Guacamole is native to Mexico, and we are forever thankful to them for this fantastic dip. It’s healthy, creamy, and goes with just about everything.
You’re planning a get-together and want to serve guacamole but have questions. How long can guacamole sit out?
The USDA states that all foods, including those that go into guacamole, can only sit out for 2 hours. Once guacamole is out longer, it moves into the Danger Zone. This is the temperature range between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140˚F. Harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly in food that sits in the Danger Zone.
What’s The Best Way To Store Guacamole?
If your guacamole is reaching that 2-hour mark, it’s time to put it in the fridge. But how do you do that to make sure it stays fresh?
Put it in an airtight container, but before you seal the lid, douse it with lime juice.
Also, when peeling avocados to make fresh guac, save the avocado pit. Once the guacamole is made, place the pit in the guac.
This will help keep it green longer. Keep them in there when you serve it and when storing them in the fridge.
Why Does Guacamole Turn Brown?
The main ingredient in guacamole is avocados. When an avocado is opened and the insides are exposed to air, oxidation begins. This is a term that means when the air touches it.
So you have a short amount of time to eat that guacamole before oxidation happens. If you notice it’s turning brown, it’s time to throw it away.
Store-Bought Vs. Homemade
Those of us who love to cook may argue that nothing beats homemade guacamole. Parents and busy adults may argue store-bought is just as yummy and easier when time is an issue. As you can see, there are pros and cons to both. Let’s take a look.
When it comes to the term “store-bought,” this can mean a myriad of things. Are you talking about the kind they make at the local grocery?
Or the ones that come in individual packages in all the major supermarkets? Surprise! This term refers to any guacamole you buy in the store.
There are pros and cons to all of these. Let’s take a look.
If you don’t feel like making guacamole, odds are a local grocery store makes it every day for purchase.
These packages can be found in the deli or produce section. This type of guac will last three to four days in the fridge.
Wholly Guacamole is one of the brands that offer mass-produced guacamole in individual packages.
These are fantastic for parents who want their kids to eat healthily but enjoy lunch and snacks. These have a longer shelf-life due to special packaging that keeps out the air.
The only time you need to be concerned with oxidation is when you open the package.
These types of guacamole, like Sabra, may have preservatives in them as well. They typically use dehydrated ingredients as well. Individual packages of guacamole should have an expiration date.
They’re generally good for two weeks after that date if unopened. Once you open the package, you have a day or two before it starts to turn.
Dry Packages Of Guacamole Mix
There are packages of dry guac in the store as well. These can either be spice packs, where you add avocado. Or they may have freeze-dried avocado as an ingredient.
Either way, when ingredients are dry, they can be stored in a pantry or cabinet. As long as they’re in a cool, dry place, this type of guac will last months.
Once you prepare it, though, it will only last 2 hours out at room temp. Put your guacamole away before the 2-hour time limit, and it could last a day or possibly two.
I may be a purist, but nothing beats guacamole that’s been created by your hands. The ingredients are simple, and it takes nearly no time at all.
How To Make Guacamole
One ripe avocado
1 tsp chopped jalapeno
¼ cup chopped raw onion (or 1 tbsp onion powder)
1 tsp garlic powder
The juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
How To Tell When An Avocado Is Ripe
If it’s hard to the touch, it’s an unripe avocado. It should feel soft when you press the skin. But not too soft either.
You want it to be the same consistency as a ripe banana. If you push the skin and it’s mushy, you have a rotten avocado.
Unripe avocados can last three to seven days in the pantry. Do not put them in the fridge until they ripen.
Otherwise, they’ll remain unripe. Once they’ve matured, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to five days.
How To Cut An Avocado
Place the avocado on a cutting board. Pierce it with your knife, on the side and center, until you hit the pit.
Take your knife and carve it down the middle. Put the knife down and twist the two sides of the avocado in different directions. It should pop open, and the pit will stay to one side.
Once you cut into an avocado, it has one day to be used. If you opened one and can’t use it yet, put it in an airtight container and douse it with lime juice. Lemon juice also works if you don’t have lime.
If you see brown spots, that avocado could be bad. Do not purchase mushy avocados because they may be spoiled.
If there is one brown spot, you can remove it, But any more, and you’ll see that the flavor is off, so throw it away.
Making The Guacamole
Once the avocado is open, remove the pit and put it aside. Take a spoon and start to remove the contents from the skin into a bowl. Discard the skins.
Add the other ingredients and mix well. Put the pit back in and cover with tight plastic wrap. Keep it there until your guests arrive.
We also advise waiting until the last minute to make the guacamole if you can. That will extend the shelf-life and offer your guests the freshest dip.
Can I Freeze Guacamole?
Yes. You can. But you will need to make sure it’s in a freezer bag with all the air pushed out.
But we must warn you, fresh guacamole that has been frozen will lose some of its flavors. Store-bought guacamole can be frozen as well, but it can also lose its flavor.
Individual packages of guacamole can be easily frozen and will likely last the longest due to the airtight seal. Frozen guacamole can last three months.
How Do I Defrost Guacamole?
When it comes to defrosting any food, we always recommend you do it overnight in the refrigerator.
This is the best way to ensure a fully thawed product without risking the Danger Zone.
Don’t defrost food on the counter because some parts will move into the Danger Zone while others remain frozen.
If you don’t have a night, you can submerge the package in cold water. It should soften quicker.
But don’t let it reach room temp otherwise, you may risk bacterial growth and foodborne illness. Guacamole, once defrosted, could be fluffed up and served with your favorite tortilla chips.
Other Ways To Use Guacamole
Guacamole isn’t just a dip. There are tons of ways you can utilize this healthy option. Here are a few of our favorites.
The creamy avocado base makes guacamole ideal for spreading on toast. Avocado toast is all the rage, so there’s no reason why guacamole can’t fit the bill too. We recommended spreading it on right before you eat it to avoid oxidation.
If you like it on toast, you’ll love guacamole on sandwiches. It’s creamy like mayo and spicy like mustard if you add jalapeno. It’s a healthier option, too, since avocados are classified as a superfood.
In Your Taco
Tacos are arguable the perfect food. There are so many options when it comes to what you put in them.
Guacamole is an excellent addition with it comes to your tortillas. You could eat guacamole tacos if you want. Or dollop a little bit on your shredded chicken.
How To Make My Guacamole Last
We want to help you lengthen the shelf-life of your guac, but there are only a few ways to do that. We’ve mentioned them all but feel they’re worth mentioning again.
Don’t open the package until you’re ready to serve your dinner party. Once the package is open, it has 2 hours at room temp and two to five days if stored in the fridge. An unopened package will last about a week after the expiration date.
Powdered guacamole mixes will last until the expiration date on the unopened package. Once it’s prepared, it has 2 hours at room temperature and a day or two in the fridge.
When you prepare homemade guacamole, you can keep the pits and put them in once it’s mixed. This will help fight oxidation.
It can last a few days in the fridge or months in the freezer. Like all other guacamole, homemade can only be out for 2 hours before moving into the Danger Zone.
Guacamole is delicious and can be eaten every day. This is why making more than you need might be a good idea.
The best option is to prepare it fresh every time. But, if time is an issue, store-bought is just as delicious and takes far less time.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.