How to Cut and Peel an Avocado

How to cut and peel an avocado, safely and quickly. It's easy!

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I once observed the mother of a dear friend of mine meticulously peel an avocado whole, and then cut pieces off of it to use in a salad. I hate to say there is ever any “wrong” way to do something; there are, as we know, many paths to Rome. But, the following method is easier, faster, and much less messy.

By the way, if you are buying avocados to prepare a guacamole dip, get them either ripe, with some give to the touch, or get them still firm, a few days ahead of when they are needed, and put them in a brown paper bag to ripen.

How to Cut and Peel an Avocado

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  • Prep time: 1 minute

Method

1 Grip the avocado gently on one side with one hand. With a large, sharp knife in the other hand, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Open the two halves to expose the pit.

2a At this point there are a few ways you can proceed to remove the pit from the avocado half that has the pit. One way is to use a spoon to scoop out the pit.

One way is to make another cut, lengthwise on the avocado half that has the pit, cutting around the pit, exposing it so that it is easier to remove.

2b Another method is a bit tricky, as you'll see. This method is very popular, but you must be careful lest you cut your hand. For safety, fold up a kitchen towel and use that to hold the avocado half with the pit.

Gently tap the pit with a knife with enough force so that the knife edge wedges into the pit, but not so hard as to cut all the way through it. If unsure, just tap it very gently a few times, each time with increasing pressure, until a cut is made in the pit sufficiently to twist the pit out. Getting the pressure just right takes a little practice.

With the edge of the knife, twist the pit out of the avocado and discard.

3a At this point, you can either scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon (for making guacamole), or slice the avocado into segments.

To make it more easy to scoop out the avocado flesh, take a knife (you can easily use a dull dinner knife) and gently make cuts in the avocado flesh in a cross-hatch pattern, careful not to break through the avocado peel. Then use a spoon to easily scoop out the avocado pieces.

If you are making guacamole, don't worry about slightly discolored or brownish sections. Scoop them up with the rest of the avocado to mash.

3b To make avocado slices, use a knife to slice the inside of the avocado halves into sections. Don't worry if you cut right through the peel.

4 Use your fingers to separate the avocado segments from the peel.

 

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Links:

How to Make Guacamole - here on Simply Recipes

What's in a Name? The Avocado Story - how the avocado got its name, from NPR

How to Cut and Peel an Avocado

Showing 4 of 42 Comments

  • Mai Aquino

    Maybe we can use a glass to scoop out the avocado the same way we do to ripe mangoes.

  • dargie

    I do the knife/whack thing, too, and haven’t yet managed to cut the upper part of my left hand off. I love the dressing-in-the-pit-hollow thing, and the other day tried mixing some shoyu and wasabi and putting it in the hollow. Good stuff, a little like avocado maki w/o the rice.

  • Shaun

    I like using an “avocado slicer” after removing the seed. Just slip the end down the inside of the peel and voila!

  • Molly

    I always hit it with the knife.. you just have to hit it with the long part, and not the point. I see no way you could possibly slice your hand up if you use the long end of a knife, and not the point. *goes to the fridge to eat some avacado*

  • El C.Loco

    My proven technique if all I want to do is make a guacamole is toss my aguacates into the old microwave oven and heat’em up. After about 30 seconds or so I pull’em out, jab a hole in one and squeeze it out like a tube of toothpaste. In all it really takes just about a minute is empty an avocado.

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How to Cut and Peel an AvocadoHow to Cut and Peel an Avocado