Sometimes you make guacamole and the bowl is emptied sooner than you expected. Other times, you use too many avocados to make guacamole and end up with leftovers.
How long does guacamole last? How long can you keep its leftovers? The leftovers of store-bought guacamole have a shelf life of 5 days if stored in the fridge. Homemade guacamole lasts even shorter. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. An unopened jar of commercially produced guacamole will last up to 7 days past the date printed on the packaging.
In this article, you will learn not only about the storage conditions and shelf life of guacamole but also some tips and tricks on how to make it last longer and stay fresh.
Does Guacamole Go Bad?
Guacamole does go bad, be it store-bought or homemade. Homemade guacamole has a shorter shelf life due to the lack of preservatives and so does an opened jar of commercially made guacamole.
The shelf life and storage conditions of guacamole are similar to those of such spreads and dips as hummus and pesto.
How to Store Guacamole?
If you are someone that doesn’t make guacamole but buys it, store the unopened jar or container in the fridge. As you buy guacamole from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, it is more than necessary to keep it refrigerated as soon as you bring it home.
Once you open the guacamole, seal it tightly before putting it back into the fridge. If the packaging is damaged or the lid doesn’t seal well, transfer the dip into another container that has a tight-fitting lid.
As for homemade guacamole, it should be stored the same way as you would leftover store-bought guacamole.
The key to storing guacamole is keeping it airtight.
Keep guacamole refrigerated in an airtight container. Try to minimize the contact of the spread with oxygen. For this reason, we recommend putting a layer of food wrap directly on the spread before covering the container with the lid. The food wrap will prevent oxidation and keep the spread nice and fresh.
Can You Freeze Guacamole?
You can freeze guacamole. However, freezing spreads and dips can be tricky as it leads to texture changes.
But if you want to freeze guacamole to extend its shelf life and eat it later, you can totally do it. The important thing is to do it right. Additionally, to avoid texture changes as much as possible, it is recommended to make guacamole smooth rather than leave chunks of avocado in it.
Freeze guacamole in airtight plastic containers or bags. You can also use an ice cube tray to freeze guacamole so long as you wrap it tightly with food wrap.
Freezing guacamole in smaller portions will cut down the defrosting time and let you use as much of it as you need.
To defrost guacamole, let it sit in the fridge overnight. You can also defrost it under running cold water.
Don’t leave the frozen spread at room temperature. Doing this will lead to major texture changes. In addition to this, it increases the risk of bacterial contamination.
How Long Does Guacamole Last?
The ‘Use by’ date of commercially produced guacamole is indicated on its packaging.
The shelf life of unopened guacamole is up to a week past its ‘Use by’ date. Once opened, the shelf life of store-bought guacamole is around 5 days if you store it right.
Homemade guacamole will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
How to Make Guacamole Last Longer?
Here are a few tricks to make your guacamole last longer and keep better.
Lemon Juice to Prevent It from Browning.
The problem with guacamole is that it gets dark very quickly. Although adding some lime or lemon juice into this avocado-based spread helps to prevent it from browning while you are having dinner, it doesn’t help when you have the dip sitting in the fridge for over a day.
To slow down the browning process of guacamole while it is in the fridge, brush some lemon juice on its surface. Lime juice is also an option. But it is more acidic than lemon juice. Thus, you should be more careful when using it.
You can also use a neutral-flavored vinegar. Vinegar is also acidic and will certainly get the job done.
Don’t get carried away with acidic liquids to prevent the guacamole from browning. While they keep the spread green they can also affect the taste if you overdo it.
Keep it Clean.
We all love dipping the chips into a big bowl of guacamole. But is it the right thing to do when you won’t be eating it all? Of course, it isn’t.
Transfer the needed amount of the dip into a separate bowl and dip from there. If you have leftovers, don’t add them into the ‘clean’ bowl of guacamole. This way you will avoid adding food particles into the spread.
Don’t Leave It Out.
You should leave guacamole out only when you are eating it. Otherwise, leaving the spread at room temperature unnecessarily will cause it to deteriorate quickly.
Use Water to Keep It Green.
An unusual yet very effective method to keep guacamole green is using water to protect its top layer from browning and maintain the overall freshness of the spread.
Here is how you do it. Once you have transferred the guacamole into an airtight container, pour a small amount of water over it so that it covers the spread. Don’t worry about the water mixing in with the spread. It won’t happen as the avocado dip is too thick. Water will create the perfect barrier for the spread and will keep it fresh and green for up to 3 days.
Pour the water out and give the guacamole a stir before eating it.
If you don’t like the idea of pouring water over the guacamole, you can use oil instead. The technique of using oil instead of water is the same. However, you need to make sure you are using a neutral-flavored oil. Grapeseed oil, for example, works well for this reason.
How Can You Tell If Guacamole Is Bad?
The first thing to pay attention to when trying to detect bad guacamole is the color. While bad guacamole is always brown, brown guacamole is not always bad. Thus, if you notice color changes, look for other signs too.
An off-putting smell is one of the biggest indicators that guacamole is bad. If the fresh and pleasant smell of guacamole isn’t there anymore and the spread smells fermented and sour, it is time to discard it.
It goes without saying that you should get rid of guacamole if you notice any mold or bacterial growth in it.
If the guacamole looks and smells good, give it a try. If it still speaks to your taste buds, go ahead and eat it.
Keep in mind that the guacamole can be stored in the fridge for longer than 4 to 5 days and still look and smell good. But this doesn’t mean that you should eat it. As soon as the spread is past the recommended shelf life, discard it to avoid any health risks. Signs of bad guacamole are not always obvious.
Can You Still Eat Guacamole If It Turns Brown?
It is normal for avocado dips and spreads to turn brown when in contact with oxygen. So long as your guacamole is not old and there are no other signs of spoilage, it is okay to eat brown guacamole.
If you don’t want to eat brown guacamole, remove the dark parts, and eat the rest as it is the outer layer of the sauce that gets dark quickly.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Guacamole?
Eating bad guacamole may lead to upset stomach and other symptoms of food poisoning especially if it is contaminated with such bacteria as salmonella.
Never eat guacamole if it has been sitting at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, or if you have had it in the fridge for more than 4 to 5 days. Closely inspect the avocado spread before eating it. If you haven’t had it for long but it smells, looks, or tastes weird, err on the safe side and discard it.