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There’s nothing better than a truly excellent batch of guacamole. Creamy avocado, bright flavors, and the right hint of spice make this sauce a flavor sensation. You can serve it with chips, but I’ll eat it with a spoon if you’ll let me.
There are many ways to make a good bowl of the stuff, but if you’re seeking guacamole greatness, you have to be careful. You have to make sure you have the right tools. It’s a simple sauce, but make no mistake—if you want restaurant-quality guac, it’s all about the details.
Here’s what you need to do it right.
Traditionally, guacamole is made in a molcajete, a type of stone mortar and pestle that’s been used in Mexico for thousands of years. You can use it to grind chili pepper, onion, and salt together into a paste, maybe adding some cilantro if you’d like. The process breaks down the food to release flavor compounds, which will ultimately result in more flavorful guac.
When it’s time to add the avocados, you can mash those up using the molcajete too. And after enough uses, the stone should hold onto some of the seasoning from previous batches, making your guacamole taste extra-good.
If you’re not a fan of grinding things manually, a food processor can be a great alternative. A quick whirl in the processor can release flavor compounds from the onions and chilis just as well as a molcajete, but without the effort.
Of course, the best guacamole isn’t completely smooth, so we’d recommend keeping your avocados out of the food processor if you can. When you’re done grinding your aromatics to a paste, you can mash your avocados separately and then fold to combine.
Guacamole isn’t guacamole without lime juice. And while it’s possible to squeeze juice from the tart, green citrus with no special tools, a simple handheld citrus juicer makes the task much easier.
This is a really easy way to take efficiency into consideration, as a citrus juicer can extract more juice than your hands can—and in a shorter amount of time.
I grew up cutting avocados in half, sinking my knife into the pit, and carefully twisting it to remove it from the avocado. It was usually pretty effective, but made for a lot of close calls when the knife slipped from the pit.
If you value your intact fingers, it may make sense to invest in a safer way to remove avocado pits. There are lots of tools out there designed for this express purpose, and they usually don’t cost more than $10. That’s not bad for something that could save you from an unpleasant guacamole-related injury. (Although we can’t imagine a nobler pursuit through which to injure oneself.)
Guacamole tends to get brown over time, thanks to oxygen exposure and some pesky enzymes. This isn’t a problem if you’re eating it right away, but if you’re planning on bringing it to a party, you could be stuck bringing a container of unappealing, dingy mush.
If you want to limit this discoloration, you can do your best to limit oxygen exposure with plastic wrap—or you can buy a Guac-Lock. The handy plastic container holds your precious guacamole and allows you to press out extra air, reducing browning.
After all, if you’re going to go the extra mile to make restaurant-quality guacamole, you might as well make it last.
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