Unlike most produce, the trick to slicing an avocado is to cut first and peel second. The thick skin provides a sturdy backbone against which you can slice or cube the soft green flesh without accidentally turning it to mush.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut around the avocado from end to end. Try inserting the knife at the top until it hits the pit, then take the knife all the way around the avocado until you come back to the original entry point. Make sure to cut down to, but not through, the pit. Twist the two halves of the avocado in opposite directions until they separate. The pit will stay attached to one half of the avocado.
Use an avocado at the peak of ripeness to make slicing it easier. Look for an avocado with taught, slightly shiny skin and flesh that yields slightly when squeezed, but is not mushy.
Remove the Pit
To remove the pit, carefully whack it with the blade of a large knife. Once the knife is stuck firmly in the pit, twist the knife until the pit cleanly pops out of the avocado. The pit can be rather slippery, so grasp it with a dish towel before removing it from the blade.
If large knives make you nervous, the pit can also be scooped out with a spoon.
Cut Slices or Cubes
Use the paring knife to cut thin slices into the avocado flesh. Cut all the way down to, but not through the skin. For avocado cubes, make slightly wider slices and then cut across the slices into cubes.
Remove the Skin
To remove the slices from the skin, slide a spoon between the skin and flesh and scoop all the way around the avocado. If the avocado is ripe enough, the skin can be turned inside out, causing the slices or cubes to pop right out.
Now you’ve got perfect, restaurant-style avocado slices ready for piling onto sandwiches, salads and more. It’s not just for guacamole, though this is a good way to start that, too.