Tips You Need For Cutting Avocados With Precision

Avocados are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Culturally they have been used to symbolize generational gaps and gentrification, and have become a common food found on menus all over the United States. Nutritionally, they have also been shown to reduce heart disease and help manage weight, and they contain a tidal wave of nutrients and antioxidants (via Healthline). And on top of everything else, they're super delicious and versatile. The dark green fruit (yes, it's a fruit) can be used to top crusty breads, salads, or burgers, and be turned into guacamole, substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream, and get thrown into a smoothie.

One of the only drawbacks to avocados — besides finding them when they're ripe — is slicing them. Their skin is not as tasty as the flesh inside it, their large seed sits right in the middle, and if you're lucky enough to be working with a ripe avocado it can very easily turn into a slimy mess when mishandled. All this makes the simple idea of holding a knife in one hand, and cutting an avocado in the other an intimidating prospect.

Luckily, there are plenty of brave souls who have approached this challenge to find all of the best tips for making precise cuts on this slick fruit.

Avoid the dreaded avocado hand

Avocado hand is a name used to describe any injuries that occur when trying to cut an avocado. According to Northwestern Medicine, these types of incidents are actually becoming more common, and most often occur when home cooks try to chop into the avocado's pit to remove it. The Guardian reports that more than 50,000 of these avocado-related knife injuries occurred between 1998 and 2017.

Use a kitchen towel to safely pad things up to avoid becoming another avocado hand statistic. Healthline recommends using a folded up kitchen towel in the hand you're gripping the avocado in. This will catch any blades that slip off the pit while you're chopping into it. You can also use it while slicing the avocado with the skin on in case the tip pierces through unexpectedly.

Great British Chefs also recommends using the heel of the blade when trying the chop trick to remove the pit. The heel is the section of the blade closest to the handle. Chop into the seed with the heel, give it a quick twist, and you'll be digging into that guacamole in no time.

You can also avoid knife tricks entirely by popping the seed out with a spoon, or by using the "push method" (via CNET). To do this, grip the avocado with your middle and index fingers on both sides of the pit with your thumbs on the back side. Push into the pit with your thumbs, and watch out for flying pits.

Cut it while it's still in the skin

One of the most popular methods to prepare an avocado is to cut it while it is still in its skin. Whether you need it diced or sliced, the skin gives avocados some traction while you're handling them, per The Kitchn. This way you won't get any slippery avocado bits on your hands, and because you're cutting with the tip of the knife it keeps slices from sticking to the blade (via Food Network).

According to The Kitchn, slice the avocado into halves without removing the skin, and take the seed out of the center carefully. Then, gently slice through the flesh of the avocado with the knife's tip from top to bottom for slices. Be careful not to cut through the skin while doing so. If you want diced avocado, make perpendicular cuts across the flesh again. Finally, slip a wide, shallow spoon between the skin and flesh of the entire avocado, and add it to your dish.

Don't mash your avocados when you cut

The next tip is great for precisely cut pieces of avocado. It takes a little more care, but can really help with a dish's final presentation.

Whether you're working with a halved or quartered avocado, peel the skin off carefully with a paring knife, or simply with your hands if the avocado is ripe enough (via Great British Chefs). Next, place the cut side of the flesh down on the cutting board, and make precise cuts by dragging the tip of your knife across the flesh (via Food Network). Dragging the blade across carefully while holding the avocado together should yield beautiful slices, cubes, or whatever else you'd like. Pressing down onto it when you cut, or trying to carve through it like a piece of steak may yield a mashed avocado mess instead. Using just the tip also keeps the avocado from sticking to the blade as well. This video of Andrew Zimmern gives a great visual example of how to easily do this.

Use a spoon

This tip is a great option because it can yield quick and rough chunks of avocado, or with some practice it could be an easy way to make simple slices as well.It's also great for those who are weary of avocado hand as well. This trick comes from a street cart in Mexico by way of Andrew Zimmern.

Zimmern says he saw a street cart cook using a spoon to quickly and easily dress a number of tacos while in Mexico. This method is similar to scooping bites of ice cream out of a tub (we've all been there right). To do it, simply take a halved and pitted avocado in one hand and a spoon in the other. Then carve a bite sized section of the avocado's flesh with the edge of the spoon, and flick it onto the salad, taco, or burrito in waiting. Repeat until you've cleaned out the avocado skin, and you're done.

Yes, your avocado slices will be rough, and come out in different shapes and sizes, but a ripe avocado will give easily under the spoon, and makes for easy clean up as well.