5 simple steps for the perfect guacamole
The perfect guacamole doesn’t exi—
Don Draper said, “Make it simple, but significant.”
Nothing could ring more true for the crafting of the perfect guac.
Dating back to before the 16th Century, guacamole was born from the fruits of the Aztec Empire in Central America, where avocados grew in abundance. The Aztecs loved their “ahuaca-mulli”, or avocado mixture. The Spaniards arrived, couldn’t pronounce it correctly, and dubbed it guacamole.
Half a millennium later, guacamole is a household staple the world over.
First consisting of avocados, tomatoes and chillis, guacamole has been perfected to include onions, coriander, and lime juice.
And yes, the perfect guacamole does exist. Here are 5 simple steps to getting that perfect guac.
Can’t wait? Check out our top guacamole recipes.
1. Perfect guacamole starts with the perfect avo
Don’t skip this part, people. If watery or stringy guacamole isn’t your thing (and why would it be), start with the freshest, creamiest avocados you can find.
You’re gonna want ripe, but not over-ripe, Hass or Reed avocados. Make sure the avocados yield slightly to gentle pressure, but aren’t too soft or stringy.
Avos not quite ripe yet? Speed up the ripening process with these ripening tips. If you’ve got ripe avos, but you’re not quite ready for guac yet, pop them in the fridge until you’re ready to start.
2. Texture is everything
The perfect guacamole texture is equal parts smooth and chunky.
Slice each avocado in half around the pit and scoop the full half avocados into a bowl. Don’t be fooled by other recipes that suggest cutting the avocado into cubes—this is unnecessary and time-consuming, as cubed avocado can be slippery and difficult to smash.
Mash the avocado flesh with a potato masher, pastry cutter, or a good old fashioned fork. Any of these will do, but a potato masher is the easiest. Stop mashing when the consistency is smooth but still a little chunky.
3. Take care with extra ingredients
The very first guacamole or “ahuaca-mulli” consisted of one thing and one thing only; avocados.
And while guacamole has been jazzed up over the centuries, one can overdo it on the jazz.
Any additional ingredients should be used sparingly and with care. Onion, chillis, and coriander are a must, but should only go in if they’re finely chopped.
Tomatoes, edamame, mango or pineapple are fun as a feature, but not all at once. Pick one, and roll with it.
And the jury’s still out on sour cream. Some authentic recipes from Mexico claim sour cream adds a rich texture to guac, but we’re not sold. If you feel the need to add sour cream to your guac, make sure to do it while we’re not looking.
4. Ratios are key
Getting the right lime to avocado ratio can be the make or break of a perfect guacamole. Lime juice prevents oxidation, keeping the guac fresher for longer and adding a tasty zing to the dip.
2 teaspoons of lime juice to one avocado is the perfect ratio for guacamole. Add a squeeze more if your avos are particularly large. And make sure to use fresh, real lime juice!
5. Season to perfection
Avocados can take a lot of salt, so don’t hold back on this step. Salt can really bring out the best of the avocado taste, so go for 1/2 a teaspoon per avocado.
Coriander is to gauc like tonic is to gin. It can technically do without, but lacks that last oomph. Want a little something extra? Add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander to up that wow factor.
Not a coriander fan? Parsley works just as well and happens to belong to the same family as coriander.
How to keep guacamole fresh
You may have heard that storing the avocado pit with guacamole keeps it from going brown, but sadly, there’s nothing magic about the avocado seed that keeps prepared guac from browning.
Keeping guacamole fresh in the fridge is easy. Simply press a piece of plastic or reusable beeswax wrap directly against the guacamole. This keeps any oxygen out and prevents oxidation, the process that turns avocados brown.