How Long Do Avocados Last | Tips to Avoid Spoilage
Last updated: 01/27/20
To engage in an avocado spending spree and buy as many as you want is not an issue, it’s the task of preserving them that poses challenges and we need to ask the question, How long do avocados last?
Avocados shelf life is contingent on the many ways & methods that you choose to store it.
- Avocados will last 3 to 6 days at room temperature before they ripen
- Freshly harvested avocados will last for 6-10 days in the fridge
- Cooked avocados will last for approximately 6-12 days in the fridge
- Frozen avocados will last up to 4 months in the freezer
Freshly harvested fruits & vegetables will last much longer than what you grab in your local market.
You will learn about the shelf life of avocados, plus some tips on how to make avocados last longer.
Our suggestions are assume that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.
Use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat.
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1 – Shelf Life of Avocados at Room Temperature
Avocados at room temperature will last about 3 to 6 days.
This depends on how ripe you received it from the market.
One important quality of avocados you should know is that they quickly change from being unripe & firm to being ripe & mushy very quickly.
The moment you pluck an avocado off the tree you trigger a mechanism in the fruit itself which in turn triggers the production of ethylene which makes the fruit to ripen.
When this happens, as it does for all other fruits or vegetables, the question of how to prolong shelf life for your avocados becomes a critical issue.
The room temperature most agreeable to avocados is 68°F because at this temperature avocados naturally ripen within three to six days.
To test whether the fruit is ripe, simply squeeze and the skin will give way to pressure. If it yields too much to pressure, it is overripe, and easting it is the one cure for an overripe avocado.
2- How Long Do Avocados Last in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Avocados in the Fridge
Avocados will last a bit longer in the fridge then left in room temperature. They last about 6-10 days in the refrigerator.
Let’s say your avocados have reached the stage of being fully ripe. There are only two options; eating them one by one or further extend their shelf life by preparing and storing it in the fridge
Logically and from a health perspective, the latter option would be better.
The effect of the cold generated inside the fridge will greatly slow down the ripening process but it will not stop it entirely.
Your strategy should be not to have all your avocados to ripen all at once but to ripen at different times.
So you need to take each one or some out of the fridge at different times so they turn ripe at different times away from the fridge.
Alternatively you should use the natural method of prolonging shelf life. This involves keeping the avocados hanging on the tree for as long as you can.
You should always remember that once you pick the fruit, the ripening gas ethylene immediately goes to work the ripening your avocados.
3- Shelf Life of Avocados in the Freezer
Putting avocados in the freezer has been used for many years to extend their shelf life not just for a few days or weeks but for up to 4 months.
This is important as there will be a steady supply of cut or mashed avocados to include in your food over a long period of time..
The art of mashing avocados to pulp and adding lemon juice to it, before placing it in the freezer for future use is a wise move that can benefit the whole family.
If you want to further lengthen the shelf life of your avocados and store it in the freezer, the ripeness of the avocados must reach a ripeness stage when they are perfect to eat.
Overripe avocados will tend to become too mushy when they thaw from their hibernating rest.
4- How Long Do Cooked Avocados Last | Cooked Avocados Shelf Life
Most cooked avocados will last a few days longer in the fridge than uncooked. Expect them to last about 6-12 days when cooked and stored properly in the fridge
Cooking is another proven alternative to extend shelf life for your avocados and this is done through the art of baking, mashing and grilling.
Avocado wedges can be baked to form avocado fries which are a delightful treat, they can be breaded bacon wrapped around avocado slices (yum).
Sumptuous cakes, muffins and brownies can be cooked from mashed avocado. Dozens of new recipes are being concocted right now featuring avocados.
And there’s nothing to grilling avocado, you simply put a halved avocado cut side facing down on the edge of the grill and when the grill marks show on the cut side , it’s time for a bite!
Fancy a whiff of a fleshy tangy taste to your sauces, just add mashed avocado to it and taste the difference.
Adding sauce with mashed avocado mixed in is a treat you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
5- How to Properly Store Avocados | Best Ways to Store Avocados
The best time for storing avocados properly is when they are ripe. This usually happens 1 to seven days after picking avocados off the tree and left at room temperature for about 4 days.
You can accelerate the ripening process if you are in a hurry to concoct something from your fruits, say a birthday or a wedding is looming.
You would do this by putting your avocados in a plastic bag where the ripening gas, ethylene, can do its quick ripening trick.
More important is that before you go into storing mode, you need to seriously know these qualities which avocados possess:
- Ripe avocados that have been cut are good at room temperature only for 1 day but 4 days in the fridge.
- Whole avocados put in the fridge stay fresh for up to 7 days and 7 days at room temperature (pantry).
- Well preserved cut avocados can keep in the freezer for a maximum of 4 months.
It becomes clear then that you can store avocados either whole, halved or in mashed form to achieve a longer shelf life for your avocados.
6- How to Know if Avocados are Bad or Spoiled
The signs to look for in determining the quality of your avocados are:
Too soft and dented skin
Without using your fingers, squeeze an avocado in the palm of your hand.
Firmness under palm pressure means the avocado is unripe. If it yields slightly, it is ripe and can be eaten.
If it yields a little under your palm it may be too ripe but can be used in a mashed state
If palm pressure leaves a large dent and a mushed up fruit, the avocado is overripe and should not be used.
If already mushed even before applying palm pressure, the fruit isn’t fit for use and should be discarded.
The Hass variety of avocados is used to set the example here because it’s eaten worldwide.
Unripe Hass avocados have springy fresh green skin changing to dark green and then to brown when ripe. Near black skin and mushy interior signals an overripe and spoiled fruit.
Dark Streaked Flesh
When an avocado has light green flesh, it’s ready to eat but brown and black spots all over the flesh means that the avocado is rotten.
Sparsely occurring brown sports should be removed.
Dark streaks inside the flesh usually signals rotting not to be eaten but sometimes avocados taken from young trees display dark streaks in the flesh but are not rotten.
If it tastes and looks good it’s safe to eat.
An avocado may also show a stringy flesh but no rot, but may be due to growing environment.
Unsavory flavor or smell
A good avocado exudes a pleasant, sweet and nutty flavor while strange and bad odor is emitted from a bad avocado.
Sour taste and odor betray spoilage from bacterial intrusion and should be thrown away.
The work of microbes or oxygen can produce a rancid chemical smell to an avocado and should not be eaten.
Easy tests of smell, taste, feel and sight can detect the dangers of bad avocados.
Fuzzy gray and white mold usually appear on bad avocados. Just throw them away as smelling may cause respiratory issues. Just throw it away.
Don’t purchase avocados that have mold on the skin. It can cause decay to set in which gives you some idea of how long do avocados last.
7- Methods to Make Avocados Last
Avocados can be stored for a good period of time if you prepare it properly. Let’s take a look at a few different ways on preserving avocados.
Freezing Your Avocados
The best way to make avocados last is by freezing chopped, mashed or cut avocados. There are some steps you need to complete before you freeze them:
- Wash the outer shell of the fruit
- Cut the avocado, remove from the skin and remove the pit.
- You can either freeze as individual halves or mash and add some lemon or lime to help extend its life
- Place avocado halves on a tray lined with parchment paper. Mashed avocado can skip to step 6
- Place in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. This will ensure that the avocados freezes but does not clump together.
- Place frozen avocados in a tightly sealed bag. Vacuum sealed bags are the most optimal way.
Preserving avocados by pickling them will help them last up to a week. Pickling is almost always a liquid that is composed of vinegar and salt.
It also can include some other spices that lend well to the pickling flavors that you are most familiar with. You will find some different recipes that will vary in taste, so select one that is a fit for you.
Typically, pickled avocados will last up to 10 days in the fridge. The combination of vinegar and salt provides a very acidic environment that impedes bacteria.
You still need to keep it as airtight, covered, and stored in the fridge.
Unfortunately, canning avocados is not something that we would recommend. Based on our research, avocados are just one fruit that is best enjoyed quickly as it peaks in its ripe stage.
Canning involves cooking the fruit or vegetable which would cause the flavors of plain avocados to become bitter.
Baking avocados seems to be the only way to really cook it without affecting the flavor.
The best guide that we use for canning and pickling is the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. You can find this book here.
Leave us a comment below if you found a way to can them successfully.
There are not many other ways to extend the shelf life of avocados.
Dehydrating avocados is not recommended.
You may see varying reports that you can dehydrate avocados.
The overwhelming experts suggest it is not an option.
The best investment you can make is a vacuum sealer to help slow down its demise.
Keep in mind that the information that we provided is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.
Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.
This information provided is at your own risk. Use your best judgment. We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.
The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:
- Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
- Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
- Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.
Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.
- How long does mashed avocados last? – They will last about 6-10 days if prepared properly and stored in an airtight container.
- How long do unripe avocados last in the fridge? – Unripe avocados last up to 12 days in the fridge.