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Plus, the simplest way to cut an avocado and remove the pit. 

Elisabeth Sherman
June 01, 2018

Whether you're whipping up guacamole for a party or avocado toast for breakfast, we're betting avocados play as big a role in your life as they do in ours. Lucky, then, for all of us that the latest episode of Mad Genius Tips on Facebook Live is all about avocados: how to find the right one, as well as an easy, injury-free method for cutting an avocado and removing the pit.

First, let's start with what you should look for in an avocado at the grocery store: Chapple displays four Hass avocados, each in a different stage of the ripening process. When the avocado comes off the tree, it will still be very firm and green. From that point, it will be ready to eat in about three days. (If you want to speed the ripening process up, place your avocado next to ripe bananas or onions, Food & Wine Test Kitchen Manager Kelsey Youngman suggests.)

The second stage is called “breaking,” which means the avocado is almost ripe. The skin will have the dark color you’re looking for in a ripe avocado, but it will also be super shiny. The perfectly ripe avocado will have dulled slightly, and it will be brown all over. When you squeeze it, it should barely feel soft.

A word of warning from Chapple, though: “Don’t be an avocado bruiser.” Meaning that when you go to the grocery store, handle the avocados with care, so that you don’t leave behind a pile of damaged, bruised avocados for other people to sort through on your quest to find the perfect one.

Lastly, there’s the overripe avocado, which Chapple says you shouldn’t necessarily be afraid of. On overripe avocados, you’ll notice grey spots and indentations in the skin. While these avocados probably might not look great, they’re likely still entirely edible (as long as you do it quickly).

Something else to look out for when you’re trying to find a perfectly ripe avocado is the stem end. Right before the avocado is ready to be eaten, you should be able to wiggle the stem slightly. When it’s hit that ideal moment of ripeness, the stem will pop right out.

As a bonus, Chapple demonstrates a super simple trick for cutting an avocado that won’t result in the dreaded “avocado hand.” All you have to do is place the avocado on a flat surface, like your cutting board. Holding it steady with one hand, place the blade in the side of the avocado and then spin the avocado, so that you’re cutting it horizontally all the way around. Then, rotate the avocado to the other side, once again cutting it horizontally. You should end up with four sections, and best of all, the pit pops right out.