The Safest Way to Cut an Avocado
Ever struggled to cut into an avocado? Has your hand slipped as you tried to slice it in half or remove the pit, barely missing your fingers? Well, you’re not alone: Unfortunately, these types of injuries—nicknamed “avocado hand”— are on the rise among people unequipped with the knowledge to safely break down avocados. Now, a celebrity, one of the co-hosts of The View, Joy Behar, has joined their ranks.
Apparently, Behar had to step away from her hosting duties on Monday because, as she puts it, “I stabbed myself with a knife.” Behar was on her way to an event, and, in a hurry to eat something beforehand, was trying to cut open an avocado. She stuck her knife in the pit to get it out—and accidentally stuck the knife in her palm instead. Really, who can blame her for the oversight? We’ve all been there—hungry and a little delirious. We’re just glad she’s okay. Plus, she seems to have a sense of humor about it now. Upon her return to The View, she joked that from now on she’s only going to buy “ready-made guacamole.”
Luckily, the team at Food & Wine has some advice on how to avoid a similar accident.
“The safest way to cut the avocado would be on a cutting board, using a flat hand to stabilize the avocado while rotating and cutting,” explains Kelsey Youngman, director of the Food & Wine test kitchen in New York City. “Then you’re not cutting anything in your hand.”
Removing the pit might be even riskier. A more experienced home cook who knows how to handle a chef’s knife can stick the knife in the pit and gently lift it out, but for the rest of us who aren’t as comfortable with sharp objects, there’s a better way.
“To remove the pit, hold the cut avocado in a towel-draped hand (it isn’t cut-proof, so still be careful!), and gently tap the pit with the thick, bottom portion of the blade of a sharp chef’s knife,” says Youngman. “Then tap off the pit on the edge of a sturdy bowl, or push the pit off of the blade from the dull edge of the knife.”
There you have it—two simple ways to stay safe in the kitchen when you’re working with delicious avocados. In case you need to visualize how these techniques work, check out Mad Genius Live, on which Youngman, alongside our Culinary Director Justin Chapple, demonstrate how to find, and cut, the perfect avocado.