Avocado-Related Knife Injuries Are on the Rise — This Hack Prevents Them

It turns out the most common way to pit an avocado is also the most dangerous.

A knife being inserted into an avocado pit that's in an avocado half.
Photo: Blaine Moats/Dotdash Meredith

There's no denying the popularity of avocados — whether you are using them in salads, sandwiches, on avocado toast, or of course, for guacamole, the first step is cutting it open and removing the pit.

The most common method is slicing the avocado in half lengthwise by running a knife around the pit. Then holding the half with the pit in one hand and using the other hand to strike a knife into the pit with one quick, steady hit. This embeds the blade in the top of the pit, allowing it to be rotated and lifted out with the twist of the knife. While popular, this method is also very dangerous.

What is Avocado Hand?

'Avocado hand' is a real injury that has sent many home cooks to the emergency room after trying to remove the pit with this method, and severely cutting their hand instead. A 2019 study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that as avocado consumption has gone up in America, the number of avocado-related knife injuries has risen as well — thousands of ER visits each year are attributed to avocado hand. But don't worry, we have a method that helps prevent the injury.

How to Safely Cut an Avocado

An avocado being cut into quarters

A TikTok user recently shared a video of a hack she learned for cutting an avocado without needing to dangerously whack the pit to remove it. The method actually starts the same way as the method above does: Pierce your knife through the avocado skin and run it along the pit of the avocado lengthwise. Then, without separating the two halves, repeat the same motion to make a cut perpendicular to the first one, quartering the avocado.

Now you have four pieces that easily peel away from the pit. Peel away the first three pieces, pull the pit out of the fourth and voila! No need to forcefully drive your knife anywhere near your hand!

To make things even safer: Rather than doing this in your hand, place the avocado on your cutting board and hold it flat with one hand while using the other hand to make the cuts.

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love