by Olena

How to Cut an Avocado

Olena's image
Olena Osipov

Learn the best methods on How to Cut an Avocado in this easy step by step tutorial. You will also learn how to pick an avocado, prevent browning and discover the best way to store your cut avocado. Creamy fresh avocado can be diced, cubed, sliced and even ‘curled’ and is the perfect addition to so many dishes!

Want to learn more easy food prep methods? Then why not check out my preferred methods on how to cut cauliflower, how to cut a whole chicken and how to cook quinoa on the stovetop!

diced avocado with lime on plate

Why This How to Cut an Avocado Method Works?

When avocados became ‘all the rage,’ hospital visits increased, so much so that avocado-related injuries were officially dubbed ‘avocado hand.’ In 2018 alone, there were over 8900 cases of ‘avocado hand’ in US hospitals (that’s 24 per day!!!!). Now, I love avocado, but not at the risk of losing fingers! That’s why it’s so important to learn how to cut an avocado the best (and safest) way; not just for presentation, but safety too!

Following this simple method on how to cut an avocado, you’ll never have to worry about slicing digits or getting anything other than perfectly sliced, diced, or mashed avocado (for delicious guac)!  Even better, using the below methods, you can get the prettiest slices and dices for serving the avocado up as a garnish, too!

Tips for Best Results When Cutting an Avocado

  • Use a good knife – A non-serrated blade with a sharp tip is best for creating the best cubes, slices, and other cuts of avocado.
  • Make sure the avocado is ripe enough; not ripe enough, and the flesh will be hard to cut through, too ripe, and it will be soft and mushy (not great for cubing or slicing- only for mashing!). Check my tips below!
  • Remove the pit safely! Pit removal is the main cause of kitchen accidents, so follow my method for the best results.

How to Pick a Ripe Avocado

We’ve probably all fallen victim to an avocado that seems ripe but then, upon slicing open, is definitely past its’ best. Here are the best ways to tell if an avocado is ripe:

  • Peek under the stem: This is my favorite tip. If you look under the little stem ‘nub,’ you can quickly tell the state of your fruit. If it’s hard to pull off, the avocado is unripe. If it comes off easily and is green beneath, your avocado is ready. If it’s browning beneath the stem, the avocado likely has brown spots and is overripe too!
  • Gently squeeze: This isn’t a foolproof method, but you’ll be able to tell if it’s rock hard or gives way too easily. The fruit should have just a little give. 
  • The color: I put this bottom of the list as there are different varieties of avocado with different coloring. In general, the avocados from my local store are ripe when dark on the outside with just a few specks of green. If they’re very green, they’re underripe. If they’re completely dark, and starting to look mottled/wrinkled; then they’re overripe.

How to Ripen an Avocado

The slower method

Pop the avocado/s in a bag with bananas, apples, and other ethylene-producing fruits to speed up the ripening process. This usually yields ripe fruit in 1-2 days. For slightly slower results, you can simply place them besides other ethylene-producing fruit in an open fruit bowl. 

To quickly ripen

Wrap the avocado in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 200F for between 10-30 minutes, or until it’s softened. The time will depend on how hard it was to begin. Once baked, allow the avocado to chill in the refrigerator, then chop and slice as needed!

Top Tip: Once ripened (or almost there), move your avocado/s to the refrigerator. This will slow down the ripening process and give you another 2-3 more days before the fruit overripens.

Tools You Will Need for Cutting Up an Avocado

  • Sharp Knife: Use a non-serrated knife with a sharp tip. It doesn’t need to be massive, but using a fairly long knife makes it easier when slicing the fruit in half. Avoid ceramic knives (they may shatter when removing the pit!)
  • Spoon: To help scoop the flesh from the skin.
  • Kitchen towel: Optional for how to cut open an avocado beginners.

Step by Step on How to Cut Open an Avocado

These avocado cutting hacks, yield the best results for using your avocado in salads, skillets and cauliflower casserole.

How To Cut Open an Avocado:

  • First, wash and dry the avocado.
  • Then, holding the avocado in the palm of one hand, use your knife to cut in half lengthwise, rotating as you cut. To do this, make the first cut, and then, when your knife hits the avocado seed in the center of the avocado, rotate the fruit, so you cut open the avocado equally in half.

You can do this on a chopping board too (especially for safety), but I find it easier to control and spin the avocado while it’s in my hand. Be careful while doing this; avocados don’t need a lot of knife pressure. 

  • Once you’ve made the cut, use both hands to twist the avocado halves in different directions to separate the pieces.
  • To remove the pit, use your knife to carefully but firmly stick into the pit (the flat part not point) and then twist, to remove it. You can do this while holding the fruit in your hand or laid on a kitchen towel (so it doesn’t move across the kitchen surface- this is the safest option). Then carefully lift and remove the pit from the avocado.

Removing the pit is the step with the most hospital visits, so don’t be tempted to go rogue here, and don’t try to stick the point of your knife into the side of the pit and pull it up; just don’t! 

  • You can then use your thumb ( pushing downwards off the blade) or the corner of a bowl to remove the pit from the knife.

Method 1:

  • Hold the avocado in the palm of one hand, then use your knife to slice into cubes (make slices vertically and then horizontally as big as you’d like the cubes to be) within the shell. Do this gently, but with a little pressure – you will feel when your knife touched the outer shell, so avoid pressing hard enough to cut the skin. 
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado then, making sure to get the spoon as close to the skin as possible for the best results. 

If you are planning on mashing the avocado (i.e., not using it for any presentation purposes), you can also skip the spoon and simply squeeze the sides of the avocado lightly, and the pressure will cause the chopped avocado to pop out of the skin.

Method 2:

This method has you remove the skin from the equation and is best for slicing the avocado and achieving the ‘prettiest’ results. 

  • First, remove the skin. You can do this in one of two ways. First, you can use a spoon to simply scoop the entire avocado from the shell using a tablespoon. Alternatively, ripe avocados should be easy to peel – place the avocado flesh-side-down in your hand or on a chopping board and peel off the shell, be careful not to squash the avocado flesh. 
  • Next, to chop cubes, use your knife to cut through the avocado lengthwise 2-3 times, creating thinner sections. 
  • Then, make horizontal and vertical cuts downwards, to cube the avocado.

Variations for How to Cut Up An Avocado

  • To slice the avocado: I prefer to slice the avocado after removing it from the skin, as I find this yields the best-looking results, especially if you plan to plate it beside your tuna or chicken salad. Place the peeled avocado flat-side-down on a chopping board and use a knife to carefully cut slices in the flesh (you can do this vertically for long slices or horizontally for small half-moons). Sometimes a slice can become stuck to the knife, just gently push it back into place before removing the knife from the avocado. 
    You can also use food ‘stamps’ to slice heart, stars, and more out of your avocado slices for fun garnish!
  • For avocado wedges: Follow my method to slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Then using either of the above methods (scooping or peeling) remove the avocado flesh from the peel and slice the avocado in half lengthwise on both halves to create four wedges. 
  • To make avocado ‘curls’: First, follow one of the methods above to remove the flesh from the peel. Then chop the avocado half in half lengthwise. Using a potato/veggie peeler, starting from the thick part of the avocado (where you sliced it in half) create some avocado ‘peel’ which you can then curl up for garnish – this looks so pretty in any salad

Once you have perfect the basics of ways to cut an avocado, you can then start looking into even more impressive forms of avocado presentation like an avocado rose! You can even slice the avocado in half across the middle to slice avocado ‘rounds’!

FAQs

How do I keep an avocado fresh after cutting?

Avocado starts to brown almost immediately after the flesh is exposed to oxygen. The key to keeping it fresh is to reduce the oxidization. You can squeeze lemon or lime juice over it to keep it fresher for longer, too. 
Read below for more on how to prep and store the avocado in advance.

Is it best to slice or cube your avocado?

The simple answer is – this depends on what you want to do with it. Both methods are easy once you know how to cut an avocado the best way. I prefer using avocado slices to spread over toast, wraps, spring rolls, etc. Alternatively, cubed avocado is great for serving in salads and salsa, to top soups, in tacos, to garnish scrambled eggs or an omelette, and as a garnish. 

What to do if you cut an unripe avocado?

If you accidentally cut through an avocado that’s not quite ripe yet (the flesh will feel firm and provide resistance to your knife), then the easiest way to ‘save’ it is to rub any exposed flesh with lemon or lime juice. Then place the avocado halves back together, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then place it back in the refrigerator until ripe. You may need to scrape off the top of the halves, which will have browned – but the flesh underneath should be fine!

Alternatively, you can still use the unripe avocado to make several dishes like pickled avocado or use it to bake an egg in (the baking process softens the flesh).

Avocado Serving Recommendations

Here are just a few ways to enjoy your cut avocado:

Using mashed avocado: avocado egg salad,  easy guacamole, Greek yogurt guacamole, avocado Greek yogurt dip with buffalo sauce, etc. You can also enjoy slices across toast, bagels, wraps, rice paper rolls, etc.

Meal Prep Cut Up Avocado in Advance

Meal-prep and store: Once chopped, it’s critical to cover the avocado in lime/lemon juice as soon as possible, to stop it browning. Refrigerate the chopped avocado in the refrigerator for up to a day in an airtight container. Cover the avocado in water first to keep it for 2 days. 

If you’ve sliced your avo in half but want to save the other half for later, I also recommend storing it, flesh-side down, within water inside an airtight container. The water will stop oxygen from reaching the avo flesh and keep it wonderfully green! Drain the water before using it.

Freeze: You can freeze the avocados whole, halved, in wedges, or sliced/diced. For chopped avocado, spread the pieces (after coating in lemon juice) on a baking sheet and freeze until solid (optionally cover with plastic wrap to stop oxidization during this process). Then add the frozen pieces to a large ziplock bag, remove as much excess air as possible and freeze for up to 2 months. You can freeze whole avocados for between 4-6 months. 

Allow the avocado to thaw on the kitchen counter for about an hour. Alternatively, you can buy frozen avocado. After freezing, the texture of avocado can change somewhat, so I prefer to use it mashed, within smoothies, etc.

More Easy How-To’s

avocado cut on a plate

How to Cut an Avocado {2 Easy Methods!}

Learn the best methods on How to Cut an Avocado in this easy step by step tutorial. You will also learn how to pick an avocado, prevent browning and discover the best way to store your cut avocado. Creamy fresh avocado can be diced, cubed, sliced and even 'curled' and is the perfect addition to so many dishes!
Prep Time2 mins
Yield: 1 serving
Author: Olena Osipov

Materials

  • 1 avocado

Instructions

To Open an Avocado

  • Wash and dry avocado.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Holding avocado in a palm of one hand, cut in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Twist avocado halves in different directions to separate.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Holding avocado half in a palm of one hand, abruptly stick sharp end of the knife into the pit and twist it.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Carefully remove the avocado pit from the knife.
    How to Cut an Avocado

To Cut an Avocado Method #1

  • Holding avocado in a palm of one hand, cut into cubes inside the shell.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Scoop out with a tablespoon. Voila.
    How to Cut an Avocado

To Cut an Avocado Method #2

  • Scoop out entire avocado half from its shell using a tablespoon.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise a few times horizontally and vertically.
    How to Cut an Avocado
  • Then cut into cubes.
    How to Cut an Avocado

Store: Avocado turns brown almost immediately getting into contact with oxygen. Squeeze lime or lemon juice over it and refrigerate for up a day in an airtight container. To store avocado for 2 days, add cold water, refrigerate and then drain before using.

    Freeze: Yes you can. Freeze spread out on a baking sheet, then transfer to a large Ziploc bag, let air out, seal and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw on a counter for about an hour. You can also buy frozen avocado.

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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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