Put that avocado down (when cutting) to avoid injury.

Diet & Nutrition

They call it “Avocado Hand”—nasty, deep and painful cuts to the hand that happen when people try to cut an avocado. They’re becoming increasingly more common in emergency rooms. Maybe it’s just because avocados are being more popular. But it could also be because people are making a simple mistake when they go to cut the fruit—holding it in the palm of their hands while they cut.

Just Google “How to cut an avocado” and you’ll find dozens of videos with the same technique – hold the avocado in the palm of your hand while you cut around it. Some use a towel to keep the avocado from slipping while others don’t. Then the end encouraging people to strike the avocado pit with the knife, embedding the edge in the pit to use as leverage to turn.

According to the California Avocado Commission (an organization representing California avocado growers) there is a better, and safer, way.

Step 1: Put the avocado down!

Place the avocado on a cutting board with the smaller end up. Hold on the fruit on the side so that your fingers will not be under the knife at any time. Slowly and carefully start cutting down from the tip of the avocado to the pit.

A ripe avocado should not require much pressure to cut. So if pressing softly doesn’t work, STOP and set aside the avocado until it is more ripen (see our ripening hack).

Step 2: Cut, then cut again.

With the knife still in the tip of the avocado, rotate the fruit (keeping fingers clear) until you have cut once all the way around. This is where most directions stop. But the California Avocado Commission method has you turn the avocado and make a second cut in the same manner—diving the avocado into 4 pieces instead of two.

Step 3: Twist, peel and enjoy.

After the avocado is cut into quarters, gently twist to release the quarters from the pit. The last quarter might need some more help to release, but with the fruit in quarters, you can easily grab the pit for leverage. The quarter sections are also much easier to peel.

No matter which avocado-slicing technique you prefer, plan for safety-first. Cut slowly, don’t apply too much pressure and stay focused on what you are doing. That way you can be enjoying the results instead of dealing with the consequences.

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