Avocados, we love you, but you’re perhaps the most high maintenance fruit we buy. Cut into them too soon and they’re tasteless, too late and you’re basically eating mush. As we all probably know, buying a perfectly ripe avocado is an art. If you’re not great at it or your grocery store only supplies rock hard avos (*cough cough* Trader Joe’s), there’s a hack circulating around the web that claims it can ripen an avocado in just 10 minutes. Is it too good to be true? We decided to give it a shot.
The directions listed on the web are all basically the same, and go a little something like this: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap the avocados in foil and place them in the oven for 10 minutes. Pull them out, let them cool and enjoy!
A quickie science lesson: When an avocado is exposed to heat it releases ethylene gas, which essentially promotes ripening. Because it’s wrapped in foil, it is essentially surrounded by its own gas (uh, sorry that sounds gross), which expedites the process.
Much to the intrigue of my coworkers I headed to the B+C test kitchen and placed two avocados in a preheated oven. Neither was quite rock hard, but both were definitely not ripe enough yet. From my professional avocado estimations, they would have needed two to three more days before making a prime toast topping.
A few other posts I had read on this hack mentioned 10 minutes is not quite enough time for this to really work. So to compare, I baked one for 10 minutes and left one in to cook for 10 minutes longer. When I pulled them both out they looked like this:
The visual difference between them isn’t super noticeable, but you guys there were CHANGES. Here are my expert observations:
Texture: The avocado I pulled out at ten minutes was noticeably softer, but still not quite ripe enough. After 20 minutes the other avocado had more of a buttery texture that was similar to what you’d find in a ripened avocado. However, because ovens cook from the outside to inside, the flesh around the skin of the 20-minute avo was borderline too mushy.
Taste: Sorry, y’all but prepare yourself for a bit of a let down here. These avocados looked and felt ripened, but when it came time for the taste test they both fell flat. That smooth, rich taste was lacking, and although their appearance might tell you otherwise, they still tasted a little unripe. However, it should be noted that I tried a slice solo. After the photo shoot our photographer and resident chips-and-dip expert Brittany made these two avocados into guac and said that it tasted great.
Final thoughts: Would I use this hack to serve up a fresh slice of avocado toast? Probably not. Would I use it if I was trying to whip up an appetizer for an impromptu girls night? Totally!