1 December 2023

Like all other fruits, avocados go bad.

Unlike most other fruits, they are somewhat It is difficult to treat. They have a short shelf life and it is often not obvious if the avocado is ripe or not. Also, there are at least a few avocado varieties available on the market, with slightly different characteristics when it comes to ripeness.

It’s perfectly normal if you’re feeling a bit confused about the storage, shelf life, and malfunction of avocados. I know that I still am, and I have read enough about this fruit.

In this article, I try my best to summarize my avocado knowledge in the mentioned topics. If you can also use additional information, that article is for you.

Ripe Hass Avocados
Image used under Creative Commons by slgckgc

Differences between avocado cultivars

Before we can talk about storage, I wanted to touch on avocado cultivars. Generally, the Hass avocado is the most popular in the world. So if you have a bunch of avocados at home, chances are they are Hass avocados. You can easily spot one while rocking that pebbled brown or blackish fur. If your avocado is green and has smooth skin, it is one of the other cultivars.

Knowing the difference is important because a ripe Hass avocado looks different than a ripe “green” avocado. And waiting for a green avocado to look like a ripe Hass avocado means waiting until the avocado has gone bad.

While you may well know the difference, I wanted to point it out anyway. That’s because at first, I didn’t know there were different “types” of avocados available.

And as you can imagine, I waited for a green avocado to start turning black as a sign of ripeness. Simply put, I had to discard that specimen. This guide is here so you don’t have to do the same with your avocados.

How to store avocados

Storing avocados is very similar to storing bananas. Before it is ripe, you must store it in a dry place at room temperature or slightly below. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet will do the job.

Keeping green avocados in the fridge is not a good idea.Since the fruit will likely not be able to ripen, it will stay super firm and the sample will not reach its peak flavor profile. Keeping it at room temperature is really a big deal.


If you like ripen avocado faster, put it in a brown paper bag and seal it. To speed things up, add a kiwi or apple to that bag as well (source).

Once the avocado is ripe, the fridge is the place to store it.. If you leave it out at room temperature, it will start to soften and the meat will brown in a day or two. Therefore, you should eat it or refrigerate it once it is ripe.

How to know if the avocado is ripe?

To tell you the truth, it’s a bit tricky and I still get it wrong sometimes. The signal that is common to all types of avocados is that it yields to gentle pressure from your palms. It should give some, but it shouldn’t feel mushy. For Hass avocados, the skin should be purple-brown, not green. Other varieties of avocados stay green, so the color isn’t as helpful.


When buying avocados, choose the firm ones if you need the fruit in a few days, or the ripe ones if you need them immediately.

Avoid soft avocados, as the flesh will probably have some brown spots. From my personal experience, I also avoid buying avocados that have the stem (cap on top) peeled. Almost all, if not all of the avocados that lacked a stem turned out to be mostly brown on the inside. But that could just be my luck.

For cut, diced, sliced, and pureed avocados, place the fruits in an airtight container. Add a dash of lime or lemon juice and mix the fruit pieces well. The lemon juice will inhibit the cellular breakdown that causes avocados to oxidize and turn brown.

How long do avocados last?

A green avocado lasts approximately 3 days to a week at room temperature until ripe. Once it has matured, it can last from 3 to 5 days in the fridge at the highest quality. After that, the fruit will become overripe, and there will be brown spots that will grow over time.

When it comes to cutting avocados, they retain their freshness for about 3-4 days. If you don’t add acid to the pulp, it will turn brown pretty quickly. Keep in mind that brown meat isn’t bad by any means, but it definitely doesn’t look good in a guacamole.

Pantry Fridge
green avocado 2-7 days
ripe avocado 3-5 days
cut avocado 2-4 days

Please note that the above dates are only rough estimates.

green avocados
(credit: Nur Afni Setiyaningrum)

How to tell if avocados have gone bad

Generally, the fresh flesh of the avocado should be yellow-green in color. The brown meat is damaged in some way and it is suggested not to eat it.

Those brown spots can be caused by a variety of reasons including prolonged exposure to cold prior to the ripening process, bruising during shipping, or oxidation if the stem is removed and air enters the interior of the fruit.


The brown spots are not harmful and you can remove them by cutting them. However, If most of the flesh is already brown, just throw the fruit away..

Sometimes the avocado has something ropes or coarse fibers inside. These are most often found in fruits. from younger trees or due to improper storage conditions. The fibers are not dangerous to eat in any way, but in my personal opinion, they ruin the whole experience of eating avocado. If you find the fibers inside, I think it’s okay to discard the fruit for quality reasons.

Last but not least, if you find any typical signs of deterioration, such as mold, odor, or anything else that seems suspiciousthrow the fruit.

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