Grill Avocado Slices Before Mashing For Smoky Guacamole

Guacamole is great, but the classic version found at most restaurants and dining tables can sometimes get a bit stale. Luckily, there are many different ways to make guacamole with innovative flavors, from mixing in fruit — like in this fresh mango guacamole — to playing with the treatment of the avocado itself. Grilling avocado is an easy way to switch up your guacamole by giving it a darker, more savory flavor.

Most people think of avocado as a food that can only be served raw but, if treated gently enough, a quick char on the grill won't do anything to harm the taste or texture of this delicate fruit. By placing the avocado for your guacamole on the grill, it is able to absorb the intense, complex flavors that come with being exposed to smoke. This, along with the signature grill marks left across the avocado's surface, will give your guacamole extra nuance that not only intrigues your palate but also pairs well with anything else you happen to be throwing on the grill.

Tips for grilling avocado

Before you even turn on your grill, the most important part of this technique is to pick a perfectly ripe avocado. Even though you will not be grilling it for long enough to fully cook it, this process will dry the avocado out slightly, so the more buttery and moist it already is the better. We have a few tips for buying avocados, but the gist is to seek out ones that are very dark green and that give slightly under the pressure of your palm. Avoid dark avocados that feel completely mushy or hollow when you hold them, as they are too far gone.

Once it comes time to grill the avocado, slice it only into halves or into quarters to prevent the slices from falling between the grates. After about five minutes on the heat, it should be sufficiently smoked and ready to mash. While the avocado will be slightly warm off at first, it should reach about room temperature by the time you are done assembling the guacamole. For an even earthier, more intense guacamole, try pairing the grilled avocado with chipotle peppers or smoked salt. If you'd prefer to balance out the grilled flavor, contrast it by mixing in pops of sweet corn or pomegranate seeds.