The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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How to Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

I love my guac! And if a big bowl is in front of me with fresh tortilla chips, I can eat the entire thing in one sitting. Just don’t expect me to share any of it!

To make a big bowl of guacamole (I love saying that word), you have to start with lots of perfectly ripe avocados. Not too soft, not too hard, with just that perfect give. I’ve been known to fondle every avocado in the store before selecting one. Notice I didn’t say squeeze, abuse or push … just a light pressure with the hands.

The first time I ever opened an avocado, I tried dislodging the pit the way that I saw fancy chefs do it on television. But thwacking a sharp chef’s knife into the center of the pit and then wrestling the slippery pit off the knife’s edge is a dangerous activity. I’m not going to go into detail on how that ended, other than we didn’t have guacamole that night.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Let’s start with these two lovelies.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Go ahead and make that first cut into the avocado. Have your hand resting on the cutting board to steady the avocado.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Go all the way around the avocado.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Now sing with me: “Twist! Twist! Let’s do the twist!”

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

And open! Okay, this avocado has a couple of brown spots. But that’s okay, you can either spoon out that portion or just leave it. When you mash it up for guac, no one will notice, I promise.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

You can hold it like this and thwack the end of the knife in the pit of the avocado—but it’s dangerous. What if you MISS??? The pit is slippery and round. The bottom of the avocado is curved. There’s lots of room for error.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Instead, hold the avocado in a thick towel and then thwack. You want the edge of the blade to lodge in the pit.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Twist again …

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

And pull out the pit. But how do ya get the sucker off your knife? The pit is lodged in there! Chefs will show you to use your thumb and push the pit away and off the blade. I’ve also seen people try to PRY the darn pit off with their bare hands. Yikes! I don’t know about you, but that seems mighty dangerous to me. Here’s a better and safer way.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Hold your knife just like so at the edge of your kitchen sink.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Put your thumb on the outside edge of the counter top.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

And PUSH using your thumb as leverage! The pit should pop right off.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Open An Avocado and Keep All 10 Fingers. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Score! 2 points right in the basket.

This is a great method to teach kids, too. Anyways, that’s the way that I do it!

So, tell me, what’s your favorite recipe using avocados? Gimme some ideas! Send me links to your blogs if you have one or links to recipes here on Tasty Kitchen!


Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes on her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!



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Angie McGowan on 3.6.2010

Now I am all nervous about the way I do the avocados, I take one hand, with the open avocado on the cutting board and whack it, pull the knife up and wiggle the avocado off. Then I slam the knife to the board and watch the pit fall off in two pieces.

Janie on 3.5.2010

Right out of the shell with Russian dressing.

Amy Younkins on 3.4.2010

My hubby and I did a vegan fast at the beginning of the year and fell in love with this unusual recipe. We added cubed tofu cooked in olive oil and SLICED AVOCADOS. We served it over brown rice. We ate it without the cilantro the next day and it was no big deal to not have it. And we left out the curry paste bc we didn’t have any. It was AMAZING.

Thai Coconut Corn Soup (Best Vegan Express- Top 10 Recipe 2008)

1 tablespoon light olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
Two 15-ounce cans light coconut milk
1½ cups rice milk
One 16-ounce bag frozen corn
2 teaspoons good quality curry powder
¼ teaspoon Thai red curry paste, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a small soup pot. Add the garlic, the white parts
of the scallions, and the bell pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat
until softened and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add the coconut milk, rice milk, corn, curry powder, the green
parts of the scallions. If using the curry paste, dissolve it in a
small amount of water before adding to the soup.

3. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer
gently for 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

4. Serve, passing around the cilantro for topping.

Yield: 6 servings.

Christa on 3.3.2010

A basic avocado salad with a soy ginger dressing. YUM!

Flying Monkeys on 3.3.2010

I wish I wasn’t the only avocado lover in my house. There may be hope for my small fry. I use the thwack method by will add a towel now, smart!
Avocado ice cream? Hm. I might have to look into that.

Laura on 3.3.2010

I always stab the pit with a fork and pull/twist it out. Guacamole is never around long enough to turn brown, so the pit goes right in the trash.

Laurel on 3.3.2010

I need to find an avocado recipe! I bought two lovely ones at the store the other day because they were just calling to me, and I couldn’t say no… and now I don’t know what to do with them!

I can’t eat tomato, so that makes it harder. :(

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Carefree on 3.2.2010

Good lord, I’d never even heard of the “thwack” method. I’ve always just cut a line around the avocado and then twisted. Once that’s done, get a small-ish tablespoon and pop the stone right out.

Favourite recipe? Cut up and put on a granary sandwich, alternating slices with hot bacon rashers. Mmmm.

Kate on 3.2.2010

Half of an avocado thinly sliced on whole grain bread with mayo and Sriracha hot sauce. I eat this for dinner at least once a week.

SaraLouise on 3.2.2010

Ree If you read this please let me know why I never got an email with login information! I got one to activate my account, but I never made a password or anything like that so I can’t add any fantastic recipes!

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3bakingsheets on 3.1.2010

Fish tacos with cole slaw and avocado. Nom.

Monie on 3.1.2010

I like to buy my avocados in two stages of ripeness, slightly soft, and soft. I like having chunks of slightly soft in with the mushed up soft, and I like my avocado plain. Just pure avocado with only a sprinkling of salt, and maybe a slight squish of lime juice if I’m feeling frisky. I serve it surrounded by carefully chosen, nicely chopped tomatoes, diced scallions, lime slices, and roasted garlic…for those who like to get fancy with their guacamole…but it preserves the pure, unadulterated avocado for the purists in the group! :)

Tammy on 3.1.2010

OMG – avocado.


I buy them when they’re on sale and when they’re ripe I mash them up, squirt them with a shot of fresh lemon juice and then vacuum seal them into bags to freeze. I mean, I’ve been known to buy 30 on sale. A lot. As much as I love avocados, it’s even more than I can eat. To thaw I just plop it in a bowl of room temperature water and give it an hour or so, then squeeze out the deliciousness and use as a sandwich spread or make into guacamole.

I like the kitchen towel method – smart thinking! I had taught my daughter to quarter the avocado, then the seed can be plucked out with your fingers and that works too.

Homestead Kristi of WI on 2.28.2010

Okay. I have never used an avocado. I’ve heard of them. I’ve seen them. I’ve had guac. once or twice. My friend feeds them to her baby. . . . . BUT THIS blog entry terrifies me.

I have never done avocados cause they are really not that natural up here in frozen Wisconsin and well after reading this scary blog entry….. I think I will let others do the chopping. YIKES! :D

Leah Baxter on 2.28.2010

My favorite guacamole recipe:

3 ripe avocados (keep them chunky!)
2 cloves garlic
a handful of chopped cilantro
2 tbsp salsa
coarse salt to taste
juice of 1/2 an orange

It really is YUMMY!

Stacy L. on 2.28.2010

Now, I admit I stole this idea from a local restaurant but put some sliced avocado and bacon on your grilled cheese sandwich. There is nothing more awesome.

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SmilingCountryRanch on 2.28.2010

I live a long ways away from town and don’t always have fresh ingredients around, especially in the winter, so I made up this guacamole spice mix for “instant” guacamole.

Theresa on 2.27.2010

Super helpful! Those darn things are so tasty, and such a pain in the butt! :)

I like making a cold salsa with avocado pieces in it, along with peppers, corn, beans, cilantro, lime…*sigh*!

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Shari on 2.27.2010

I love to puree an avacado or two in with a can of refried beans, lemon juice, cumin and a little bit of water until smooth. We put it in quesadillas, tacos, insided chimichangas & burritos. mmmmm. almost a staple in our fridge.

BettyC on 2.27.2010

I have always used Jaden’s method, up to the point of getting the avocado pit off of the knife. That’s where my trouble has always been! Sometimes you whack the pit so hard that it’s really difficult to get it off the knife. So Thank you Jaden for that freeing the knife trick!

Serrattaritaville on 2.27.2010

If you place your thumb and forefinger over the top of the knife (so that the knife is between your thumb and forefinger) and squeeze the knife just where it meets the avocado pit, you can easily slide the pit off the knife. My favorite “recipe” for avocado is simply to remember to purchase the tortilla chips with a “hint of lime” if guacamole is on the menu. These chips make even the packaged guacamole taste great!

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the7msnranch on 2.27.2010

This comment has nothing to do with avacadoes, but seeing your wooden cutting board reminds me of a burning question that I’m hoping you or Ree will address on Tasty Kitchen.

I just purchased my very first excellent knife – that same one shown in your pictures – and have yet to use it because I don’t want to dull it on my non-wooden cutting board. Before I go out and buy one, any tips on what I should look for? And how do you real cooks clean, preserve and otherwise protect your wooden chopping blocks?


Debbie on 2.27.2010

5 stitches on my knuckle later… I’ve learned about ripe avocados the hard way. The ripeness of the avocado is even more important than the technique. Tell that to the guests at my barbecue fiasco who nearly watched me bleed to death in my own kitchen! (okay, it wasn’t that dramatic, but they did finish off the hamburgers before I got home from the hospital). [you can see my photographic proof on my facebook account]

Steph on 2.27.2010

The only problem with sending it into the sink is that it won’t be clean enough to go back in the bowl of guac to keep it from browning. Good idea, though.

Mimi on 2.27.2010

So happy that this came in my mailbox tonight!! I’m having avacado as part of lunch with the ladies tomorrow! Haven’t opened one in AGES!!! Fantasmic timing!

Cici on 2.26.2010

Just had an avacado with/in my salad tonight – yummy!

Morgan on 2.26.2010

I usually use a “two thwack” method – one to get the knife into the pit, like you show in the pics. Then I just thwack the knife blade (near the handle) on the side of the sink/compost bucket and the pit falls off.

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mikewas on 2.26.2010

I’ve used your technique too, but found that quartering the avocado made it easier to dislodge the seed. Sometimes the pit can be easily nudged out, if I need to whack the blade into the seed it doesn’t need to be done as hard.

I usually quarter the fruit anyway. It is easier to remove the skin from quarters.

kay on 2.26.2010

One of my favorite uses for avocado — one blended up in gazpacho for every three servings or so. Adds a wonderful creaminess. Love sliced avocado on a BLT. Diced avocado on top of a Mexican frittata with eggs, cheese, chorizo (and black beans and potatos). Diced avocado on chili or taco soup or tortilla soup.

My favorite guac — avocado, finely diced and drained tomatos, a sprinkle of paprika and a little cayenne, some Lawry’s seasoned salt, and a hefty squeeze of lime juice. No cilantro.

JenniferS. on 2.26.2010

I could eat avocados with every meal. On sandwiches, made into dip…you name it.

Like others have stated, I no longer use the thwack method, since I have a nice scar in my knuckle from the knife. I have found if the avocado is nicely ripen, you can squeeze it to loosen the pit, and use a spoon, much safer for thwack challenged users!

jamie on 2.26.2010

my favorite avocado recipe:

2 avocados, chopped, mushed, whatever
1 container feta cheese
chopped red onion (as much as you want)
chopped tomatos (as much as you want)
kosher salt to taste
sprinkle with lemon juice

Mix above ingredients. Eat with tortilla chips. Enjoy with margaritas.

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rockymountainwoman on 2.26.2010

Wow! I just posted my post for today about Guacamole and then I headed over here to find something yummy to make for dinner and found your post about avocados. Thanks for the advice, I’ll try it next time I make my favorite Mexican comfort food..

kristen on 2.26.2010

I went to a cooking class/show with some ladies who specialize in south-of-the-border fare, and they adamantly told us to never use “thwak”! apparently sometimes that pit has gone soft (rarely, but sometimes) and one day an assistant of theirs put a knife all the way through the avocado and most of the way thru his hand using that method!


though I admit to still doing it – just with the avocado sitting on the board without my hand underneath it! :)

Emily F. on 2.26.2010

tkehle: I never thought of using a pastry cutter to mash up the avocado for guac! What a good idea!

My favorite thing to do with avocado is make a chicken (or turkey), bacon, avocado and ranch sandwich. YUM.

Mandy on 2.26.2010

When I make guac that is not going to be immediately served, I nestle the pits back into the guac after it’s made. It keeps it from going brown. Really!

Erin on 2.26.2010

Just be careful! A guy in my class did this once and I watched as his knife shattered. Rather shocking really. haha

Brandi on 2.26.2010

Great technique with the removing of the pit from the knife. I just always use a paper towel or a dish towel to grab onto the pit and pull like crazy.
Abby…I’m with you, I would love avacado receipes without cilantro. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to it so when I see a receipe with it I just usually omit it. While my fiance doesn’t really like that because he loves cilantro, my body appreciates it!!

Suzamews…that receipe sounds delicious! Anything with basil and feta I am all about it and with the addition of avacado, that sent my head into orbit. Definitely going to try that when the weather gets warmer!

Amy Jo on 2.26.2010

My favorite (kind of recipe) way to eat an avacado is to slice up a french baguette, toast it up, sprinkle it with garlic powder and top with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and a slice of avocado. I ate that daily for about a month and still love it.

Sandy (Your Life, Organized) on 2.26.2010

Thanks for this wonderful tip!!

melissa on 2.26.2010

Oops, I hit submit before entering my info and I think my comment got eaten. So I’ll try to recreate it and if I double post, sorry!

My favorite way to eat avocado:

Halve avocado and remove pit.
Sprinkle Tony Chachere’s on each halve.
Eat with spoon.

But just as tasty is guacamole. I like mine chunky so I basically make up pico de gallo (diced onion, tomato, and jalapeno with chopped cilantro) and mix it in some mashed avocado with Tony Chachere’s to taste and a squeeze of lime juice to finish it off. Delicioso!

on 2.26.2010

My favorite recipe with avocado is:

Halve avocado and remove pit.
Sprinkle with Tony Chachere’s.
Eat with a spoon.


But just as tasty is guacamole. I like mine chunky so I basically make pico de gallo (diced onion, tomato, and jalapeno with cilantro), mix it in some mashed avocado, add Tony Chachere’s to taste, and a squeeze of lime juice to finish it off. Delicioso!

Katie @ goodLife {eats} on 2.26.2010

I love these Black Bean Breakfast Burritos with Avocado on them. So yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Link for recipe: Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

bridget {bake at 350} on 2.26.2010

Great tips for getting the pit OFF the knife! I never would have thought of that!

ann on 2.26.2010

I never heard of the ‘thwack’ method either, actually… used a spoon, too… and proly will cont to…

Fav avocado recipe? Guacamole, of course. And I make it up as I go every time, according to what’s in the house and my mood. Always use garlic and a bit of lemon juice, though.
2nd fav- slice thinly and put on a thick slice of crusty homemade bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil… and then sprinkly salt over the avocado. Ok, so that’s not a recipe exactly…but it sure is delish! ;)

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suzamews on 2.26.2010

This is my friends recipe. A nice change of pace and easy to do. Love the additional flavors of the feta and basil.

Avocado Salsa

2 avocados – diced
2 medium tomatoes – diced
1/4 cup red onion – diced
1 Tbl. fresh basil – chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1 Tbl. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
4 oz. feta cheese (used a tomato basil flavored feta)

Mix all together and refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips.

Also, I haven’t thought of this in a very very long time. At Christmas every year my aunt (that doesn’t cook) would make this: Diced avocado, drained mandarin oranges and Catalina dressing. Mix together. Definitely different.

Crystal on 2.26.2010

I also LOVE guacamole. One of my favorite ways to eat avacado is in tortilla soup. The recipe I use is here:

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tkehle on 2.26.2010

Abby- I don’t use cilantro in mine. I don’t like the taste of it. Wait, I just heard gasping from many a tasty kitchen members! But I do love guacamole and all my family members flock to it when I make it. It’s gone in half an hour from touching the table. My recipe is really all about eye-ing all the ingredients, so I don’t have exact measurements, but I can give you a general idea.
I buy/or have on hand about 5 to 6 avocados, 3 to 4 of those tomatoes “on the vine,” a few cloves of garlic, 3 to 4 limes, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, mayo, southwest seasoning. I use pampered chef south west seasoning. I just like the way it tastes.
Cut up the avocados, cut up the tomatoes and REMOVE THE SEEDS! I don’t like to add them since they seem to make the guac slimy. Then cut up the hollowed tomatoes, add them until there’s enough red to make you happy. Crush a 2 cloves of garlic, squeeze in the juice and pulp of 2 limes, throw some dashes of red pepper flake, salt, pepper and a few healthy shakes of southwest seasoning. I add the mayo last, not a lot, just a teaspoon and a 1/2. I get the pastry cutter out and mash it all together, taste it and then season accordingly.

Let me know if you have any questions, sorry for the lengthy post!

Jessica @ How Sweet on 2.26.2010

Thanks for the tutorial. Now only if avocados weren’t $10 a piece here in Pittsburgh, maybe I could buy a few!!!

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Trish in MO on 2.26.2010

Believe it or not, my favorite way to have avocados is in its purest form, sliced atop a supremely fresh veggie sandwich on equally fresh grain bread!

mirinblue on 2.26.2010

I loved chilled avocado soup in the summertime! (Will there EVER be one?? -she says after digging out from 20 inches of snow)

Now for those tips on keeping green onions fresh for weeks….