As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
After receiving a number of messages (and photos – ouch!) recently from folks who are having trouble with cutting an avocado, I thought I’d take some time to run through the process of safely cutting an avocado.
5 tips to help you cut an avocado without cutting yourself
Here are some easy ways to safely cut an avocado. The below assumes your avocados have been washed and toweled dry prior to beginning.
- Use a knife suitable for cutting an avocado. Make sure your knife is maneuverable yet large enough to easily control. I like using a medium-sized chef’s knife, or an asian (Santoku) style knife with scalloped edges. Avoid paring knives for cutting avocados. A shorter knife like a paring knife may not always reach all the way to the seed when cutting – especially if you have larger avocados. Not to mention, paring knives can often be very sharp. When cutting ripe avocados you do not necessarily need the sharpest knife, as the flesh is smooth and creamy. You just need to get through the skin. If you do not have access to a chef’s knife or Santoku knife, a steak knife will generally do.
- Keep the avocado on the cutting board while cutting and de-seeding your avocados. There is no reason to pick up the avocado after you have washed it and toweled it dry – other than to move it to the cutting board. Instead of picking up the avocado and going around the seed in your hand with a knife to cut it, leave the avocado on the cutting board. Cut into the avocado and then hold the knife horizontally while rotating the avocado until the two halves are able to be separated.
You can proceed to a) quarter the avocado by rotating it 90 degrees and doing another 360 degree horizontal cut around the seed; or b) separate the two halves and place them on the cutting board face up
- Do not ‘wack’ the seed with a knife or poke at the seed with the tip of a knife while holding an avocado in your hand. The flesh of the avocado is very easy to cut through, which makes this common method of de-seeding avocados especially dangerous. See #4 for a tip on easily removing the seed
- Remove the seed by using a spoon, then slice the avocado halves into quarters by putting them face down on the cutting board and slicing through the skin from the stem downwards. Or use the quartering method described in section #2a above
When quartering an avocado, remove the seed with your fingers and place it in the waste bin (or grow your own avocado tree)
- Peel your avocados. Scooping the avocado flesh away from the skin may be slightly faster, but the benefits of peeling avocados outweighs the convenience of scooping the flesh of the fruit away from the skin quickly. Read how to peel avocados and learn about how to get all of the nutrients from your avocados by peeling
Bonus avocado cutting tip
Dice or slice your avocado once you have your halves or quarters. It’s common practice for some folks to cut their avocados in half and then slice into the flesh while the fruit is still in the shell (either trying to get slices or dices out by following up with a spoon and scooping the sliced or diced flesh away from the skin). This is dangerous when done in your hand as the tip of a knife can easily cut through both the flesh and the skin and go straight into your hand. Instead, get your halves or quarters on the cutting board, face down, and slice or dice as needed.
Other helpful avocado cutting resources
Have other avocado cutting tips? Let me know in the comments below. Stay safe, avocado lovers!