Avocados are slightly high maintenance because often they aren’t available perfectly ripe, typically requiring a day or two to develop into a tender, yummy fruit. While it’s best to let avocados naturally ripen, a microwave can expedite the process in a pinch.

Microwaving an entire avocado in short time increments allows you to soften under-ripe avocados without cooking the interior. While the microwave can transform a tough avocado into a soft, edible one, the avocado technically isn’t ripe and won’t have the same depth of flavor as a naturally ripened avocado.

If you’re in a bind, microwave-ripened avocados are best used in recipes such as avocado fries or avocado salsa instead of eaten on their own.

Step 1: Prepare the Avocado

Prick the exterior skin of the avocado with a fork at least a dozen times over the entire surface. Make sure to break through the tough skin so that air can reach the interior fruit.

Step 2: Microwave the Avocado

Place the avocado in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds on a medium- or low-heat setting. Remove the avocado from the microwave and give it a gentle squeeze. If the avocado is still hard, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Check the fruit again; if the skin yields easily with a gentle squeeze, it’s ready. If it’s still too hard, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until it’s soft enough to consume.

P.S. Microwave wattage can vary. Microwaving an avocado in 30-second bursts may be too aggressive for microwaves with a higher wattage. If your microwave is powerful, cook in shorter increments—10- to 20-seconds—to avoid cooking your avo.