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Does Placing an Avocado in the Oven Help It Ripen?

A wooden board filled with halved avocados and one knife.

Produce can be hard to purchase, and avocado is one of the most difficult. If it’s too ripe, it’s no longer tasty, and if it’s not ripe enough, it won’t work for your guacamole. But is there a trick that can help?

Allegedly, if you bake an avocado, it can help ripen it faster. The question is whether or not that’s actually true.

With this method, you’ll wrap your avocados in tin foil and place them in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. As they bake, the idea is that they’ll start to ripen over 15-20 minutes. However, Cook’s Illustrated actually took on this hack, and it’s, unfortunately, not true. After over an hour of baking, the outlet discovered the edges became squishy and slimy but the interior was still hard.

The reason this hack doesn’t work is that avocados ripen due to ethylene gas which causes the enzymes in the fruit to convert starch to sugar and soften the fruit. Heating the avocado can increase ethylene production but not fast enough for a quickly ripened avocado.

That doesn’t mean you’re left without options, though. The key to ripening an avocado is that ethylene gas, and you can create more of it using other fruits. Tomatoes, apples, melons, and ripe bananas emit ethylene gas, so if you place your avocados in a paper bag with any of these fruits, it’ll have your avocado ready to go in about a day.

While there’s no valid hack for ripening an avocado in 10 minutes or less, you can still speed up the process for your next batch of guacamole. 

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