How to Cut and Peel an Avocado

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Showing 4 of 46 Comments

  • Mai Aquino

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

  • heather

    Haha, I just tried this method and failed. I mutilated the poor avocado. Oh well, they’re too good to pass up.

  • Helena

    I have always used the method of cutting the avocado into quarters and then peeling it. It has the added advantage that it leaves most of the brown spots in the peel. I also have a trick for keeping leftover guacamole: put into an airtight container and top with a layer of sour cream or mayo and then put the lid on the container. When you are ready to eat the guacamole, just stir the sour cream/mayo into the mix. It works better than any other method I have used including adding lemon/lime juice or including the pit although I suppose you could do those as well. Happy avocado eating!

  • Nikki

    If you’re out of plastic wrap and lemon juice, you can also spray the cut side of the avocado with cooking spray. That will keep it sealed and prevent it from browning.

    This is a great tip as some who have never seen an avocado could run across it and create beautiful slices instead of mush. I do mine like this too & have never cut myself removing the pit. Coordinated? No. Clumsy? Yes. Lucky? Oh yeah.

  • Miki

    Never cut an avocado before, this was fantastic! Simplistic, quick, easy to follow directions! You rock! :D Thx

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