Or is this hack too good to be true?
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When it comes to avocados, I am no amateur. You might be able to guess that from the dancing avocado painting that hangs over my kitchen sink, or by the way I can remove a pit with a sharp knife and flick of the wrist. And not to brag, but I have a sixth sense for when those bad boys are perfectly ripe. It’s a gift.
What I don’t have, unfortunately, is patience. When I buy an avocado, I want to eat it right away! Setting it down on the counter to ripen for a few days is not my idea of a good time.
So when I heard about this “avocado hack” that promised to ripen an avocado in 10 minutes, I was all in. “Don’t mind if I avoca-do!” I said to myself. Unfortunately, no one was nearby to hear my brilliant pun, but still I persevered. I went to the grocery store, bought two rock hard avocados and one slightly softer (but still underripe) one. Time to put this hack to the test!
I preheated the oven to 200°F, wrapped a rock hard avocado in aluminum foil, and put it in the oven. I waited. Eagerly.
After 10 minutes, I removed the avocado from the oven. The aluminum foil was barely even warm to the touch. I unwrapped the avocado—it was ever-so-faintly warm—and gave it a squeeze.
Reader, The avocado hadn’t softened noticeably at all. It was difficult to get my chef’s knife through the tough green flesh. The pit didn’t want to come out of the fruit, and it left the pit’s outer layer behind when I tried to force it. The hard, raw avocado I cut into for comparison felt essentially exactly the same as the cooked one.
Discouraged, I figured it was worth a try to see if the riper softer avocado saw any success with the hack. So into the oven it went, tightly wrapped in foil. This one did seem a bit softer upon removal, giving a little bit when squeezed and allowing a knife to glide easily through. I was able to get the pit fully out of the avocado. It didn’t taste good, though. It had the softness of a near-ripe avocado, but the sour, green taste of an underripe one.
A disappointment for sure, although not totally unexpected. The hack takes advantage of the ripening gases an avocado releases when heated, which are trapped close to the avocado by the aluminum foil, thus theoretically speeding up ripening. I’m not sure why it didn’t work for me, but The Kitchn found that it took 60 minutes in the oven for a hard avocado to soften, and that it never fully developed the flavor and creaminess of a truly, naturally ripe avocado.
The verdict: Avoca-don’t even bother with this hack; it just doesn’t work. An avocado that ripens in 10 minutes is a beautiful dream, but an oven and some aluminum foil is no substitute for time and patience.
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