There’s nothing more satisfying than opening a tub of guac from the grocery store and dippin’ a chip in. Or better yet, making your own guacamole from scratch and eating on it all week. What isn’t satisfying however, is when you open your container expecting to see a bowl of greeny heaven, but instead see a layer of brown sludge on top. Uh, gross. Truth be told, the brown layer on guac—caused by oxidation when the air makes contact with the guac—is totally safe to eat and won’t taste as gross as it looks. You can even just stir it right into the green stuff, and you won’t even notice it’s there. However, presentation is everything, right? Why have it brown when you could keep it green ?
I researched a few of the most popular methods to keeping guacamole from browning and came up with my top three: plastic wrap, lemon and water. After testing them out, I have ranked them starting with third place.
Lemon or Lime
Lemon is a pretty old method to keep your green from going brown; the acids in lemon juice help protect the guac from the air. But I ranked it last because I had to use a decent helping of lemon juice to really ensure it wouldn’t go brown. And after a day or two of adding extra lemon juice to my guacamole, the dip became saturated with the citrus flavor and was nearly inedible. But, if you aren’t afraid of a lemony zing, feel free to douse your guac with bottled lemon juice, or use a fresh lemon to squeeze its juices over the top.
This one’s pretty easy: using plastic wrap, foil or another moldable barrier, you press the sheet on the guac, until it’s touching the entire surface. This creates a block between the air and the ‘mole, keeping the green stuff fresh. But it got second place due to the inconvenience and general inconsistency of the method.
And the winner is: water. Plain and simple: smooth the surface of you guac with a spoon (or chip) and then poor a very thin layer of water on top. Open it up the next day, poor the water down the drain and stir the top layer with your chip. I found this method to be the best because it’s accessible (everyone has water) and kept the guac consistently green.