On the surface, guacamole is very easy to make. It has a few inexpensive ingredients that just need to be mashed together. However, if you have any experience in making guacamole regularly, you’ve probably noticed that yours doesn’t always look “restaurant quality”. To find out why, I did some research and testing. Here’s what I discovered.
The problem: Guacamole is watery
The solution: There’s a few reasons that could be contributing to this problem:
- Your avocados are not from Mexico. Florida avocados are naturally more watery, so go for the Hass instead.
- You’re using too much lime juice. I have definitely been guilty of this one. I love the lime flavor, but it’s easy to get carried away. Instead of using a bunch of lime juice, season your guac with a generous amount of salt, and only use enough lime to cut the creaminess a bit.
- You aren’t de-seeding your tomatoes. This is an extra step, but without those juicy seed pockets, the guacamole will have a much better texture.
The problem: Guacamole is too bland
The solution: Add seasoning.
Seems obvious, but just be careful about how you add the seasoning. A mixture of salt, cilantro, lime zest (not juice) and optional jalapeno will fix that quick without adding water, but if you want it to be really flavorful throughout, The Food Lab says to crush your seasonings into a paste before adding them to the dip. If you still need more, add salt gradually and taste as you go, because to get the full change in taste, salt needs a chance to dissolve.
The problem: Guacamole is brown the next day
The solution: Air-Tight Container + Plastic Wrap
There are a lot of different techniques to keep guacamole green after a night or two in the fridge – most don’t really work, or work only under certain conditions. I’ve found that if I put some plastic wrap right on top of the guac (as in, press it down a little so it’s touching the top of the guac) and then sealing it an air-tight container limits the browning. If the top does get brown, you can scrape off the first bit and eat the rest.
The problem: Guacamole is brown very quickly after being made
The solution: Don’t mash so much and work quickly once the avocados are opened.
A very disappointing guacamole is one that isn’t even very green. To prevent this, mash the avocados with a pastry blender or with a whisk to keep some chunks. The less you let the avocados oxidize, the slower the browning occurs. Plus, over-mashing means you lose some of that great texture as well. I chop everything up except the avocados, and at the end I open up the avocados, mash them with some lime juice and immediately fold in the other ingredients with a spatula, adding cilantro last. Taste and season as needed, then serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.
Have you made amazing guacamole? What are your other tips?