How to Stop an Avocado Going Brown

  • 01 of 06

    How to Stop an Avocado Going Brown

    avocado on napkin
    Leah Maroney

    Avocado has to be one of the most popular - and particularly healthy fruits - in the kitchen; its uses are endless. Unfortunately, using an avocado means leaving it until the last minute because once cut, the surface of the fruit quickly turns brown.

    There are several solutions to this problem. Popular methods are to leave the pit (the large stone in the center) in; cover with lemon juice; place the skinless avocado in water; place in an airtight container with a cut onion. These methods will slow down the browning but as most affect either the flavor or texture are not ideal.

    Why Does an Avocado Turn Brown?

    Avocados have an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase under the skin. Once the enzyme in the cut avocado comes into in contact with oxygen in the air, the avocados to turn brown.

    Chef's Secret to Stop Your Avocado Going Brown

    This secret was given to me over twenty years ago by the famous French-born British chef Raymond Blanc when I attended his famous school in Oxford. I have used this method ever since, and it has never let me down. The avocado will stay fresh and green for several hours after cutting or if made into a dish such as Irish Beef with Guacamole

    As the browning is enzymatic, the best way to stop the browning is to destroy it, he explained. Follow the steps below to learn this technique. 

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    What You Need

    how to stop an avocado from turning brown tools
    Leah Maroney

    You will need:

    • A large pan of boiling water
    • An accurate timer
    • A slotted spoon
    • A bowl of cold water and ice cubes
    • Ripe avocados 
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Place Avocado in a Pan of Boiling Water

    Add avocado to water
    Leah Maroney

    Drop a ripe avocado into a pan of rapidly boiling water.

    Leave the avocado in the water for exactly 10 seconds, no more or the avocado will start to cook, no less, the enzyme is not destroyed.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Drop Immediately into Iced Water

    Submerge avocado in water
    Leah Maroney

    At exactly 10 seconds, remove the avocado into the bowl of ice-cold water and ice cubes with a slotted spoon, this will stop the avocado from continuing to cook.

    Leave to cool completely then remove from the water and dry with a tea towel. 

    Do one avocado at a time and repeat. The water must be boiling each time.


    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Your Avocado is Ready to Use or Store

    Avocado after boiling
    Leah Maroney

    Your avocados are now ready to be peeled and used in your favorite recipes. It will be several hours before the avocado starts to turn. I usually allow four hours as a minimum, but it can be much longer unless the avocado was over ripe, but is rarely less.

    If you are making guacamole, the addition of lime juice will mean the sauce will keep even longer. Once made, cover with plastic wrap for even better results.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    The Avocado 6 Hours Later

    Avocado after 6 hours
    Leah Maroney
    So here we are 6 hours later. The avocado has been sitting on my worktop with no protection for 6 hours and only now are tiny specks of brown starting to appear. I could have extended the lack of discolouration by putting the blanched avocado in an airtight box, or covering in plastic wrap.