How To Make The Best Guacamole
Guacamole can be super amazingly delicious. If you want yours to be that good, follow these tips for making the best guacamole ever. Learn how to choose avocados for guacamole, how to prevent browning and so much more.
How To Choose Avocados:
When buying your avocados, look for fruits with dark pebbly skin that yield to gentle pressure. Those will be ready to use in guacamole right now. If you’re planning to wait a couple of days, get firmer avocados.
Choose hass avocados. These are small with pebbly skin. Guacamole made with the larger, green, smooth-skinned Florida avocados does not have the same rich flavor.
How To Ripen Avocados:
If you want to speed up their ripening, then put them in a paper bag on their own or better, with a banana or apple. To slow them down, pop them into the fridge.
What To Add To Guacamole:
You need avocados, of course. Mash those up really well with a fork or use a mortar and pestle (called a molcajete in Mexico), which is very traditional method.
To that you definitely need to add lime juice. Most people do that. What most people forget is to add salt. Guacamole really needs salt. Sea salt, ideally. But just make sure you add salt.
Beyond that, the most common additions are minced garlic and minced onion, finely chopped tomatoes and finely chopped cilantro. A bit of very finely chopped jalapeno can also go in there.
The key is to keep things fairly smooth. As you stir in the extra ingredients, the ratio of smooth avocado to tiny chunks changes. Try to keep it so that there is more smooth dip and less chunks. One thing you can do is to use garlic powder and onion powder instead of the fresh versions. That way you get the flavor spread out through the dip and you don’t add chunks.
A lot of people put sour cream in their guacamole. That isn’t traditional and I find that it really diminishes the avocado flavor, which is so mild to begin with. If you don’t like the avocado flavor, well then maybe sour cream is a good idea for you. (A whacky alternative is to skip the avocados entirely and use edamame beans instead. It’s really good, actually. I promise).
How To Prevent Guacamole From Turning Brown:
Guacamole turns brown. We know this. Why does it happen? Guacamole turns brown because it contains avocados. Avocados contain polyphenol oxidase which undergoes an enzymatic reaction when it is exposed to air. This results in a melanoidin pigment, the brown color. How can you prevent guacamole from turning brown?
- Mixing lemon or lime juice into guacamole helps a lot with this. The citric acid is thought to slow down the oxidization.
- You can stop the guacamole from browning even further by drizzling the top with more lemon or lime juice.
- Press plastic wrap onto the surface. If the plastic wrap is in direct contact with the guacamole, then the air can’t get at it and it won’t oxidize.
- Store the guacamole in a container with a narrow opening (like a tall drinking glass). This way, only a very little bit of the guacample is accessible to air at the top. Add your plastic wrap. Even if the seal isn’t perfect, so little of the guacamole is exposed that you won’t have much browning.
- Instead of plastic wrap, use water or oil. Put your guacamole into a tall thin container (like a drinking glass). Smoosh it down in there. Then drizzle the top with enough water or oil to really cover it. You want about 1/4 of an inch. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. The water or oil prevents the air from getting at the top surface of the guacamole. When you want to eat it, remove the plastic wrap, carefully spill off the top liquid and then stir the guacamole so that any moisture is dispersed throughout.
- Finally, if some of your guacamole turns brown, don’t worry at all. It isn’t harmful in any way, and you can simply scrape it away if you don’t like it.
How Long Does Guacamole Keep?
Guacamole is not a make ahead food. You typically want to eat it shortly after making it. However, if you are making it ahead or if you have leftovers, then you should cover it (see the methods for preventing browning above) and refrigerate it. If it is store-bought guacample that is unopened, use the date on the container to know when it needs to be used by. Once you open the container of store-bought guacamole, it is only good for 1-2 days. Homemade guacamole is similarly only good for 1-2 days.
Those are my best tips for making the best guacamole. If you have any guacamole or avocado questions, ask in the comment section below. I typically respond to comments within 2-3 days. Thanks and happy guac-making!