What’s The Fastest Way To Ripen Bananas? (5 Effective tricks)

When a banana is covered in leopard-like spots, that’s when it’s ripe and ready to be eaten. Green or yellow bananas that you typically see at the grocery store are not ripe and are very starchy, which can cause digestion issues for some people.

It can be annoying waiting for green bananas to turn spotty since that can take over a week, and you want to make the banana bread now! So there are many different methods to speed up the ripening process of bananas, so which one is the fastest way to ripen bananas? Lets take a look:

1. Inside the oven (30-60 minutes to ripen)

Put your unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and put them into the oven at 300 degrees. The heat will bring out the sugar in the bananas and they are ready to be taken out when the peels are all shiny and black. This won’t work for green bananas, so make sure they’re yellow.

2. In a brown paper bag (24 hours to ripen)

Put your bananas in a brown paper bag and loosely close the bag. The bananas will emit a chemical called Ethylene which will circulate throughout the bag and speed up the ripening process. To further speed it up, you can put some ripe fruit such as an apple into the bag, they will also emit Ethylene that enhances the bananas ripening. This method is recommended by the famous banana company Chequita On Their Website.

3. Microwave oven (up to 2 minutes to ripen)

Start by poking your bananas on all sides with a fork, then put them on a plate and into the microwave for up to 2 minutes. Check it every 20 seconds for doneness. Once it’s at the desired doneness, take it out and cool it for a few minutes before you use it in any recipe.

Although this method softens up the banana, they aren’t going to be that sweet because microwaving it doesn’t allow the banana’s fruit sugars to develop. So once again try to use bananas that are more yellow than green.

4. Cardboard box and plastic wrap (24hrs to ripen)

Just put a bunch of bananas in a cardboard box, then cover it with plastic wrap. This method is similar to the brown paper bag method, but you can use this one if you have more than a few bananas you want to ripen at one time.

5. Put them in warm places (about 2-3 days to ripen)

Place them in any warm place such as near a heater, an oven that is cooling down, or on top of a fridge. You’ll want to remove them from those places when you see brown spots on the bananas.

So which method works the quickest?

First of all if you’re looking to eat the banana raw, then I recommend that you don’t put them in the oven or microwave as those methods are only good for cooking recipes. And in my opinion putting a bunch of them in a cardboard box results in much more spots quickly.

Bananas ripens faster when they’re in a bunch because there’s more Ethylene in the surroundings. They like to be near their friends, other bananas.

They will ripen very quickly so make sure you check on them frequently or else you’ll miss your window. Let me know in the comments which methods you have tried and which one do you think works the best. I would love to hear your opinions, thanks for reading!

11 thoughts on “What’s The Fastest Way To Ripen Bananas? (5 Effective tricks)

  1. Czac says:

    We have been trying the paper bad trick with no real success… and we buy them as ripe as we can to start with which most times isn’t that ripe at all. We will try the oven trick and see how that goes. We cut the over ripe bananas into 3/4” thick chunks then we mash them up into a soft paste, freeze them and eat them like ice cream…mmmm, mmmmm good!

  2. Simon Thomas says:

    I never new that when bananas are spotty that that is the best time to eat them our usually get eaten when their yellow. I will try out these techniques with this weeks grocery to see if I prefer spotty or yellow thanks.

  3. Dave says:

    Holy smokes, I never thought about these methods to ripen a banana. Interesting, I will try some of them next time I buy bananas. I knew about the brown paper bag method, but never understood why it worked. I have to laugh, I don’t think I’ve found any article on bananas this interesting before. I’m assuming these methods work with other fruit?

    • Kent says:

      Hi Dave,
      some fruits will not ripen anymore after they’ve been picked. the brown paper bag method will work for only some fruits such as bananas, avacados, pears, mangos, kiwis.. and by the way it doesn’t HAVE to be a brown paper bag, it can be any bag. but brown paper bags are more porous so it allows the air to go in and out more easily, whereas plastic bags have very little ventiliation so it wouldn’t work as well. I hope that helps, thanks for your comment!

  4. Derek Marshall says:

    Hi Kent,

    Great article and some lovely tips for ripening bananas rather quickly.In my humble opinion probably best to avoid the microwave tip and go for a little more patience and use the brown bag technique mentioned.

    Plastics, I tend to avoid and eliminate the use of plastics in my life due to containing xenoestrogens but the method used with plastic sheet should be harmless as the plastic is not in contact with the part of the fruit that we eat.

    • Kent says:

      hey Derek
      the microwave method is the one for the most desperate, I have only used it a few times myself. Its taste not the best, I prefer to let it ripen as naturally as possible. I never heard about the xenoestrogens, but it’s something I will definitely look up.

  5. Helen Doyle says:

    Kent, funnily enough we use bananas to help us ripen our avocados. After reading your post I expect these two are ‘companion ripeners’! I don’t really know it this is working as we eat both fairly quickly and in season we always have a second (or third) bunch of bananas all at different stages. Ditto with avocados. We used to get both of these from the local ‘banana lady’ and they came straight from the avocado trees or banana corms and false stem. Boy were they good. Down here in Tasmania we are not so lucky as the climate isn’t favourable.

    Now noting I am out of both your post is prompting me to go shopping;


    • Kent says:

      Hey Helen,
      I have never eaten any fruit straight from the tree before (except berries from bushes in the summmer). I would love to go to a place like thailand and just pick fruits off the tree and eat it fresh. The fruits at my supermarket are really crap, everything is picked under ripe AND they’re expensive. Im sick of paying $4 for a crunchy mango!

  6. Eddie says:

    Who would have thought there could be so much to getting a banana to ripen. These are the type of things I love to read about.
    I love to cut the ripe banana up and put it in with a bowl of cereal, yoghurt, milk and a bit of apple or orange. It makes for a lovely healthy start to the day.
    I didn’t know that it was the sugars coming out that helped to ripen the banana. Does this mean that there is less sugar in a ripened banana than in a green one?
    Is it also true that it is bad for you to eat a banana just before swimming? I heard that somewhere and always wondered if it was just an old wives tale or if there was any truth to it.

    • Kent says:

      hey Eddie
      yeah for sure there is more sugar in ripe bananas. green ones are just very starchy and not sweet. I’m not sure about eating a banana before going swimming, doesn’t seem like it would be bad. probably an old wives tale. thanks for the comment

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