Rachael Ray's Easy Trick For Dicing Avocados For Guacamole

The next time you're about to turn a couple dozen ripe avocados into delicious crowd-pleasing guacamole, stop and put that knife down. TV personality and celebrity cookbook author Rachael Ray has an easy method for getting those green beauties diced in hardly any time at all. Her brilliant trick requires much less knife work and helps to get avocados prepped quickly. Instead of the usual way of either dicing while still in the peel, or scooping the flesh out and then cutting, she makes use of an unexpected tool that you likely already have in your kitchen — a wire cooling rack.

The idea is so simple that you'll be wondering why you never thought of it yourself. Ray simply places a cooling rack over a large bowl, then takes halved and pitted avocados and smashes them, inner side down, on the rack's grid lines. The soft flesh of the avocados gives easily as it gets pushed through on the metal cross-hatching, as neatly cubed pieces fall into the bowl below. She also makes use of every last bit of the tasty avocado meat that's still left inside the skin by scraping the peel against the rack while pulling it away, ensuring that nothing is wasted.

Even though you'll still need a knife to cut your avocados in half, using a rack for the rest of the process is safer and faster. This technique is especially handy when preparing avocado in large batches, as there's no need for slicing or peeling.

Rachael Ray's wire rack hack is perfect for guacamole

Smushing your avocados through a wire rack is an excellent technique for any recipe that calls for diced avocados, or where you'll be further mashing them. It's especially great for dishes like guacamole, avocado toast, and avocado-based dressings and sauces. Because this hands-on approach isn't an exact science, you'll end up with some uneven pieces and chunks that aren't perfectly square — so it works best for when the shape and appearance aren't all that important. It's great for avocados that will be topped on tacos, wrapped into burritos, or blended up into a scrumptious avo-pesto.

While fellow celeb chef Ina Garten's tip for achieving the chunkiest guacamole is to chop and mix using a knife, Rachael Ray's rack hack cuts out the middleman so to speak, producing beautiful guacamole-ready chunks in one fell swoop. Less reliance on a sharp knife also makes the task of cubing avocados more of a kid-friendly task.

For something a bit different, try grilling your avocado for a game-changing guacamole upgrade. A light coating of olive oil, a bit of salt, a sprinkle of paprika, and a few minutes on the grill is all it takes. Charing avocado with heat and smoky spices will make it even more flavorful, and the softened fruit is even easier to squish through gaps on your rack.

More ways to use a wire rack

As for what type of rack to use, the kind normally intended for cooling baked goods is what you're looking for. These are designed with a crisscrossing grid pattern to allow air to circulate, and they're also an ideal baking tool to prevent soggy nachos. The square openings on these racks are exactly what's needed to give your avocado the right shape and size of dice. On the other hand, racks designed for grilling or roasting with parallel openings won't work as you'll get oddly sized strips rather than nice cubes.

You can also put your rack to good use for cubing other soft ingredients too. For example, use it to dice cooked potatoes for a super fast potato salad or hard-boiled eggs for quickie egg salad. If pushing down through the rack feels difficult, try placing it on top of the food and pushing downwards instead — this works great for things like blocks of soft cheeses or a big batch of butter for baking. Think Velveeta or even Swiss and Gruyère for a cheesemonger's cheesy nachos, but you can also make easy work of a block of feta for a traditional Greek salad.

Similarly, if you need to mash bananas for a big batch of banana bread, a wire rack will save your mashing arm. Say goodbye to chopping pounds of tubers when making sweet potato casserole — just use the wire rack trick to make your life that much easier.