The Avocado Storage Hack We Truly Weren't Expecting

And guess what? It works, too.

February 23, 2022
Photo by James Ransom

February 17, 2023 | A note from the Food52 Editors: In May 2022, the FDA released a comment declaring the storage of avocados submerged in water as unsafe. Citing the possibility of residual human pathogens (i.e. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., etc.) residing on the avocado surface multiplying while in water, the FDA does not recommend this practice.

The community recently brought the FDA warning to our attention when we reposted this article on our social media. We are leaving the original post on our site so that if someone does research this technique, they will be reminded of its potential danger.

For an alternative and safe avocado storage technique, we recommend squeezing citrus on the cut side of an avocado, tightly covering it in plastic wrap, and storing in the refrigerator.

If you bought some extra avocados during the ban and shortage scare last week, you no longer need to worry about how you'll keep them fresh: A new hack making the rounds on social media shows how to keep the fruit ripe and ready to eat. And purportedly, this works for just about a month—or longer!

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Top Comment:
“He said the water would keep the avocado from browning - and sure enough it works. I use this tip all the time as it lets me prep avocado well ahead of when it’s needed. ”
— Barbara

"Avocados stay good for-freaking-ever if you put them in water in the fridge," a viral Facebook post marveled.

In the post, the author demonstrates submerging the avocados in a big carafe of water and refrigerating them. After some time, the poster compares them to a control group left on the counter. "These have been in here for two whole dang weeks while the control group on the countertop rotted. They’re perfect. I’m speechless. If y’all knew and didn’t tell me imma be BIG MAD."

Clearly, Facebook's collective life was changed—so far, the original post has gotten over 15,000 reactions, 33,000 comments, and 169,000 shares.

On Twitter, author Ashley Ford corroborated that it works, saying she first saw it on TikTok and tried it with success. Southern Living took the time to do a mini-experiment that dug in deeper, showing that submerging the avocados really did make a difference, not only from the avocados on the countertop, but even from one kept dry in the refrigerator.

For even more avocado-preservation power, this TikTok explains how you can keep a cut avocado fresh in the fridge using a little bit of water as well. It's in Spanish, but for those who need a translation: Basically, using a wet paper towel against the flesh keeps out the air and prevents browning and deterioration from oxidation. The same reasoning applies for why the whole-fruit submerging method works as well.

And aside from avocados, commenters across the internet have suggested that this same method works for other fruit—specifically lemons, limes, grapefruits, and other citrus of that ilk. And we'd expect it to work for things like bananas, too, or anything thick-peeled and prone to oxidation.

But for now, we'll thank the internet gods for keeping our avocados bright green and creamy. The end of the avocado ban all but means it's time to stock up on the precious fruit.

Have you tried this avocado storage hack? Let us know in the comments.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bbyy152
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Bbyy152 February 10, 2023
It's nice you remove the post from your instagram but actually removing it from the website so you are not sharing incorrect and potentially dangerous to someone's health information would be a better idea. Just because something is making the rounds on social media doesn't mean it needs to be shared. What happened to real journalism? Do your research. Do better.
Katherine V. February 10, 2023
Nonononono food scientist Ann Rearden had a video explaining why this is a bad, dangerous hack! This creates an environment where bacteria can thrive and risks food borne illness! Food52 y’all gotta correct this article sos https://youtu.be/ITP6uA8AFto
jeffrey.brian.pearson February 5, 2023
How a reputable site could put something like this knowing the FDA does not recommend it is beyond me. I tried this hack and it does work but please stop unless you want to take the chance of getting seriously Ill or dying from Listeria.
Carolette January 17, 2023
Hi, I'm new to Food 52 and I love it. I seen this hack and did it and that's where my avocados always are. Thanks, Carol
Suzanne H. January 15, 2023
Watch Rotten's episode on Avocados on Netflix. After seeing that, I don't have to worry about storing avocados because I won't buy them.
Samantha L. March 30, 2022
You might consider the shocking possibility that... just putting them in the fridge preserves them... I know... I should have warned you to have a seat first, my bad.
Linda P. March 30, 2022
Yes I always put mine in the fridge as soon as they're just ready to use. They keep there for a week or two. If any get a bit over ripe they are still green (not brown) and ok for guacamole.
Debbie March 23, 2022
Please check the FDA website before doing this "hack". It is not recommended as it can lead to Listeria growth which can cause severe illness in humans. I'm saddened more research wasn't done before publishing this article.
Nancy March 6, 2022
Or you could just wait until they ripen and toss them in the freezer, skin and all, until you need them and then use them.
Cherri R. March 29, 2022
This is Almost VERY, Very Close to what I do. I get them ripe, by putting them in a brown paper bag, as so that my husband’ I can share one per day. BUT, -As Soon as it gets ripe, we Immediately put it back into the refrigerator & make certain that we either immediately put another one not ripe yet in a brown paper bag to ripen it, while we have the ripe one already just put into the refrigerator to stop anymore ripening & we eat that that one with 24 hrs, or sooner & it stays at that perfect spot of being perfectly ripe & Cold!, -as Long we eat it within 24hrs. And we jyst repeating this process & it’s been working great for us. I don’t like the idea of putting them in the water, -especially now that I know that there is the chance of there being a Listeria food & toxic poisoning by putting them in the water.
CheeseWithMyWine March 3, 2022
No, this is not a thing. You do not need to submerge avocados in water to keep them for longer, you just need to put them in the fridge once they have reached the desired level of ripeness. Of course avocados in the fridge are going to slow down ripening compared to avocados on the counter.

JV March 3, 2022
I agree, the control should’ve been avocados in the fridge not submerged in water🤦🏻‍♀️
rjmerryfield March 5, 2022
Exactly. The producers ship the avocados in cold storage, unripe. Buy them rock hard and then store them in your fruit drawer until a few days before you want to use them. Pull them out and let them finish ripening on your counter top. If you want them to speed up their ripening place them in a paper bag with a couple of apples or bananas. You will find that when you peel them, they will be green and undamaged. If you want it immediately for guacamole, just buy the pre-mashed avocado in the fruit and vegetable section of your grocery store and season it to your liken.
Gina March 3, 2022
Put an avocado in a paper bag with a banana it will ripen much quicker.
Mainer March 2, 2022
If you want to ripen AND keep it fresh, throw the avocado into a bag of flour. It takes about two days for the hard as rock east coast supermarket avocados to ripen, but it does work if you don’t forget its in there.
Jessica P. February 28, 2022
I tried this recently having seen the tiktok. I was disappointed. While the avocado kept in the fridge submerged in water for a couple of weeks looked perfect, it tasted fairly rotten and like it was brown. I won’t be doing it again.
CindyB April 2, 2022
No, they’re too expensive & too delicious to waste.
Barbara February 27, 2022
A while back I saw a short video by Jacques Pepin in which he rinsed cut slices (or cubes, etc) in water and drained them. He said the water would keep the avocado from browning - and sure enough it works. I use this tip all the time as it lets me prep avocado well ahead of when it’s needed.
smmmarti March 29, 2022
I trust Jacques! Thanks.
CindyB April 2, 2022
Wow! I hadn’t heard that. I would’ve thought the water would make them mushy…
Linda P. February 27, 2022
As soon as mine are just ripe I move them to the fridge (no water) where they keep for more than a week which is more than enough for my purposes. Next time you could try two controls, one on the counter and one in the fridge.
Babecake February 27, 2022
The avacado hack sounds awesome. Can you put the lemons and oranges all together with the avocados if submerged? Thanks can't wait to try
Davamustian February 24, 2022
I keep half an avocado fresh by removing the pit and applying cling wrap to the exposed avocado, then placing the pit back in its little divot. Completely keeps all oxygen from the avocado flesh. News to me about the whole avocados in water, though. Gotta try that!
JODI R. February 24, 2022
Thanks for sharing your findings.
Another great avocado tip that I came across awhile ago is for when you only use 1/2 an avocado and want to save the remaining half - brush it lightly with olive oil, then wrap it up (I use wax paper vs. plastic) and refrigerate. Works all of the time!
Monastrell February 27, 2022
el problema del aceite de oliva es que se oxida y al final pasa el sabor al aguacate
Cherri R. March 29, 2022
I also have used this method, but it doesn’t always save the entire amount& some goes bad around the edges. I have down it like that though, & then took the Press & Seal plastic clig wrap on the avocado & then put the pit back in the divot & it then does keep the pretty much almost the whole half still fresh for a little while longer, but U’ll need to eat as soon as possible because it’ll go bad pretty quickly if you get busy & keep almost forgetting about it.
alien February 24, 2022
Wouldn't the appropriate comparison group (i.e. control) be avocados kept in the refrigerator without being submerged in water?
GrillDawg February 24, 2022
More to the point, why water? If it’s the lack of contact with air, try wrapping them in plastic wrap, or enclosing them in an airtight container.
Food52forfun February 24, 2022
The water isn't necessary. A ripe or nearly ripe whole avocado keeps in the fridge for a week or two, easily. For half avocados, store the half with seed in place, unwrapped. Then when it's time to use it, carefully slice off a slim slice before removing the pit. Boom. Good to go. You CAN store them in water or oil, but why?
Rose G. July 2, 2022
You can ripen them in a paper bag with an apple. Just don’t forget to check on them in a day or two.