Avocados are notorious for going bad within a few days, but an easy hack to extend their shelf life is to freeze them. Frozen avocados can last up to several weeks and you can use several methods to easily thaw them.
How to thaw frozen avocados? Frozen avocados can be defrosted in the refrigerator. This method takes 6-8 hours but is the safest and best way to thaw the fruit. To quickly defrost them, we recommend thawing them in the microwave or in a bowl using room-temperature water.
There are a lot of subtleties that you need to keep in mind before thawing avocados, read below to learn more:
Avocado is a type of climacteric fruit. Climacteric fruits have the quality of ripening even after they are harvested.
Fruits like mangoes, bananas, apples, pears, and kiwis are all examples of climacteric fruits that continue to ripen – and may even quickly spoil if they are not stored properly.
This is why most people try to consume avocados within 1-2 days before it spoils and many supermarkets usually sell either slightly unripe or fully ripe fruits, depending on how and when you want to use them.
At room temperature, avocados will only last about 2-3 days before they start to become overly ripe. This happens due to several factors related to the fat content and ethylene susceptibility of the fruit.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can extend the shelf life of avocados.
The first method is to refrigerate them.
Refrigeration cools down fruit which slows down the ripening process. If you store a freshly bought avocado from the store and keep it in the fridge, then it will stay fresh for up to 5 days and will maintain its quality for up to a week before it starts to spoil.
Here is how to store it in the fridge:
Step 1) Place the avocado in a zip-lock bag. The zip-lock bag will protect the avocado from ethylene-producing fruit like apples and apricots. Do not wash the avocado before placing it in the fridge!
Step 2) Store the bag at the back of the fridge at 40F and consume within 4-5 days for the best texture and quality.
Freezing is an excellent way to preserve the avocado for up to 6 months. Once frozen, the avocado will not ripen and if it is stored properly, it will also be relatively protected from the effects of oxidization.
Before you freeze it though, there are a few important tips to keep in mind:
- Consider removing the pit of the avocado and cutting it into slices before storing it in the freezer. Storing it this way will prove to be very convenient as you won’t have to wait for the fruit to completely thaw to remove its pit.
- You can also puree the avocado if you want to use it as a spread or for cooking. This is another convenience-related tip that can save time and may even help extend the overall quality of the fruit.
- Frozen avocados will likely lose their original flavor and texture over time. Even if you use all the best practices, the fruit will still be affected by oxidization. When this happens, it will look “fresh” but won’t taste as good.
- For the best experience choose a slightly unripe or freshly ripe avocado to ensure that it maintains its quality over the storage period.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze avocados:
Step 1) Cut the avocado with a clean and dry knife. Carefully remove the pit and cut the fruit into appropriately sized pieces.
Step 2) Move the pieces into a freezer-safe plastic bag. Make sure that you squeeze out all the air from the bag and then seal it. Excess air and moisture can lead to freezer burn which will ruin the flavor and texture of the avocado.
Step 3) Place the bag at the back of the freezer (away from the door) at 0F. We recommend labeling the bag with the storage date so that you can keep track of it. Frozen avocado will store for up to 6 months but for the best results, try consuming it within 3-4 months.
Note) Use a freezer-safe airtight container if you are freezing avocado puree and follow the rest of the steps above.
Thawing Frozen Avocado
Once you are ready to use your stock of frozen avocados, you can thaw it using any of the following methods:
- Room Temperature Method
- Refrigeration Method
- Microwave Method
- Water Bath Method
Room Temperature Method
This method is best for people who don’t want to spend extra time thawing the fruit.
Step 1) Remove the frozen avocado from the bag and place it on a plate.
Step 2) Keep the plate away from sunlight and allow the avocado to defrost. This process should take about 2-3 hours depending on the ambient temperature.
Make sure that you don’t let the avocado sit out at room temperature for more than 3-4 hours as it will likely start to spoil, especially if it is left to sit in a pool of melted ice water.
The refrigeration method is the easiest way to thaw an avocado without compromising its quality. This method not only thaws the fruit, but it will also keep it cool which will protect it from spoiling.
Here’s how to defrost it:
Step 1) Place the bag of frozen avocados at the back of the refrigerator at 40F.
Step 2) Allow the avocados at least 6-8 hours to completely defrost. We recommend leaving it overnight for the best results.
Step 3) Consume the thawed avocado within 1-2 days for the best quality.
The microwave method is suitable for people who want to quickly defrost avocados for eating or cooking purposes.
Step 1) Remove the frozen avocado from the storage bag and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
Step 2) Put the plate in the microwave and thaw it using the defrost setting on your appliance. You can defrost it in 15-second intervals until it is adequately thawed.
Step 3) Once thawed, immediately use the avocado for the best flavor and texture.
Water Bath Method
This method works in the same way as the room temperature method – but is way quicker!
Step 1) Fill up a bowl with room-temperature water.
Step 2) Place the plastic bag or pieces of frozen avocado directly in the bowl of water.
Step 3) Allow the avocado at least 1-2 hours to defrost. For the best results, change the water after 30 minutes to quickly defrost it.
Here’s a summary of the storage times for avocados:
|Storage Type||Storage Duration|
|Fridge (40F)||4-5 Days|
|Freezer (0F)||Up to 6 Months|
|Room Temperature (68-70F)||2-3 Days|
Signs of Spoilage
Since avocados are notorious for quickly going bad, you should keep a few common signs of spoilage in mind before using thawed avocados.
Ripe avocados will have a firm texture that is neither too firm nor too soft. Carefully check the surface of the fruit for indents or overly ripe patches. If the fruit is overly ripe, then it may have gone bad during storage.
If the fruit has developed mushy patches around the flesh, then this will indicate that the avocado has spoiled.
Avocados have a mild nutty flavor with a subtle creaminess. While frozen avocados can lose their original flavor due to oxidization, if you notice any off-putting aroma or flavors, then it is likely that they have gone bad.
Avoid eating spoiled avocado because it may also be compromised because of harmful bacteria that can potentially make you sick.
Storing avocados can be challenging, but freezing them can easily extend their shelf life. Now that you know how to thaw frozen avocados, here are some related questions:
Why do frozen avocados have white patches?
If the frozen avocados have a white patch, then this might be an indication of freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when food is improperly stored and exposed to air.
Food exposed to freezer burn will be safe to eat, but it will likely lose its original texture and flavor.
Try running the patch under clean tap water to see if it clears. If it doesn’t clear then it might be a sign of mold. Either way, you shouldn’t consume avocados affected by freezer burn as they won’t be fresh.
Can you refreeze avocados?
Refreezing thawed avocados is not recommended. Once thawed, try to consume the avocados within 1-2 days for the best experience. You can also continue to store the thawed avocado in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Can you use frozen avocados directly without thawing them?
This depends on how you want to use frozen avocados and whether they are stored whole, in pieces, or pureed.
If they are stored whole then you will have to defrost them before using them.
If they are in pieces or pureed then you can directly use them in recipes and they can thaw while cooking.