This is a quick picture tutorial on how to peel avocado. There are a lot of different methods out there! This one is quick, easy and works just about every time… (spoiler alert) unless the avocado is overripe. Then, just use a spoon!
Let’s learn how to peel avocado!
How to Peel Avocado in 4 Easy Steps
Step 1: How to pick the perfect avocado
To be able to peel an avocado, it needs to be just about perfectly ripe. If the avocado is too young, the skin won’t come off at all. It will break off in bits and pieces which is completely annoying. If the avocado is too ripe, the flesh of the avocado will stick to the peel when it is removed… essentially defeating the purpose of trying to peel it.
So how do you find the perfectly ripe avocado? You pop the stem. If you look in the picture below, you will see that right under the stem you can see the flesh of the avocado. If it is yellow or white looking, it is too young. If it is brown or super dark green, it is overripe. We are looking for a light, vibrant green color.
You can also tell the general nature of the ripeness of an avocado with a gentle squeeze. If the avocado feels rock hard and has a really green tint to the skin, it is very young. If the avocado feels like a balloon filled with sand and the skin looks dark and really leathery, it is overripe. We are looking for just a bit of give with a gentle squeeze and a nice, dark green skin.
Can you pop the stem at the grocery store? Yes. But be reasonable about it. Before you pop the stem, squeeze it a bit to see if you think it is about ready. I don’t think the grocery store likes it when people stand around popping the stems off all the avocados, but I might be wrong.
AVOCADO STORAGE TIP: So I buy my avocados in bags of six. The problem is that they always get ripe at about the same time and I can’t get through them fast enough. Well, here’s a wonderful storage tip that I learned. When your avocado is JUST ABOUT ripe, put it in the refrigerator. The cold environment will slow the ripening process and give you another 4-5 days before you have to use the avocado. It works- give it a try!
STEP 2: Opening the avocado
Now that we have the perfect avocado ready to go, let’s start the process. In this step, I recommend using a paring knife or a utility knife (typically a thin blade, about 5-7″ in length). You’ll have more control than using a chef or other large blade.
The first thing we need to do is pop the stem if you haven’t done so already. Then, insert the knife into the avocado right where the stem was just attached. We are going to be splitting the avocado lengthwise around the circumference, as you can see in the picture below.
Cut through the avocado until you feel the blade hit the pit. Now rotate the avocado, keeping your blade tip against the pit until you have cut all the way around the avocado.
Set down your knife and grab both hemispheres of the cut avocado. Twist gently and they should come right apart. On one side will be the pit. Nice work!
STEP 3: Removing the pit
Okay, so the hardest part is now behind us. Removing the pit is really easy. With the skin side against your cutting board, tap the sharp, flat edge of your knife gently against the pit. The blade should easily enter the pit with just a gentle tap. My gentle might be different than yours, so if the blade edge doesn’t lodge in the pit, tap with just a little more force… but you shouldn’t need much. Take a look at Step 3 in the images below.
Once you have your blade embedded in the pit, pick up the avocado with one hand and gently rotate the knife blade to the left or right with the other. The pit will pop right out. To remove the pit from the blade, DO NOT use your hands! That’s dangerous. Just press the blade edge with the pit on it perpendicular to the cutting board and the pit will pop right off. Easy.
Step 4: Peeling the avocado
This last step takes just a bit of getting used to, so take your time. Once you have the pit removed, place both halves of the avocado face down on the cutting board. Using your paring knife, lightly slice lengthwise down the center of the avocado, just through the skin. I find it is easiest to use the tip of the knife.
Once the skin is split, pick up the avocado and peel back the skin. You can see how I did this in the image below. The skin will come off in one piece, leaving you with a perfectly peeled avocado.
Final thoughts on how to peel avocado in 4 easy steps:
I’m thinking about starting to do some videos. Would probably be easier to learn and demonstrate at the same time. But, that’s not going to happen while I’m writing this post.
Here’s my takeaway on how to peel avocado: wait until the avocado is ripe before peeling. Everything after that is pretty easy with just a bit of practice. If you are looking for some recipes so you can apply your newly acquired skill set, try making my easy guacamole recipe or my bacon avocado salad with watercress and lemon. You’ll love how fresh it is!