I Tried Freezing Avocados: A Horror Story

January 10, 2017

"But... why?" That's the question most of my colleagues at Food52 asked when they saw me mummifying avocado halves with plastic wrap to prepare them for life eternal in the freezer.

"Because I can!" I shot back. But, as it turns out, I couldn't.

The notion that you might freeze a perfect avocado—preserving its ripeness in a state of suspended animation until the day you're ready to bring it back to life and smash it onto toast—is a fantastical daydream. To put it less dramatically, "the concept of them waiting in the freezer for me completely ripe is appealing," wrote caninechef on the Hotline.

The avocados prepare to be frozen in time.

Many of you responded with enthusiasm and encouragement: You said you do it all the time, and with great success! A small miracle. And The Huffington Post corroborates. Their 2012 article on the tip was called "Freezing Avocados: You Should Definitely Do This." I'm afraid that after my (very brief) testing, I have a rebuttal: "Freezing Avocados: I Couldn't Recommend, in Good Conscience, That Anyone Do This."

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Here's how I did it: I wrapped some halves tightly with plastic wrap and tucked them into a sealed plastic bag; I mashed a few others and scooped the chunky pulp into another bag. I froze everything completely and then thawed it slowly.

This is what happened:

No one said this was going to be pretty.
I'm so sorry.

I admit that I neglected to counter the avocado-browning with lemon juice (though, in past avocado experiments, I haven't found this to be much more effective than doing nothing, anyway). But it was the texture, not the unappetizing superficial hue, that was the real issue, anyway. The avocados were simultaneously mushy, slimy, and spongy. I would not eat them scooped or mashed—maybe blended would be fine but they certainly didn't taste fresh.

Let's get a closer look, shall we?

I'm not alone in my failure. Yes, you'll find reports of triumphant freezing (though very few pictures of the fruit post-thaw... A coincidence? I think not). But Serious Eats called Trader Joe's frozen avocado halves a fail, citing a writer who deemed the guacamole he made with them "a pasty, gritty, flavorless and textureless blob of shame."

So sure, you can "save" an avocado in the freezer for later... but I'd argue that you're condemning it to certain doom.

If you've had success freezing avocados, tell me: Where did I go wrong? Had I given the avocado sufficient lemon juice, might the results have been different? How could this have solved the texture dilemma?

Got avocado-freezing advice? Tell us in the comments below.

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Sarah Jampel

Written by: Sarah Jampel

A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.


Naschol June 10, 2019
I just toss them in my freezer whole and they thaw beautifully for guac. I have done this in both my regular and my frost-free freezer and they both work.
Jin J. April 3, 2019
I have tried freezing the avocado in a laboratory freezer at-25 degree Celsius. And it can out just as it went in. Thawing took over 1 hours in 74 degree Fahrenheit and the tasted did not change at all. In fact, I did not used any lemon juice or citric acid.
I think you can do the same with dry ice at home. Or if you have access to liquid nitrogen perhaps that will be better.
Lauren N. May 10, 2019
Yes, I think this is the way to do it as well. I'm going to attempt putting mine in the -80 and see how that goes.
Monica Y. March 26, 2019
The reason you failed and others haven't is because of the time it takes for your particular freezer to freeze food. All freezing isn't the same. If a food's temperature is lowered slowly so that eventually it becomes frozen, this creates larger ice crystals and those particles distort the texture of your food. It's more noticeable in something soft like an avocado. If the food is flash frozen (frozen very quickly like the people in that movie Day After Tomorrow), the ice crystals are small enough to not distort the texture of the food. That's why commercially frozen food is always better than the stuff you freeze in your refrigerator's freezer. If you have a deep freezer, try putting them in the bottom of that. If your freezer has a power freeze option, try using that to speed up the time it takes to freeze the avocados. I haven't tried freezing them myself, but I know a little about commercially frozen food.
Zach B. January 31, 2019
As a poor person who finds avocados an absolute luxury, you are one picky beyotch.
Monica Y. March 26, 2019
If you have an Aldi near you, try to find them there. I've seen them for 49 cents.
Lura July 18, 2018
Did anyone experience bowel problems after eating a thawed avocado in a smoothie?
Taylor M. July 17, 2018
You went wrong with a couple different things; not using lemon juice, not taking out the seed and not peeling the avocado. I'm not sure why but in my experience the avocado peel and seed just make for a disaster is the freezer. Peel and seed the avocado and then brush with a little lemon juice, make sure there is ZERO air in the bag when freezing (I crumple up some plastic wrap and put it in the divets where the seed was and it works great) and you'll do great! I use frozen avocados in guacamole and other recipes, I do not like avocado plain so I have never tried a frozen avocado plain before, so I can not tell you how it tastes but in the recipes I taste little to no difference. Hope this helps!
susanrtw January 14, 2018
I have had success mashing the avocados, putting them in a plastic tupperware type container and squeezing some lemon or lime on top, then a layer of plastic wrap touching the pulp, before the top of the container. When defrosted they do make great guacamole..
Terry M. January 12, 2018
I never believed the "freeze avocados" hype. However, what I have discovered is that once they are ripe--not over-ripe, but perfectly ripe--you can put them in the refrigerator, whole and uncut, and they will keep in very good condition for days and days and days. Eventually they go the way of all uneaten avocados but I have been extremely surprised and pleased with how long they keep in the fridge.
Tosina P. January 12, 2018
I have frozen avocados and they are great. Retain color, flavor, etc.
Sssss January 11, 2018
I just bought some from the frozen department in my local supermarket. (I'm from the UK) So much cheaper than buying individually. I'm going to use them in smoothies. They look divine even in their frozen state, bright gorgeous avocado green. Made and packaged by Tesco.
Sssss January 11, 2018
Forgot to say that they are sliced and no other ingredients are used. Don't know how they do it other than industrial super duper freezing machinery and maybe a designer cultivated avocado that is freezable.
Diane January 11, 2018
Trader Joe's used to sell frozen avocado slices and they were pretty good.
Frank January 11, 2018
I was going to comment until I read the comment I made on here 1 year ago. I still use the same method and it still works perfectly. And now I will go get that bag and make some more toast with avocado on it.
Rick January 6, 2018
Obviously, you need to flash freeze them, then vacuum seal and defrost in the sous vide water bath...
Marika V. October 9, 2017
we have 2 avocado trees in our garden (in Brazil) and I had my kids process buckets full of them with sugar and lemon juice, we put that smoothie like mash in portions in freezer bags. Unfortunately after thawing consistency was slimy and the stuff tasted horrible. I had hoped to freeze the in chuncks but after reading the comments think I will put some in the fridge.
Eva May 14, 2017
i blend mine with lemon or limejuice and freeze in small cups as icecream replacement in summer.nice!
Stanley May 12, 2017
I found by accident to do this, and it works! : After trying and trying to buy organic just right avocados, I now buy he very hardest regular avocados and put them in the fridge right away. Cold, they do not turn brown, are ripe enough to be perfect when eaten. i can cut half and save the other half with only a skim the top clean up. Lemon would no doubt avoid that. It works perfectly, they're ready and clean clear through. Delicious.
Maria May 12, 2017
Frozen avocado textured sounded revolting :))) Thanks for averting us from tryingbut!
j May 12, 2017
I always freeze my avocados . They are never brown when then defrost. You have to take them out of the shell and flash freeze first for about 2 hours and then put them in a freezer bag. Thats it. You take out individuals halves and use what you need. Its terrific. .
Alison May 12, 2017
I freeze them and blend in smoothies. It adds a creamy texture that's really nice, but I wouldn't ever try to unthaw and use in that format. Ew.
Maggie February 4, 2017