How to Ripen a Banana: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Ripen a Banana: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Ripen a Banana: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Sometimes, you need to ripen a banana – whether it's for a specific recipe, or because you crave a beautiful ripe fruit. Regardless of the reason, there are a few ways to speed up the maturing process, easily and quickly. The paper bag method is best for bananas you want to eat, while the oven method is perfect for those used in recipes. Read on to find out how to do both!


Method 1 of 2: In a Paper Bag

Step 1. Take a brown paper bag, the bananas that will be ripened and an apple or tomato

By placing the bananas in a brown paper bag with another fruit, you will maximize the amount of ethylene gas released. Ethylene gas is the substance that the fruit produces as it ripens. This will help to substantially speed up the ripening process, giving you smooth, creamy bananas.

Step 2. Place the bananas in the bottom of the bag

Step 3. Place the tomato and/or apple next to the bananas

Make sure the tomatoes are not overripe and that there are no holes or mold in the paper bag. If you don't have an apple or a tomato, a pear will do the trick too.

Step 4. Seal the bag

Roll or fold the top of the paper bag to keep the ethylene gas produced by the fruit trapped.

Step 5. Place the paper bag containing the fruit in a warm place

High temperatures can cause fruits to release more ethylene gas, which will further accelerate the ripening process.

Step 6. Let the bananas rest for one night

Leave bananas and other fruits in the paper bag overnight. Check the bananas in the morning to see if they have reached the desired level of ripeness. If not, re-roll the bag and check the bananas every 12 hours until they are ripe enough.

You should be able to ripen green bananas using the bag method to the point where they have yellow skin, or yellow skin with brown spots, within 24 hours

Method 2 of 2: In the Oven

Step 1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (145° C)

IF your oven has a lighting, turn it on to look out for bananas.

Step 2. Place the bananas you want to ripen in a baking dish

Don't batch the baking sheet – three or four bananas at a time are usually enough. Note that this method will not work with fully green bananas – they will need to be nearly ripe (yellow in color) for best results.

Step 3. Cook the bananas in the oven

The length of this process will depend on your intentions with her.

Step 4. If you want to use bananas in a recipe, let them cook for an hour

If you leave the bananas in the oven for an hour, the skins will turn completely black and the fruit will be perfect for use in jams and baked goods – like banana bread.

Step 5. If you want to eat the bananas, remove them from the oven after 20 minutes

If you leave the bananas in the oven long enough for the skins to turn dark yellow, with no black spots forming, you can easily eat them. This should take 20 minutes – however, be sure to watch them carefully in the oven to remove them on time.

Once you remove the bananas from the oven, place them in the refrigerator to cool them and stop ripening. Eat when they are completely cool


  • Place bananas in the refrigerator to stop ripening.
  • Bananas in bunches will ripen faster than single bananas.
  • Hang bananas to simulate the fact that they are on a tree. So the bananas will ripen more slowly in the next 2-3 days.


  • While some people prefer unripe or green-tipped bananas, unripe bananas can make digestion difficult due to their high starch content.
  • Don't put green bananas in the fridge if you want them to continue to ripen. The low temperature stops the ripening process – and once you remove them from the fridge, the bananas may not ripen again.

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