Ask the Guac Doc

Guy Fieri solves your guacamole dip dilemmas.

Guacamole, Avocado

Whether you’ve got a bunch of hungry football fans or just a crew over that you need to feed, guacamole is the way to go. And with Guy’s guac tips, you’ll be the MVP of the party. He’s scooping out advice on everything from buying, ripening and cutting up avocados to making the ultimate party staple. Now your dip can go head to head with any guacamole, and it’ll even make the competition seem like mush.

Q: What type of avocado makes the best guacamole?

A: The Hass avocado. These bad boys make for killer guacamole because of their rich, buttery texture. Plus, you can find them year round.

Q: How do I choose avocados at the grocery store?

A: Avocados are almost never ready-to-eat when you buy them, so the most righteous guacamole does require a little bit of advance planning. If you have the time to ripen at home, go with the rock-hard ones. If not, the soft-at-the-neck-but-not-squishy ones will still earn you big flavor points.

Q: How can I tell when an avocado is ripe?

A: Ripe avocados should be soft, not squishy, and you should be able to flick the little stem off easily. You can refrigerate fully ripe avocados for two to three days.

Q: Help! My avocados aren't ripe!

A: Avocados that haven't fully ripened will lack the big flavor you want for your dip. So if you’ve gotta make guac on the fly, keep your avocados in a paper bag at room temperature in a dark place. And if you've only got a couple days, add an apple to the bag to speed up the ripening.

Q: How do I cut up an avocado?

A: Cut vertically around the entire avocado, then twist the two halves apart. Whack the pit (but watch the fingers) with a heavy chef's knife, then twist the pit out and discard. Use a butter knife to dice the avocado halves still in the peel, then scoop out the cubes.

Q: What’s the best way to mash avocados?
—Fork? Potato masher?

A: It depends on the consistency you prefer. Mash up avocados with a fork for chunky guacamole, or squash with a potato masher for a smoother dip.

Q: What is in classic guacamole? How can I make the ingredients shine?

A: Your classic guacamole is just avocados, lime juice, and salt. But by adding some kickers like garlic, chiles, seeded tomatoes, onions, cumin, and cilantro, the only other things I’ll recommend are lots of fresh made tortilla chips – they’ll literally fly off the plate.

More tips for making your guac reign supreme:

  • Roll your limes on the counter to get the most juice out. If you're stuck with dry limes, try microwaving for about 10-15 seconds.

  • To minimize your chile heat, discard the seeds and ribs before dicing and adding; for extra heat, leave them in.

  • Soak chopped red onions in cold water for 10 minutes to beef up the crispness and lessen the bite.

  • Toast cumin in a skillet over medium-high heat till fragrant to boost its flavor.

  • Keep cilantro stems-down in a glass of water in the fridge; it'll keep for about a week that way.

Q: Help! My guac is brown!

A: Nothing, not even an avocado pit, keeps guacamole green for too long once it's made, so make your guac right before go time. The acid in lemon and lime juice helps it stay green, as does a layer of plastic wrap placed directly on the surface. If your guacamole turns brown, try scraping off the top layer to reveal the green underneath. Or, tell your crew to eat it faster!

Q: Help! I don’t have enough avocados!

A: If you don't have enough avocados to feed your guacamole-fiend friends, never fear. Guacamole goes great with a variety of mix-ins, like sour cream, roasted corn, tomatillos, green onions, and even sweet pomegranate, mango and pineapple. Put these players in the pool to experiment – who knows, with a little of these ingredients you may discover the Holy Grail of guacamole.

Q: I have half of an avocado left. How can I keep it fresh?

A: Rub the cut edge of the unused half with lemon juice and keep the pit in. Then wrap it tightly and put it in the refrigerator. It should keep for 2-3 days.

Q: Can I freeze avocados?

A: While freezing can affect the texture of the avocado, the California Avocado Board says you can store pureed avocado in the freezer for four to five months. Peel, seed and puree the avocado, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice for every two avocados. Use for salads, sandwiches, or, of course, guacamole.