Those new to avocados, if they try to peel one, after several seconds of struggle, will invariably ask, “How are you supposed to peel this thing?!”
The problem is that the flesh is soft but the peel is firm. It is difficult to peel the fruit without mangling the flesh, and at the same time the slippery soft texture makes the avocado quite difficult to hold onto while you are peeling it.
The answer is simple: You do not peel an avocado.
You slice it open, remove the pit, and carefully scoop out the flesh lone the inner sides of the peel. This procedure is easier if the avocado is properly ripe, of course. That said, there is a way to actually “peel” an avocado, but it requires more steps and can be a bit more difficult.
For this, you will need to slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and then slice the halve in half again lengthwise, to form quarters. Hold a quarter carefully and pinch the peel at one of the pointy tips (use a knife to get underneath it, if necessary).
If the avocado is ripe, you can just strip the skin away. Repeat with the remaining quarters.
Below are two videos showing both methods of peeling an avocado. The first video shows the scoop method of peeling, and the second shows the quarter and strip method. Note the two different methods of removing the pit.
In the first video, the demonstrator uses the most popular method, which is to use the sharp edge of a knife and embed it into the pit, allowing you to lift the pit out. Although some sources hold this method to be two dangerous, if you hold the avocado in a folded towel to protect your hand and fingers, this can be done safely. If in doubt, use the method in the second video, which is a common sens way to extract the pit by digging it out. Some pits will come out fairly easily if you pry on them with your fingers, but for others, you may need to wedge a knife tip underneath. The knife does not need to be sharp.
Avocado Peeling Scoop Method
Avocado Peeling Quarter and Strip Method
You will find most avocados sold green and unless you plan to use them immediately, buy them that way. They will ripen in a few days. You can speed up the process by placing them in a paper bag. Placing an apple in the bag along with the avocado will help speed up the process.