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Cooking Tips

Why You Should Grill Avocados

Expand your avocado horizons.
By Published July 28, 2021

Avocados have been the popular kids at school for quite some time. We typically find them mashed into dip-worthy guacamole, thrown into any sandwich labeled “California,” or beautifully displayed on top of Instagram-worthy breakfast toast.

But recently I tried a new execution for this fruit that expanded my avocado horizons: I grilled it. Not only does a halved avocado have a great face for grill marks, but the char elevates what we already know and love about this creamy, subtly flavored fruit. Just when you thought avocados couldn’t get any cooler . . . 

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The process couldn’t be simpler: Halve a borderline under-ripe avocado (a ripe or very ripe avocado will turn to mush). Keep it in its shell, drizzle the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on high for 2 minutes until you see grill marks.

After the quick trip on the grill grates, you’re ready to slice, dice, or mash the avocado as you please. (Might I recommend our killer Grilled Shrimp Salad with Avocado, Corn, and Lime recipe from our new cookbook Five-Ingredient Dinners or grilled guacamole?)

Rest assured I’m not asking you to sink your teeth into avocado that’s hot or even warm. The avocado’s short stint on the grill grates is so quick it takes no time at all to cool to its usual room temperature. You can even grill an avocado and then refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it, which I found helps prevent oxidation: I once mashed and refrigerated avocado and the next day it still carried its vibrant green hue without any discoloration.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Sure, I can grill avocado—but should I?” The answer is yes. A million times yes. It comes down to one key result: grilled, charred avocados taste more . . . avocado-y. 

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Let me explain: Avocados are a relatively plain canvas that requires pepper, acid, herbs, or everything bagel seasoning to taste like something. They have an identity. They have more to say. The char transforms the pale green color into an intensified emerald green color. There is a subtle sweetness to them. By using that borderline under-ripe avocado, the exterior is slightly softened, but the overall avocado structure is still fully maintained. It’s that little something extra that I very much encourage you to try. The world is your . . . avocado.

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