We tested Kelly Ripa’s secret to preventing guacamole from turning brown

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Nothing’s better than fresh, bright green guacamole and chips. And nothing’s worse than guacamole that’s gone brown from sitting out too long. But there’s no getting around it: oxidization occurs when avocados are exposed to air, which creates that brown color. This can happen within hours, which makes things tricky when you want to prepare it ahead of time for a social gathering.

What’s a party host to do? Kelly Ripa shared her expert tip on an episode of her show, “Live with Kelly.” (It’s now “Live With Kelly & Mark.”) And it couldn’t be simpler. Just top off the bowl with a 1/2-inch of water and put it in the fridge for up to three days. Watch her demonstrate here:

“I know it sounds crazy, [but] you put it in the fridge, and it will prevent the oxygen from entering and browning,” she says. “The water won’t soak in, you can just dump it off the top.”

Kelly Ripa is fun to watch, but honestly? She’s not my go-to expert for advice in the kitchen. And there’s a rule we all ought to live by: Don’t believe everything you see on TV. So I whipped up a batch of my own guacamole and tried the technique myself.

First, I separated my fresh guacamole into two bowls.

two bowls of guac
Jennifer Graham Kizer/Simplemost

MORE: Chipotle shared its guacamole recipe so you can make it at home

Next, I sealed the two bowls differently. For the bowl on the left, I added the 1/2-inch of water on top. For the bowl on the right, I followed a tip from the Food Network and covered it with clear plastic wrap, pressing down close to the guacamole so no air could get in.

guacamole test beginning
Jennifer Graham Kizer/Simplemost

I placed both bowls in the fridge overnight. The next day, when I took them out again, the difference was clear as day. The guacamole with the water was the same fresh green color all the way through, while the one with the plastic wrap had gone brown on top.

guacamole test results
Jennifer Graham Kizer/Simplemost

Best of all, removing the water from the bowl on the left was easy. After pouring it off, I found the guacamole underneath to be perfectly intact and not at all waterlogged. It was ready to eat! Meanwhile, I had to scrape off the top of the guacamole on the right to get down to the still-green part.

MORE: $10 container keeps guacamole fresh for days

two bowls of guac
Jennifer Graham Kizer/Simplemost

The folks at Avocados From Mexico also suggest adding a liquid on top of guacamole to form a barrier from the air. But they recommend topping off the bowl with either water or lemon/lime juice. (Citrus juice is known for slowing down oxidation.) So, if you like your guacamole with a lemon or lime taste to it, this is probably the way to go.

By the way, guacamole is safe to eat for up to two or three days when stored in the refrigerator — and that’s even if it’s gone brown. But I think we can all agree that bright green guacamole is much more appetizing. It’s good to know how easy it is to keep it that way!

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About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide. Visit Scripps News to see more of Jennifer's work.

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