Skip to Content

How To Tell If Avocado Is Bad – 6 Easy Steps

Sharing is caring!

The key to a good avocado is balance. It should not be too brown or too green on the outside. It certainly should not be brown on the inside. And, it should not be too hard or too soft!

If you manage to find an avocado that fits those perfectly balanced characteristics, pat yourself on the back! It is not all that easy to find the perfect avocado in the grocery store right off the bat!

Many will be too hard, so you will have to wait for them to ripen. Others are too soft and mushy, so you shouldn’t even buy them.

We know that it could seem a bit difficult to figure out if your avocado is bad or not, but don’t worry! That’s why we’ve created this step by step guide to help you out!

So, without further ado, let’s see just how you can tell whether or not your beloved avocado has gone bad!

avocado bad

How to tell if avocado is bad

Avocados go bad when they’re too soft and mushy, and the inside is mostly brown. You can tell an avocado ahs turned bad by just squeezing it. If it’s very soft, it’s best to look for another one.

Other signs include a cracked outer shell, a bad smell, looking very shriveled and black (not dark green), or being next to some very bad avocados.

The thing about these fruits is that they turn mushy really quick. From the moment they’re ripe, you only have 24 hours or less to consume them, before they become inedible.

Now let’s take a look at all the tips you can use to figure out if an avocado is bad or not. These might even save you from buying a bad avocado from the get-go !

Read also: Can You Eat Unripe Avocados? 

1. The outside of the avocado shouldn’t look shriveled

The outside is the first line of attack. If it looks shriveled up and dry, you may want to keep your distance.

Avocados are meant to be plump and bumpy, not withered and flat. So, make sure you can see that nice, ripe looking surface before choosing your avocado.

If you already have an avocado, the same is true. If you know you’ve had it for a while, the outside may begin to cave into itself. This is a bad sign. Your best bet here would probably just to toss it.

However, if you’d like to be more certain before throwing out your questionable avocado, just follow the next steps!

shriveled avocado

2. The avocado shouldn’t be mushy

Once you pick up the Avocado of Uncertainty, one thing is for certain: it shouldn’t be mushy. Although, you will want to use an avocado that is soft to the touch, it should also be slightly firm.

If you can easily stick your finger through it without even trying to, it is overripe. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has gone bad, though, and there are ways of determining that, as well.

But, if you’re purchasing an avocado, and it can be smashed up just by holding it, we’d stay away from it.

3. A good avocado shouldn’t smell bad

This one really only applies to rotten avocados. In general, avocados do not have much of a smell, especially when they are still closed.

So, if you smell a terrible stench coming off of an avocado at the store, back away from it as fast as you can!

If you already have an avocado at home that smells bad, we are sorry to tell you that you should just chuck it… Really folks, it is not worth the potential health detriments of eating rotten food.

4. Slice the avocado open, it should be firm but creamy

If you have bought an avocado, kept it around for a few days, and decided to cut it open, your knife should not smash right through it.

Although ideally, your avocado should be soft enough to prevent your knife from getting stuck inside it or just not cutting through at all, it also should not be so soft that the knife just makes it explode out of its shell.

So, if you are ready to slice your questionable avocado open only to find that the knife smooses right through it, you should probably just throw it out.

That being said, you may want to follow the next few steps if you still want to salvage the avocado. Read on, folks!

5. The color should be bright green with a yellow tint

Once your slice open your avocado, if it is not that nice, vibrant shade of green, it may be getting old. You can still safely eat avocado when it is brown, so don’t worry too much about a few brown spots running throughout. Another option is to just cut the brown bits out!

But, if your avocado is black or grey inside, just bursting with the smell, look, and feel of a rotten piece of fruit, just throw it away.

Now, if you slice open the avocado and it is green, but it turns brown, that’s a different story. After being out for a while, avocados will begin to go brown due to oxidation. This may be a turnoff, but it is still safe to eat.

A great tip for preventing your avocado from turning brown once open is to squeeze some lime or lemon on top of it! Not only will this give your avocado great flavor and a nice bite; it will also keep it nice and green!

6. The taste should be mild

Now, this one really only applies if you are already eating said avocado in a dish. Sometimes, restaurants use old ingredients to avoid food waste (and hence profit loss). Therefore, you may not even realize that your avocado is spoiled until you try it.

If you take a few nibbles of this soft, green fruit and sometimes unpleasant occurs on your taste buds, even just a slight bitter flavor, do not finish eating it. Humans have evolved to recognize bitter tastes (not to be confused with the sour flavors of lemon or lime) as a sign of poison or something bad going into the body. It’s sort of a security system for your own personal environment!

So, if your brain is telling you that something is off with your avocado, even if your other senses can’t necessarily tell, trust your gut – or in this case, your tongue! Your body will thank you for it!

Should you eat bad avocado?

It should go without saying that, if your avocado – or any food for that matter – is rotten, you should just throw it away. We understand how difficult it can be to come to terms with wasting food, but if your food is bad, eating it will hurt you more than guilt of throwing it out.

This all being said, if your avocado is simply a bit brown, but still smells, looks, and tastes fine, there is really no problem with eating it. Of course, this would mean that it is not bad, just a bit overripe. But, let’s not forget that overripe avocado will probably not be that beautiful, bright green color you hoped for; instead, it may be a bit brown or stringy.

So, since you may be wondering what you could with such an avocado, we thought it might be fun to go through a few ways to use it! Keep reading to find out!

How to use brown avocado

Although it may seem as though it’s impossible to cover up ugly brown avocado, it’s really not! There are actually a bunch of great ways you can use a brown avocado without letting others know it’s brown.

So, as long as you have followed the above steps and have made sure that your avocado has not gone bad, feel free to try out any of these fun suggestions! You may find one you’ll enjoy for years!

Read also: Does Pickled Ginger Go Bad ?

Guac it up!

Yes, yes, we know what you’re thinking : if the avocado has turned brown, making guacamole will only make it into brown mush.

Although this is technically true, what we have in mind makes it false! If you simply add some hot sauce to the mix, it’ll naturally turn the color darker anyway, and you’ll be able to use that as an excuse! Plus, you’re Guac will be oh so deliciously spicy!


Stuffed chicken

This is one of our favorites! Chicken and avocado just go together wonderfully! So, if you’re looking for a way to use both your chicken and your browning avocado, just stuff it!

All you have to do is slice open your chicken cutlets like little books before you throw them in the oven, fold the flap over the bottom, let them cook, and place guacamole or avocado slices inside the flaps once you remove them.

Not only will this cover up the brown fruit, it’ll also add some nice flavor and texture to the dish!

Deep fried avocado

If you don’t wanna see it, just fry it! Although it may seem odd to deep fry a slice of avocado, it actually tastes quite nice!

This is especially great for those who aren’t huge fans of avocado; frying them tends to enhance the flavor! Plus, it’ll make the avocados so warm and soft that no one will be able to resist them!

Green Ice Cream?

Believe it or not, you can actually use avocado as a base for ice cream! This option is great for those looking to try out a vegan or vegetarian diet, or who are lactose intolerant.

All you have to do is freeze your avocado, blend it up with your favorite flavorings (cacao powder would work great!), and enjoy! As soon as you remove it from the blender, it will already be thick and creamy!

Store in a bowl in the freezer for future yumminess!

Sharing is caring!