing you can do to save them
How to Ripen Avocados in the Microwave?
Leaving an avocado in your kitchen to ripen naturally is the ideal way to ripen an avocado.
If you’re in a rush, you can ripen an avocado in the microwave in just a few seconds. One thing to keep in mind when ripening avocado in the microwave is that it will lack a buttery and creamy texture and flavor when ripened naturally.
This is because even though an avocado may become soft after microwaving it, it does not ripen. So even though an unripe avocado will become soft after microwaving, it will still taste unripe.
The natural ripening process is the only way it can ripen adequately and develop that nutty flavor we all love.
So what is the first step to ripening an avocado in the microwave?
First and foremost, you must educate yourself on the microwave’s wattage and power level. If you have a 1000-watt microwave, for example, reduce the power level and operate the microwave for around 15 seconds.
Stop after every 15 seconds to see if the avocado has ripened enough; if not, run it in your microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and check again.
The lower the wattage of your microwave, the more seconds you will run it for.
Before placing the avocado in the microwave, remember to cut it in half (pull out the pit) and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is safe for use in the microwave.
Important tip! Always prick the skin of the avocados before placing them in the microwave since an un-pricked avocado is more likely to blow up in the microwave.
Is It Ok To Microwave Frozen Avocados?
Many individuals like freezing various fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh and prevent them from spoiling.
Avocados may be frozen and used later for salad dressings, smoothies, sauces and other recipes. When it comes to defrosting avocados, many people worry if microwaving them is a viable option.
If you buy packaged frozen avocados, they will generally come with instructions on how to microwave them on the back.
To microwave avocado chunks, place them in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, checking to see whether they have deforested.
Since microwaving frozen avocados might destroy their texture, it is preferable to let them cool naturally.
Other Ways to Ripen Avocados
Here are a few other ways you can ripen avocados:
Place the Avocados in a Bag With another Fruit
Did you know that putting an avocado in a paper bag with fruit, such as an apple, might help avocados ripen faster (2)?
Avocados produce ethylene gas, which allows them to ripen. Other fruits, such as apples, and kiwis, also produce ethylene gas.
Therefore, putting two such fruits in a paper bag will restrict the ethylene gas they create within the bag, which helps the avocado ripen swiftly.
If you don’t have any other fruit, place the avocado in a brown paper bag. Yet, remember that it will not ripen faster than if you combined it with another fruit.
Use an Oven
To ripen an avocado in the oven, the first thing you need to do is use aluminum foil to wrap the avocado.
Next, set your oven to 93-degree Celsius and begin baking. Now you can check the avocado every 5-to-10-minute interval to see if the avocado has softened enough as per your requirement.
Once your avocados become softened as per your requirements, take them out of the oven and unwrap them after waiting a few minutes until they cool down.
Now place them in the refrigerator and wait for an hour or so.
Also please check:
How to Save a Cut-up Unripe Avocado?
In case you were unaware of the different stages of avocados ripening, and you mistakenly cut up an unripe avocado, there is no need to worry since there are a few ways to save it from going to waste.
Sprinkle lemon juice on your avocado, put the two halves back together with the pit still inside, wrap the avocado in foil or plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator (3).
Check after a few hours to see if the avocado has ripened; you will most likely have a ripe avocado.
We hope the instructions above helped you understand how to ripen avocados in the microwave.
You can easily use your microwave to ripen your avocado and use it for your recipes. Remember, if you don’t like the taste of an unripe avocado, you will probably not find the microwaved avocado tempting since it will not taste similar to an avocado that has ripened naturally.
However, running an avocado for a few second intervals will enable you to soften the texture of the avocado for those last-minute recipes where you don’t have any other choice.
1. What Is The Quickest Way To Ripen An Avocado?
The quickest way to microwave an avocado correctly is to keep it in a bag for a few hours. Any other way of ripening the avocado will leave you with an avocado that lacks the nutty taste of a ripened avocado.
2. Can I Eat An Unripe Avocado?
Yes, you can consume an unripe avocado. However, it won’t taste as good as a ripe avocado and will lack the creamy texture that makes avocados so tasty.