How To Tell When An Avocado Is Ripe On The Tree?

Unripe avocado will ruin your wonderful recipe and leave a bitter taste in your mouth. So how to tell when an avocado is ripe on the tree?

You can check the fruit’s ripeness based on its appearance and firmness. We will give you some tips to do so. Then, you will never have to suffer from the avocado’s bitterness. 

Now, let’s follow our lead! 

How To Tell When An Avocado Is Ripe On The Tree?

You won’t have to cut your fruits into halves to determine if they are ready. Instead, you can tell their ripeness while still on the tree. Here are two ways to help you with that. 

Appearance

You can look closely at the avocado to determine if it’s ready to serve. There are two things to check:

+Size

Like garlic (5 – Sheet 2) and tomatoes, avocados come in multiple varieties. They are different in size and how long they need to be mature. 

An avocado must reach maturity to be ripe. Depending on the variety, it usually fits into a specific size, shape, and weight.

Variety  Size Shape Weight (ounces)
Bacon Medium Oval 6-12
Fuerte Medium to large Pear-shaped  5-14
Gwen  Medium to large Oval 6-15
Hass Medium to large Oval 5-12
Lamb Hass Large  Pear-shaped  12-19
Pinkerton  Small to medium Long and pear-shaped 8-18
Reed  Small to medium Round 8-18
Zutano  Medium to large Pear-shaped and skinny 6-14 

 

+Color

Most avocado varieties have a dark peel when ripe, while each variety has slight variations. It can be easier to determine whether something is ripe or not if you know what variety you have. For example:

  • Deep green: Hass, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton, and Gwen avocados.
  • Vibrant green: Reed avocados.
  • Yellow-green: Zutano avocados.
  • Smooth green: Fuerte and Bacon avocados.

Dark spots may indicate bruises and overripe areas. Put back any avocados with spotted skin and choose another if you notice any.

In general, look for consistency in color and texture. Any fruit that is uneven in either way has either rotted or been damaged.

Firmness

A ripe avocado should be soft. Of course, you have to touch the fruit to perform this test. We will suggest three methods to test its firmness as follows:

+Hold the avocado in your palm

Place the fruit in your palm. Do not use your fingertips to grip the avocado. Alternatively, before pitching it, hold it the same way you would a baseball.

Fingertip pressure on the avocado may result in bruising. A ripe avocado is not as tough to bruise as the unripe one. 

+Softly squeeze the avocado

Apply light press to the fruit using your palm and the bases of your fingers. If an avocado is ripe, it should give very light pressure when pressed. 

If the fruit feels a little mushy, it may be overripe. Meanwhile, the underripe one will feel firm. 

Three Stages Of A Ripe Avocado

No matter when you pick your avocado, it must be one of the three stages. Understanding them can help you tell how ripe your fruit is and what to do in your case. 

Stage 1: Bright green avocado

Avocados that are quite firm when squeezed and have a bright green color are underripe. They need four to seven days on the counter to become edible.

You may not like the underripe avocado because it’s hard and flavorless. Instead, be patient and wait for the tasty fruit to be ready.  

Stage 2: Dark avocado

If you want to eat the fruit right away, seek the one that is firm with a little flex when pressed and is dark green. The fruit will have a creamy interior that contrasts bright green with the peel and quickly pulls away from the seed. 

Stage 3: Black avocado 

Avocados that are black and have spotted skin are already past their peak. The fruit’s interior frequently has brown patches and an unpleasant flavor. Hence, you don’t need to save it; simply throw it away and blame bad timing. 

How Long Does It Take An Avocado To Ripen?

First, we need to make clear what softening is. It’s a process between when you pick up an avocado and when it’s nicely ripe and ready to serve.

The softening process often takes a few days, depending on the environment. After ten days, if your fruit is still extremely hard, it probably hasn’t yet reached complete maturity.

Often, avocados can ripen faster when off the tree than still on the tree. Although the fruit is richer in oil content and flavor when left on the tree, the oil will get rancid if left too long. Then, your avocado will fall from the tree. It can’t retain its rich flavor at this point. 

How To Ripen An Avocado?

If you have picked up an avocado and realize it’s unripe after taking the firmness test, you can ripen it. 

Darker-skinned avocados ripen more quickly, while greener ones might stay on the counter for three to five days before becoming perfect for eating. 

To ripen your fruit, let’s try one of the methods below: 

Storing with other fruits 

Put the avocado in a bag with a banana to ripen it quickly on the counter. If you don’t have any bananas, use kiwi or apple instead. 

Those fruits can generate ethene gas, breaking down the cell walls and converting carbohydrates to sugar, naturally ripening your avocado. 

Apply some heat

The heat will soften the fruit. Hence, you can use a microwave or an oven to ripen your avocado. 

  • In the microwave: Trim the pit from the avocado before cutting it in half, then wrap the halves in plastic wrap. After two minutes of high heat in the microwave, immediately plunge the heated avocados into ice water to end the cooking process. 
  • In the oven: Wrap your avocado in foil and bake it in a 200°F oven for 10 to 30 minutes. The bigger the fruit, the longer the cooking time. 

Conclusion

You can check the appearance and firmness of an avocado to tell if it’s ripe. If your fruit isn’t ready to eat and you, unfortunately, pick it, consider ripening it using the method we have discussed. 

Avocados taste best when served at the right time. So please follow our guide and enjoy your fruit. 

Thank you for reading! 

For over eighty years the Wightman Family has been growing and selling fruits and vegetables at the farm.

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