Ina Garten's Knife Tip For Smashing Guacamole

Longtime food store owner, chef, and hostess extraordinaire Ina Garten has imparted countless cooking tips on her hit Food Network show, "The Barefoot Contessa." And, on one particular episode, shared by Food Network, her simple knife tip for smashing avocados for guacamole was featured.

Garten uses the same knife that chops the veggies and splits the avocado to smash the avocados, enhancing the recipe's texture and improving its efficiency. Most of us learned to use a spoon, fork, or even potato masher to mash avocados, but a knife will save you the extra utensils and alter your guacamole's texture for the better. Once you've prep-chopped the desired aromatics, herbs, and veggies for your guacamole recipe, you then use the knife to halve the avocado and extract the pit. Once you've scooped the avocados out of their skins and into a mixing bowl with the aromatics, herbs, and citrus juice, you use the knife to roughly chop the avocado. Tomatoes, or any other mushy ingredient, go in last.

The chopping and scraping motion of the knife in the bowl break down the avocado while simultaneously blending it together with the other ingredients. The result is deliciously chunky guacamole that uses one utensil and a fraction of the hand power you'd need to get a thinner consistency.

More avocado tips

Garten uses the knife as a chopping and mixing tool for avocados in guacamole, but it's also the easiest way to extract the pit. This leads to yet another simple knife tip for avocados, in which you cradle an avocado half in one hand and use your dominant hand to whack the knife's blade into the seed. The blade easily punctures the pit and, if the avocado is ripe, allows for its swift removal from the avocado meat. If you're uncomfortable using the knife to extract the pit, you can also use your fingers to push it out for a safer method. 

You don't even need an extra utensil to scoop the meat out of the avocado skin, as there are hacks for that, too. One way is to use your knife to cut the avocado into fourths and simply pop them out of the skin with your fingers. Another is to make vertical and horizontal slices along the exposed avocado half, and likewise, turn the skin inside-out or peel it away with your hands so the pieces of avocado fall into your guacamole bowl.

It is important to use a ripe avocado for these hacks to work and for optimal taste and texture results. So before mastering the knife hacks, you should first master the art of picking and buying avocados.