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Apr 21, 2003 11:21 PM

How long does fresh guacamole keep?

  • e

I love to make fresh guacamole but it doesn't seem to last more than a day in the fridge...the avocado soon turns brown. When this happens is it still ok to eat? I have been leary and just thrown it out. Are there any ways to keep guacamole longer?

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  1. The best way to get it to keep from turning brown is to squeeze a lime on top and then press saran wrap directly on to the surface of the guacamole until there is no air underneath. If there is any residual brownness on top, you can just scrape that part off. It will keep a few days that way. Same goes for half an avocado.

    1. l
      Laughing Goddess

      I'm not sure how long it will keep in the fridge because it doesn't tend to last long around here. :-)
      But it does last at least a few days. And the brown color is no problem -- just mix it up again if you don't like the color. Some people add lemon or lime to the guac to keep it from turning brown, but it isn't necessary.

      Think of the brown top as being like pudding skin -- unattractive, perhaps, but harmless.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Laughing Goddess

        My Nicaraguan mother-in-law also taught me this - she said that it "fools" the avocado into thinking it is still altogether and it doesn't know it's been opened and turned into guac.

      2. p
        Professor Salt

        My Mexican aunt taught me to keep the avocado pit in the bowl of guac. She opined that the contact with the pit helped keep it from browning. This doesn't sound scientifically sound to me but it does help for a short while (an hour or two, not overnight).

        Maybe Cristina can add insight of how it's practiced in her part of Mexico?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Professor Salt

          That avocado pit myth has been around for a long time. I always thought they looked silly sitting there in the bowl.

          Guacamole is like scrambled eggs - they're both extremely simple and take about a minute to make, and they sure don't benefit from being made ahead of time.

          1. re: Sharuf

            AMEN! Cooking for one=small avocado. Keep it overnight? Ick...

            Next time you make a salsa cruda (fresh chopped fire engine red-ripe Roma tomatoes, minced onion, minced serrano chile, chopped cilantro, coarse salt, and a tiny squeeze of lime), let it 'marry' in the refrigerator for an hour and eat it. Leave some in the bowl, and try it the next afternoon. I betcha you'll never do it again; it is an entirely different critter once it's old. It's the old salsa, more than the browning of the avocado, that gives day-old guacamole its sour taste.

            One of the more discouraging psuedo-Mexican restaurant trends is guacamole made from packaged avocado powder, reconsituted with goodness-knows-what. If the guacamole you're served with your carne tampiqueña, cheese enchilada, rice and beans is pale green and realllyy smooth...chances's the powdered junk, sometimes served tarted up with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, etc stirred into it to make it look (ahem) right.

            1. re: Cristina

              I completely agree about the day-old salsa cruda / pico de gallo. Nasty. Even nastier is my red onion- mango salsa the next day. I liked Sharuf's comparison just above between scrambled eggs and guacamole. Both take a minute to prepare and should be eaten immediately.

        2. I make lots of guac, often in large batches. (Love the stuff.) I put a pit in it as soon as it's mashed, cover it tightly, and it lasts for up to several days without any browning at all. I've been doing this for decades, never a problem.

          1. Harold McGee says it's not the avocado pit that keeps it from turning brown - it's the fact that no air can get to it. To test his theory, he put a pit in one batch of guacamole and a light bulb in another. In both cases, the guacamole that was touching the pit and the light bulb didn't turn brown but the surface of the guacamole did, despite the plastic wrap being pressed directly onto the top. (apparantly plastic wrap isn't entirely airtight).
            Anyway, why not just make the guacamole fresh each time? It doesn't take long to make and that way, you don't have to worry about the guacamole turning brown. What I do is make a salsa (tomatoes, onions, garlic, chillies, cilantro and salt, but everybody makes it their own way) and store that in the fridge (no need to worry about it turning a funny colour), then whenever I want guacamole, I halve the avocado, cut it into cubes while it's still in the shell, scoop out the pieces and roughly mash it then mix in the salsa.

            2 Replies
            1. re: susanj
              david in NOLa

              I pre-make the "salsa" too! It's a good trick if you're having guests too. Just mash the avocados at the last minute and mix in the salsa.

              1. re: david in NOLa

                Yes, just a little salsa, but for me it has to be green. And if I feel like adding a little heat, I sprinkle in a little hot salsa, which also has to be green. I like a good color to my guacamole.