7 Secrets to Making the Greatest Guacamole
Hard as it may be, try to avoid double dipping.
Whether your summer entertaining efforts are happening over Zoom, outdoors and socially distant, or solely feature the members of your own household (who doesn’t love an extra exclusive invite list?), we all know who the real guest of honor is: the bowl of guacamole.
That being said, there’s a wide gap between the greenish-gray guac that’s been pulverized with plastic fruit-shaped squeeze bottle lime juice and creamy, garden-fresh guacamole made following the right ratios and perfectly ripe avocados.
This one’s a non-negotiable and the key factor in making quality guac. If your avocados aren’t ripe enough, you'll miss out on the taste and texture necessary for making delicious dip. If they're too ripe, the flavor can overwhelm the other ingredients in your guacamole. Plan ahead: if you’ll be eating your avocado immediately, look for fruits with a dark green skin at the market and give each a squeeze. They should yield to gentle pressure. If you’re shopping a day or two ahead, find avocados that yield to gentle pressure and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
If your guac bowl is ready but your avocado isn’t, you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple to speed up the ripening process. See our complete guide to ripening avocados quickly—and slowing their ripening—here.
For a truly authentic look, texture, and flavor, make your guacamole in a Molcajete. Just place your avocado halves in the mortar and use the pestle to break them down into tiny chunks, then work through them until the mixture starts to get creamy.
Mash your avocado to your desired consistency before adding your diced ingredients. Once added, lightly stir them in. This will help those cubes of red onion or jalapeño keep their juices intact, giving you a burst of fresh flavor in each bite.
RELATED: How to Cut an Avocado Like a Pro
When two hands aren’t enough, place a damp washcloth under your mixing bowl to keep it in place. This way, you’ll be able to stir with one hand and add ingredients with the other. This hack is a two-for-one: when the mixing is over, you can use the washcloth to wipe up the area around your mixing bowl and leave the counter spotless.
Even just a small squirt of lime juice adds a zing to your guac. The ascorbic acid in the lime juice also slows the natural browning of your guacamole. You can get the most out of your limes by rolling them firmly on the counter several times before squeezing. And if you opt for a fruit-shaped squeezy bottle as your source of juice over fresh lime, I don’t know you and you don’t know me.
Start by experimenting with the standard ingredients: avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, lime, and jalapeno. From there, possibilities are endless. Try a fruity pineapple, mango, or orange guacamole, or get globally inspired with Mediterranean tabbouleh guac or kimchi guacamole with a gochujang crema swirl. Sweet tooth? Try pomegranate seeds. Adding a spoonful of sweet corn to the top can add delicious flavor, too.
The best onion for the job depends on the flavor profile of your guacamole—and there’s a rainbow of possibilities. Traditional guacamole recipes call for sweet white onions, but red onions will give your guac a potent, oniony bite. Yellow onions are milder and are best-served by sweeter, simpler guacamoles.