The Guacamole Storing Hack That You Should Really Give Up On

There aren't many dips more appealing than a bowl of fresh green guacamole, but that appeal can quickly dissipate as your verdant dips turns to an unappetizing, murky brown. It's a problem that has led to all sorts of tricks and tips online, from brushing it with olive oil to covering guac with the skin of the avocados themselves. The problem is, a lot of these hacks simply don't work, and after leaving your guacamole in the fridge overnight it still looks like you didn't do anything. One of these bad tricks is one of the most common pieces of advice you get, that putting an avocado pit in your guacamole will somehow keep it fresh and green, but unfortunately there isn't any actual evidence this works.

Like many pieces of folk advice, it's not entirely clear where the idea of putting the avocado pit in your guacamole came from, but it has been tested by professionals numerous times, and it doesn't appear to do anything. In fact not only do tests of browning show no positive effects from using a pit, they often show it to be one of the worst methods, with the guacamole browning even worse than just plain guac that was left out. Using a pit even makes other solutions like using plastic wrap less effective when they are combined. This is one kitchen hack that truly is totally bunk.

Avocado pits do nothing to prevent guacamole from browning

The reason avocado pits don't stop browning is because the change in guacamole all comes from air exposure. Brown guac, and other brown food, comes from oxidation, which is when a compound called polyphenol oxidase interacts with the oxygen in the air. The only way to stop this is to either change the chemical makeup of your guacamole, which acidic ingredients like citrus can help with, or stop air from coming in contact with your dip. Maybe the rumor that avocado pits do something to stop browning came from the fact that the part under the will stay green, but that only because the pit is preventing air circulation, not from any special properties.

So how should you store your guac? Answers a bit more varied here, but covering with plastic wrap pushed tightly against the surface to keep air out works well. Covering the guacamole with a thin layer of water also does the trick, but the F.D.A. has some concerns over this method's safety. Using lime or lemon juice can also delay oxidation, and while your guacamole recipe likely has some lime juice in it already, squeezing some citrus juice on top of the guacamole you're storing can make it even more effective. So when avoiding brown guacamole you have some good options, but absolutely zero of them involve using the avocado pit.