Ways to Quickly Ripen Bananas

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on July 17th, 2022

Bananas are the simplest food to snack on with their self-contained, natural, eco-friendly packaging. Though most other items in the produce section don’t require it, timing the ripening of this fruit is vital.

When you purchase bananas from the grocery store, they are rarely ripe. This is not by chance. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, Bananas continue to ripen after being picked; therefore, one that is still green when first purchased would ripen far too swiftly for most consumers. But what can you do with that fruit if you need a banana right now?

selective focus photography of ripped bananas

How does a banana ripen?

An apple, banana, or other fruit should be left alone to mature naturally. This is because ethylene, a gaseous natural plant hormone, is released when the fruit ripens. Fruit and vegetable varieties vary in the amount of ethylene they emit. Similarly, some fruits and vegetables react to ethylene differently than others.

Although you can’t see it, this substance processes the fruit’s sugars, causing the banana to soften and change color. As a result, your bananas will soon be ideal for baking or snacking with a little time, warmth, and consolidation.

How to ripen bananas naturally.

  • The best approach to ripening bananas naturally is to position them in a warm area, such as next to a heating vent or in a sunny window. 
  • Keep your bananas together to hasten the process. 
  • They should take anywhere from 24 hours to 5 days to ripen, depending on how green they are and where you want them on the banana ripeness spectrum.

Don’t worry if that’s not quick enough; you have quicker alternatives you can try!

Quicker methods to ripen bananas

Keep them bunched

In a bunch, ripening takes between 24 and 48 hours. To avoid separating every banana at once. Instead, keep the rest whole and separate the one you intend to eat. Even better, use some foil to bundle bananas from another bunch—more consolidation results in a concentration of ethylene emissions.

Place in warm areas

When placed in warm areas, it takes around 24-48 hours to ripen. Therefore, bananas should be kept in warm places, such as those next to heaters, above refrigerators, or in ovens that are cooling down. Be careful to check on them often in the latter case. If brown stains appear on them, it’s time to eat them!

Put them in a paper bag.

In a paper bag, it ripens in 12 to 24 hours. Bananas should be put in a brown paper bag that is loosely closed. The ripening process will be accelerated by the accumulation and circulation of ethylene inside the bag. To harvest them when you wish, check them at regular intervals.

Put them inside the oven.

Ripening in the oven takes about 15-30 minutes. Using heat to ripen bananas for recipes is terrific since it brings out the fruit’s sweetness. This doesn’t work on green bananas, though; take note of that! Place bananas that have not been peeled on a baking pan in a 300°F oven. 

Because the time will vary, keep an eye on them constantly, and don’t worry if the bananas leak a little. When the peels get lustrous and black, they are ready. When the peels get lustrous and black, they are ready. 

Put them in a microwave.

Microwave for 30 to 2 minutes to ripen. Use a fork or a sharp knife to repeatedly and fully pierce the peel’s skin from all sides, then put them for  30 seconds in the microwave. Check to see if desired softness was achieved after letting it cool.  

If not, give it another 30 seconds in the microwave. Continue doing this until the fruit reaches the ideal level of ripeness.

Cook the bananas

You may discover tips to cook your bananas until they are fully ripe on the internet. Although this method of “ripening” bananas does make them mushy and convenient for baking, it doesn’t ripen the fruit. So before you throw all of your unripe bananas into the oven, there are a few things you should be aware of.

Use yellow bananas that are already sweet but not quite soft enough to use in baking, and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes in an oven set to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. They may get somewhat sweeter as they turn black and feel tender (if you overcook them, they may even explode). But, again, these are suitable for baking.

Green bananas can also blacken and soften if you use them, but they won’t ripen to the sweetness needed to produce a great banana bread or muffin.

Storage of ripened bananas

If you ripen more bananas than you need, you may keep the excess in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag. Then, let them thaw—overnight in the refrigerator, peel if necessary, and mash when you’re ready to use them.


How to handle an abundance of ripe bananas?

You may freeze ripe bananas beginning to pass their prime until you need them. Then, defrost them and squeeze them out of their skins since they will turn black in the freezer.

Can unripe bananas be used in baking?

I’ve found that you technically can. It’s simply not the same, though. The flavor is less sweet, and the bread isn’t as moist. Additionally, anything cooked using underripe bananas tastes strange because I don’t particularly enjoy their flavor. So, in a nutshell, the answer is yes. But avoid doing so as much as you can.

When should bananas be used in baking?

When bananas are covered with large brown spots, and the stems are brown, in my opinion, they are at their finest for baking. However, you might be shocked at how dark brown (or even black!) a banana can become before it becomes unusable. The banana is okay to use as long as there isn’t any visible mold on it.


If you can’t wait for your bananas to ripen naturally, there are some things you can do to assume control. For example, you can put them in a paper bag, microwave, or oven or cook them! Try these methods out and get your bananas ready in no time!


Editorial Staff

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