We’ve all been there, standing over the vegetable aisle above the avocado stand, picking up random avocados, squeezing them,  and even smelling them pretending like we have a clue how to find the perfect one. Well, you’ll be happy to know that after you read this article, you can say goodbye to these days and say hello to always picking the perfect avocado.


1. Decide What You’re Looking For

First things first, before you even start looking for those perfect avocados you need to know what a perfect avocado means to you right now. If you’re going to blend your avocado in your smoothie then your perfect avocado is a slightly overripe one that’s not firm in any way or form. If you’re making guac then an adequately ripe avocado is perfect for you. If you’re picking avocados to make in the next few days then you want to look for an underripe one so it doesn’t go bad before you get to enjoy it. Decide how many avocados you need and what condition you need them in so you’re picking the right ones for the job.


2. Color

Now you know what you need, so start first looking at the color of the avocados. Avocado skin can vary from bright green to really dark colored skin that’s almost black. Look for avocados that are more brown than green in color; the darker the color of your avocado the better. But, not black with white spots on it, that one’s pretty much missed the ripe train and heading towards “Rotten Ville” any time now.

Credit: The Avocado Experts – Westfalia Fruit

3. Check for Softness

I know you want to know if that avocado you just picked up is as ripe and soft or as hard and firm as you want it, but please for the love of Guacamole please don’t squeeze the fruit with your fingers. When you squeeze it you bruise the fruit causing it to turn in color on the outside. If you don’t buy that avocado you just squeezed someone else might see the brown spots on it and think it’s too ripe for them. So they won’t buy it either, causing it to eventually go bad. You can avoid this wasteful cycle and spare the poor innocent avocados by just placing the avocado in your whole hand and gently give it a tiny squeeze using your whole palm, not your fingers.

If the avocado is soft but still firm then you can use it today for guacamole, and maybe a smoothie or salad. If it’s really firm then you’ll need to get back to the first point we mentioned above and see what tasty purpose you want your avocado for.


4. The Secret Is in the Stem

If you look at the tip of your avocado, you’ll find this little brown thing sticking out of it, called a stem. Try to nudge it with your thumb to take it off slightly to take a peak to what’s underneath it. Now, look at the exposed skin underneath the stem.


Image Credit: Kelli Foster


  1. If it’s bright fluorescent yellow then this avocado is still not ripe. Wait a few days taking into account the color of its skin.
  2. If it’s almost a yellowish brown then it’s perfectly ripe and you’re a lucky happy soon-to-be-enjoying avocado person.
  3. If it’s blackish or has white fuzz coming out of it then this avocados’ ripe days are long gone.


Pro Tip: If the avocado you picked had its stem removed already then even if it’s hard as a rock, the exposed part won’t look bright yellow. This can be confusing to the non-avocado connoisseur, but you know better. If it’s brownish-yellow or a deep dark brown then it’s good to go. Just stay away from dark black looking exposed part.

That’s it, now you know the secret to buy the perfect avocado every single time. Hopefully, you’ll think of us next time you’re enjoying it on your toast or in your salad ( or in any of the 101 ways you can make avocados). You can send this to someone who’s always buying unripe avocados and never seems to find the right one, they’ll thank you later.