Nothing is worse than finding out your avocados are not ripe, especially on a game night when you were supposed to bring in hearty guacamole! But is there a shortcut to getting them ripe, if so will they taste the same?
Avocados may have some of their flesh softened by the microwave or oven, but the avocado won’t taste ripe and won’t have the usual beloved smoothness or buttery, nutty flavor. So it is recommended to not microwave them.
While this may sound a bummer, there is more to it, so keep on reading to know more about if you can still save your game night!
Can You Soften An Unripe Avocado In The Microwave?
Many supermarkets offer unripe avocados, so you’ll need to figure out a technique to soften them up yourself because ripe avocados only survive for up to three days.
For avocados that are not ripe, you can soften and somewhat unripe them by wrapping them in plastic and microwaving them all within two minutes. Remove the pit by cutting the avocado in half vertically—microwave for two minutes on high after covering each half in plastic wrap that is suitable for microwaves.
Run the covered avocado halves under cold water once they are cool enough to handle. This prevents them from cooking, ensuring your avocado doesn’t get overripe.
Use the avocado as intended once it has cooled to your preferred temperature.
However, for avocados that are hard as a rock, you can use an oven. Set your oven’s temperature to about 100 degrees Celsius.
Wrap the avocado in aluminum foil without cutting into the fruit, then bake it for ten minutes on a sheet pan. This may take up to an hour if your avocado is particularly firm.
If 10 minutes in the oven are not enough, make sure to check the food every five minutes after. When the avocado has softened, place it in the refrigerator for a short while, until it is cool enough to handle.
These methods would indeed soften the avocados or ripen them according to some but their taste would still be an issue.
As discussed earlier it wouldn’t have the same buttery and smooth creamy texture or taste that comes from a ripe avocado.
How To Ripen Avocados Quickly
The best way is to let them naturally ripen on your kitchen countertop. But in cases where you want to speed the process within some days or even minutes, there are alternative ways. Here are three ways to ripen your avocados quickly:
1. Paper Bag Technique
Even though this ripening technique takes a little while, if you can wait 48 to 72 hours, you’ll receive the best results.
Start by packing a paper bag securely with hard avocados, an apple, or a banana. Check for gaps or holes in the bag, and inspect whether they are ripe once every day. Your avocados should be ripe in two or three days.
The secret behind why this technique works is because ethylene gas which is made by avocados ripens. This gas is also emitted by bananas and apples.
Thus ethylene gas gets concentrated within the paper bag and as a result, speeds up the ripening process for the avocado.
In case you don’t have an apple or banana, try using flour. Place your avocado on 2 inches deep flour in a paper bag and tightly seal it.
The flour helps to trap the ethylene while absorbing more moisture. This again will need two to three days.
2. Using An Oven
To get quick but not immediate results, using the oven is a good option but as discussed earlier, the flavor wouldn’t be the same.
The method is the same as the above by placing the aluminum-wrapped avocado onto a shallow oven dish. Then bake the avocado at 100 degrees Celsius while checking it every five minutes. Once soft, let the avocado rest to cool down.
The reason is the foil is again trapping the ethylene gas. For the most gas exposure, tightly wrap the foil.
3. Using A Microwave
Expect to give up the avocado’s naturally buttery flavor and smooth texture when using this technique. The microwave should only be used as a last option because this approach would most probably be a letdown.
The method again as above is to cut the avocado and get rid of the pit.
Next, wrap each half into a plastic wrap and microwave in 30 seconds while checking for softness after each interval. Once soft, let it rest to cool.
As to why it works, you guessed it, it’s the ethylene gas. A hard avocado covered in plastic accelerates the ripening process by trapping gas around the fruit.
Can You Make Guacamole With Hard Avocados?
The secret to producing excellent guacamole is using avocados that are just the right amount ripe.
But in case you can’t locate any ripe avocados then before creating your homemade guacamole, you’ll need to bring some hard avocados home to ripen on your counter for a few days.
You may also use the paper bag technique with an apple and banana to speed up the process.
Final Words on Ripening Avocados in the Microwave
To summarize, avocados can ripen in the microwave within minutes but should be considered the last possible option.
Microwaving should only be used if you need an avocado at the moment but for cases where you have hours use an oven or the paper bag technique if you can wait for 2-3 days.