How to CookAvocado

I Tried Freezing Avocados: A Horror Story

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"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.
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."

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

Tags: Tips & Techniques