How to cut an avocado

There have been several fairly horrifying accounts of people injuring themselves trying to open an avocado. Most result in a trip to A&E to repair self-inflicted stab wounds to their hands.

This how-to guide will teach you the correct, and safe way to open an avocado.

Before you even pick up a knife, you will firstly need to select a ripe avocado. An underripe avocado is harder to cut open and remove the stone from, and can also taste bitter and unpleasant. The best ways to tell if an avocado is ready to use is by the appearance and feel of the fruit.

How to tell if the avocado is ripe

With some varieties of avocado, the skin-colour will change from a light green when underripe, through to a darker green as it ripens, then through to even darker green/purple when it’s ready to eat. As it over-ripens, the skin turns to a very dark green/purple, almost black.


An under-ripe avocado will feel rock hard. As the colour changes, the fruit will begin to soften and “give” a little when gently squeezed. As the fruit begins to over-ripen, it will feel much softer and may deform as you squeeze it.

How to cut open the avocado

You can open an avocado with most styles of knife, from a smaller vegetable knife, up to a large chef’s knife. Make sure you use a sharp knife as it means you won’t need to use as much pressure to cut through the skin of the avocado. Blunt knives require you to use more force, can easily slip as you try and cut fruit and vegetables and can ultimately cause you to have a nasty accident. Stay sharp!


Once you have selected a perfectly ripe avocado, the first step is to carefully cut around the stone, going along the length of the fruit, past the woody stem.

Hold the avocado in your non-dominant hand, with the stem pointing towards the floor. Take your chosen (sharp!) knife and cut through the skin of the avocado, allowing the blade to stop against the stone inside. Use the middle of the knife rather than just the tip as this avoids accidents, and also helps to cut a clean line along the fruit.

Holding the knife blade against the stone, rotate the avocado along its length until the skin is cut all of the way around, hopefully meeting back where you started.

Remove the knife and then holding the avocado with both hands, twist around the cut to separate the fruit into two halves. One half will have the stone still attached.

The next step is where most people get stuck and start to jab and poke at the stone trying to remove it.

Take the half with the stone still attached in your non-dominant hand, and with your other hand, hold the knife on the handle as close to the blade as you can. You are aiming to do a firm, but short “strike” with the middle of the knife blade into the stone. Aim for the middle of the stone, not the edge, so that the blade won’t slip. You only need the blade to go a few millimetres in – this isn’t a scene from Fruit Ninja.

To make this action a little safer, you can practice letting the knuckles of the hand holding the knife stop against the heel of the hand holding the avocado. This helps the knife blade from slipping off or going too deep into the stone. Have a look at the video below for an example.

If the blade has cut into the stone just enough, you should now be able to give it a little twist to dislodge the stone from the rest of the avocado. If the blade comes loose as you twist, simply repeat until the blade sticks into the stone enough for you to remove it.

If you really don’t feel comfortable doing this, it’s better to use a teaspoon to dig around the stone – don’t risk doing yourself harm.

The last step is to use a suitably sized spoon to remove the skin from both halves, leaving you with the rich, creamy green avocado flesh – ready for your next avocado smoothie.