I love learning new kitchen tricks—especially when it comes to avocados.
It was a total game changer when I learned you can get an avocado to ripen (read: guacamole-ready!) by heating the oven to 200 degrees, wrapping the fruit in foil and baking it for 10 minutes or so. And it was a total money-saver when I learned you don’t have to buy organic avocados because the thick, outer skin naturally protects the delicious green flesh from pesticide residues. (Major hat tip to Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, chief medical officer of Well & Being, for relaying that wisdom during an interview I did with her for a story).
So, when a video from Hello Giggles start circulating, boldly claiming there’s a correct way to cut an avocado (and it’s probably not the way you’ve always done it), I was intrigued. Most of the time when I see viral videos telling me I’ve been doing something wrong my entire life, I pretty much agree, concede and move on.
But not this time. You see, the video suggests you slice an avocado crosswise, as opposed to lengthwise, and then into a thin ring. The accompanying article notes that the advice comes from Seventeen (we were not able to find any online evidence of this, so we’ll take HG’s word for it).
But wait, is this really the best way? Can you really challenge such convention without a thesis full of annotated sources on such a serious topic like avocado cutting? Avocado lovers deserve to know, just like avocados deserve their own restaurant in NYC!
So in my newfound quest to figure out the correct way to cut an avocado, I reached out to four noteworthy chefs for their advice. Here’s what they had to say.
Chef #1: Jake Rojas
His creds: For starters, Providence is a culinary epicenter, joining giants like New York City and Charleston on lists of the best destinations for foodies. Bonus, though, guacamole is a star on his taqueria’s menu.
His signature trick: Some knife work to pop out the seed
The method: “The classic way to cut an avocado is to take it, when it’s soft enough to the touch, and insert the knife straight down into its crown until you hit the seed. Then, you roll the knife downwards as you spin the avocado to create a complete, even cut. Once the cut is done, use your hands to break it apart into two halves. Flip the knife so that you’re holding the butt of it downward, and hit it against the seed and leave it sticking in. Twist the knife, and the seed will pop out. From there, use a soup spoon to remove the flesh of the avocado from the skin.”
Chef #2: Rachel Wiener
Her creds: Aside from commanding the kitchen at a dreamy mountain-side retreat nestled in Park City, Utah? She studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
Her signature move: A twist
The method: “Slice lengthwise around the pit, twist open, and use the knife to remove the pit. Use a teaspoon to scoop out into even halves.”
Chef #3: Ariane Resnick
Her creds: She’s a special diet chef and certified nutritionist who has a special knack for developing accessible, organic farm-to-table recipes that are indulgent and clean. She’s cooked for celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.
Her signature trick: Differentiating between knives
The method: “If it’s very ripe, use a butter knife so as to not make the flesh mushy. Slice in half through the center, around the pit. Separate and squeeze the pit out very gently with your hands. If it’s barely ripe, use a chef’s knife and slice as above. Since the pit will probably not come out easily, if you’re comfortable enough to bang the knife into the pit and twist, do that. If not, simply cut around the pit and dump out.”
Chef #4: Lisa Astorga-Watel
Restaurant: Bite Restaurant in San Antonio, Texas
Her creds: She’s revolutionizing dining in San Antonio with an imaginative menu at Bite, a small, nine-table restaurant. For proof, look no further than the mimosa cotton candy skewers.
Her signature trick: A genius stem check
The method: “First check the stem to make sure it’s still green. If it’s not green under the stem, the avocado won’t be green. Slice down and around from the stem to the bottom and back up again to the stem in a circle. Twist the two halves, then stick your knife blade into the pit and twist to pull it out. If you want avocado slices, use the knife to cut the avocado while it’s still in the shell. If you want squares, then cut one more row crosswise. Then scoop out the meat with a spoon.”
Bonus tip: If you only use half of the avocado, squirt a little lemon juice on the other half and store in a Ziplock bag in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
So, there you have it. Four chefs with four different backgrounds, and all agree the lengthwise slice still reigns.
I feel better knowing the old standby still works, don’t you?