The question “How long do avocados last?” is a very legitimate and logical question. I think that most of you who use avocado for culinary purposes know why I am saying this.
But first, in order for you to better understand the main things related to this delicate topic, I am going to say a few words about avocado itself.
Although it doesn’t possess that recognizable fruity flavor and is mostly used in salads and sandwiches (like “California style”), avocado is technically a fruit just like blueberries and other types of fruit. It is best known for its incredible health benefits for your cardiovascular system.
Avocado oil, alongside olive oil, is the healthiest oil out there.
And, most importantly, you have to know that here I’m talking about the so-called Hass avocado (dark green avocado), so if you see a bright green variety, know that it belongs to one of the other cultivars.
These avocados are very sensitive fruits and are prone to spoilage, especially if they are not stored properly. And I am just going to say, in this introduction, that when they are on the edge, a higher temperature is something that they enjoy.
I will cover more details on this slightly complicated topic below. So, stay tuned!
So, How Long Do Avocados Last?
As I already said in the introduction, avocados last longer in cooler places, so storing them in the fridge if they are on the edge of ripeness is a very good idea.
That is especially true for ripe avocados. And if they are uncut, they can preserve their freshness in the fridge for up to 10 days, which is awesome. But of course, there are also unripe avocados that don’t like cold places as much as ripe ones.
So, keeping them in the fridge is not a particularly good idea because they will struggle to mature. But, besides whole ones, there are also sliced avocados and mushed ones and they also have their specific needs.
So, if you want to learn more about all of these forms of your favorite healthy fruit and about avocado storage, read on.
Avocado Shelf Life Once Picked From The Tree Is…?
Every fruit has its beginning, and this is the case with avocados as well. It grows on the avocado tree and that is its safest place because it doesn’t ripen until it’s picked from there.
When it’s picked from the tree, the estimated time until it fully ripens is about 2 weeks. That partially answers your question of how long do avocados last.
And this information is very important in terms of its transportation from the farm to your local grocery store unless you buy it on Amazon, but that is another story.
This time is not short, and that means that when it gets to the store, only a little time is left until it fully ripens.
But neither is this the full story because there are a few more factors that can influence the ripening time of avocados. When they are harvested, mechanical injury can happen to the fruit and, since the avocado is very sensitive, that will also speed up its ripening.
When it finally arrives on the shelf of the grocery store, it can happen that they will be stocked alongside some fruits including bananas, tomatoes, or apples, and that will also speed up the ripening process and you will end up with overripe avocado.
The reason for this is the so-called ethylene gas that these fruits produce, just as avocados do.
Keeping Avocado On The Counter
So, finally, after you have bought your fruit, you are surely wondering what to do with it, especially if it’s not fully ripened. The answer lies in the countertop or, more precisely, in the room temperature.
But first, how do you even know if it is ripe or not? Well, you just have to gently squeeze it and if it yields under that low pressure, then you have to use it immediately. But if it doesn’t, it has to be fully ripe to become ready for use.
Then your task is to store it at room temperature. Firm unripe avocado takes about 4-7 days to fully ripen if it is truly hard under your fingers.
And, of course, that is up to you to estimate. Also, if you want them to ripen faster, you can put them in a paper bag alongside an apple and you will cut down the ripening time to 1-3 days.
Storing Avocado In The Fridge
If you bought ripen avocado and you don’t want to use it right away for your guacamole then your best bet is to refrigerate it. Ripe avocados love cooler places and, so refrigerating avocados is an ideal solution. But there are a few forms of avocados that can be placed in the fridge, so we will discuss each of them.
1. Whole Avocado
First, there is the whole uncut avocado, the unripe one. And there is no better place for it than the fridge by putting it in a plastic bag.
Of course, if you don’t want to use it right away. The fridge can extend the process of ripening avocados for about 7-10 days. A cool environment and airflow will prevent it from ripening too fast.
So, if you want to use your healthy green friend in a few days’ time, then definitely store it in your fridge!
This definitely didn’t answer the question “How long do avocados last?” but it answered the question of how long you can make it last. And that is a brilliant thing!
2. Cut Avocado
Besides the question of how long do avocados last, there can also be a question of how long cut and mashed avocados last and you will get the answer below.
Sliced avocado should definitely not be stored on the counter, i.e. at room temperature. The air will quickly cause oxidation and damage the avocado flesh with brown spots. And you don’t want to see your avocado turning brown.
Instead of that, it is best to seal your avocado in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. That way, it will last for 2-3 days if it is stored correctly.
3. Mashed Avocado
You can also puree the flesh of your avocado and you will have the most exposed flesh prone to oxidation.
It is not so common to refrigerate mushy avocado because it is best to use it immediately, but if you have already done this then it is good to know how to store it properly in the fridge.
So, it is best to mix your mush with some lemon juice or lime juice and pack it in an airtight container or use plastic wrap to reduce air contact. If it’s stored this way, it will last 1-2 days in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Avocado?
Yes, avocados can be frozen. The process of freezing avocados will extend their shelf life up to 4-6 months. If you don’t want food waste, i.e. leftover avocado, the freezing method of storing it could be a great option.
Although fresh avocado is best after you defrost your frozen avocado, you can still use it in your favorite avocado dishes like avocado toast, smoothies, with roasted tomatoes, dips, and so on.
So, as it was with the refrigerating method, you can also freeze avocado in its three main forms: whole avocado, avocado half or its slices, and avocado mash.
1. First, in order to freeze the whole avocado properly, you will have to cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and put that in the freezer.
2. When you have avocado halves or slices it is best for you to brush some lemon juice on the flesh and seal it with a plastic wrap in the resealable container before you put it in the freezer.
3. And finally, there is avocado mash. Just like avocado slices, it is best to mix that mash with a little lemon juice and freeze it in a freezer bag or ice cube tray.
How Do You Know If Avocados Have Gone Bad?
The answer to this question is also an integral part of the answer to the original question of how long do avocados last. If you know how to check if your avocado has gone bad, you will know next time how much time on average you have to avoid that unpleasant situation.
So, there are 5 best ways to tell if your avocado has gone bad:
1. If it’s overly soft and has dented skin, that is a sign that your avocado has spoiled.
2. If its skin has blackened, that is a sign that it has gone bad.
3. You can also cut the avocado open and take a look at its flesh. If you see dark, stringy flesh, that is the sign that your avocado has gone bad.
4. Check your avocado smell. If it smells bad then that is not a good sign. It has to have a nice, sweet smell.
5. And last, but not least, if your avocado has mold on the inside or on the outside, it is a sign that it has gone bad.
You could have seen that the answer to the question of how long do avocados last is not that simple. There are many factors that influence that time frame like its type, harvest, and the way you store it.
I tried my best to give you the best possible information about all of these factors and the way that you can properly store your favorite healthy snack. I also explained the 5 main ways you can tell if your avocado has gone bad.
In this way, I provided the answer to this interesting but not easy question of how long do avocados last.