An excess of avocados can be a very good thing—after all, who doesn’t want a bigger batch of guacamole or creamy green slices on their sandwich or burger? But when you have more of these creamy green gems than you can reasonably consume before they inevitably over-ripen and turn brown, you may find yourself asking a question so many have asked before: Can you freeze avocado? And not only can you, but should you?
That’s the question my Food52 colleagues asked when they saw me mummifying avocado halves in plastic wrap to prepare them for life eternal in the freezer.
“Because I can!” I shot back.
Can You Freeze Avocado?
The short answer is no, you can’t freeze avocado. The notion that you might freeze a perfectly ripe avocado, preserving it in a state of suspended animation until the day you’re ready to bring it back to life and smash it onto toast, is nothing more than 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 Food52 Hotline.
Many readers responded with enthusiasm and encouragement, attesting that they do it all the time, and with great success! It was described as 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 avocado 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 overnight, then thawed it slowly in the refrigerator.
This was the result:
I admit that I neglected to counter the discoloration from oxidation with lemon or lime juice (though to be fair, in past avocado experiments, I haven’t found citrus juice to be much more effective than doing nothing, anyway). But it was the thawed avocados’ texture, not their unappetizing superficial hue that was the real issue: Simultaneously mushy, slimy, and spongy. I would not eat them scooped or mashed. Blended might be fine, but they certainly didn’t taste fresh.
Some swear by vacuum-sealing before sealing to ensure the avocados’ flesh is protected, but after seeing what happens to the interiors of frozen avocados (not just their exteriors), I’m not confident that’s the solution. Due to avocados’ high water content, freezing them causes ice crystals to form, and when those crystals melt, that signature creamy texture all but disappears—never to return.
I’m not alone in my failure. Yes, you’ll find reports of triumphant freezing, but 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 yes, you can technically “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? Have you used a vacuum-sealer to great effect?
UPDATE: The comments are filled with avocado-freezing success stories, so if you’re not already too skeptical to give this hack a try, head there for our community’s best tips and techniques for freezing avocados.
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What’s your best avocado-freezing advice? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was updated by the Food52 editors in May 2021.