TASTE
09/09/2013 09:47 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2013

8 Ways To Make Your Guacamole That Much Better

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We don't mess around when it comes to guacamole. We understand the importance of this simple avocado dip. It makes happy hours that much better, parties worth leaving our house for, and Cinco de Mayo a holiday to that can rival (almost) Thanksgiving. Without guacamole, margaritas wouldn't go down as smoothly and tortilla chips wouldn't even matter anymore.

Guacamole is just one of those foods that makes life a little bit better. So, when making it homemade it's important to get it right. We've whipped up countless recipes and have eaten even more bowls of the stuff than we care to admit, all in search of the perfect guac. This abundant avocado dip consumption has gotten us to the bottom of what makes a guacamole great -- and all the simple tips and tricks that can make your homemade guacamole that much better.

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  • 1 Only Use Perfectly Ripe Avocados
    Flickr: You As A Machine
    Look, you can't make good guacamole without good avocados. It's just not possible. Only make guacamole if you have perfectly ripe fruit, don't bother with anything else. Learn how to pick the best ones, it will serve you well in life.
  • 2 Only Use The Right Avocado Variety
    Flickr: Will Merydith
    Not all avocados are created equal -- and some are just better suited for guacamole. The best avocados to use for guacamole are the little Hass varieties. You might be tempted to buy the big avocados that come from Florida because it means more guacamole, but those avocados contain more water which doesn't make for a great guacamole.
  • 3 Be Generous With Citrus
    Flickr: dierken
    Whether you prefer lemon or lime, make sure to add some to your guac. Adding both is an even better idea. The citrus will not only stop the avocados from turning brown, but they'll also add that fresh flavor we love in guacamole.
  • 4 Always Remember The Chiles
    Flickr: °Florian
    Even if you're not into spicy foods, adding a little bit of fresh chile to your guacamole adds the right kind of flavor. Of course, if you like spicy foods feel free to liberally add in jalapenos, habanero or serranos.
  • 5 Add Fresh Herbs
    Flickr: Saucy Salad
    Cilantro haters need to back away from the guac, because it just isn't guacamole without this freshly chopped herb. Of course, adding in other fresh herbs like chives and scallions imparts a nice flavor too.
  • 6 Be Generous With Salt
    Flickr: stlbites.com
    Most of us have learned to use salt sparingly when cooking, but when it comes to guacamole don't even think about it. This fatty fruit demands a good amount of seasoning. Add more salt than you think you should (gradually of course), tasting as you go. You'll see what a big difference a little extra salt does for making a great guacamole.
  • 7 Leave It Chunky
    Flickr: C05T1N
    While yes, there are some people who think they prefer easily spreadable guacamole, they are wrong (according to Rick Bayless). The best guacamole always has a little texture to it. It adds to the flavor. Mix your guacamole just until the flavors are combined, making sure to leave plenty of chunks.
  • 8 Keep It Green
    Flickr: BocaDorada
    Because brown guacamole is just gross.
    Once you make guacamole, it's just a matter of time before exposure to the air causes it to oxidize and turn that unappetizing brown. Sure, you can scrape that layer off, but you can also stop the oxidation. If you're not serving your guacamole right away you should know that there are a lot of tricks to keep guacamole from turning (like leaving the pit in), though some are more effective than others. We like the water trick best. Top your well-packed guacamole with about 1/2 inch of lukewarm water while it's stored in the fridge. This stops the air from oxidizing the guacamole. When ready to serve, just pour off the water and mix in the extra moisture.

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