Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Claire
Bananas are multi-purpose as they can be used for numerous things and can also be eaten raw. It’s not surprising when you get the green unripe bananas from the market and cannot just wait for the slow ripening process of the banana to take place. Thus, you want to ripen bananas in an hour to bake or make that sweetened smoothie quickly. The good news: you can speed up the ripening process within just an hour.
How to ripen bananas in an hour
Here are the outlined methods on speeding up the rate of ripening of your bananas without making it overripe but giving it the perfect softness needed for a good meal preparation.
1. Oven ripens in less than an hour
This is a super easy way of ripening your banana without any stress and without even peeling the banana.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash and place the unpeeled banana on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake them in an oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The bananas peel turns completely black and shiny when it’s ready.
- Allow the bananas cool, then scoop out the banana flesh with a spoon.
This method gets bananas ripened at a very fast speed, it can be eaten raw but it’s best for baking purposes.
2. Speed up ripening with your microwave
This is another method of ripening banana in an hour. However, the microwave does not add any flavour to the ripening bananas nor does it improve its taste by making it sweeter. The sweetness is what most people look out for, this is why it is often referred to as softening and not ripening.
- Wash your banana with the peel nicely.
- Take out the peel and place the banana carefully on the microwave-safe container.
- Cook for 30-seconds,then take out the banana when you hear the sizzling of the banana.
- Take out the banana and allow it cool for a while.
The duration of the banana in the microwave depends on the quantity but it should have a 30 seconds increment. This method is faster than that of an oven and should be carefully looked after.
3. Ripen with your air fryer
This involves exposing the banana to extreme heat and it is similar to that of an oven but it’s more accessible than an oven.
- Line your air fryer with parchment paper or foil.
- Place your unpeeled banana when the temperature gets to 300° Fahrenheit.
- Keep for eight minutes or whenever the banana softens and the peels darkens.
- Take it out and allow it to cool for a while before making use of it either by eating raw or baking.
4. Store bananas in a paper bag
Banana can also be made to ripen quickly using a paper bag but this does not have the same speed as the methods which heat is directly introduced and as such it takes a longer time to ripen and this might be up to 24 hours. Here are the procedures for ripening banana in a paper bag:
- Wash your banana proper with the peel and place in a brown paper bag.
- Close the bag loosely and allow it for 24 to 48 hours.
- You can check at certain intervals in order to avoid over ripening.
- Get it out when soft and your banana is ready to be served.
It is usually advised to place the paper at a dark corner. This paper bag helps to trap the ethylene and this helps to hasten the ripening process. Meanwhile, you can also avoid the paper bag altogether.
What causes banana to ripen faster?
Naturally, bananas produce a natural plant hormone known as ethylene which causes the ripening effect of the banana, per the NPR. This ethylene works slowly and gradually however the conditions which the banana is subjected to can act as a catalyst to this effect.
Bananas ripen quickly when placed together as they work better as a group, fast ripening can also be achieved by placing the banana in a warm place as it makes it faster ripening. These are natural conditions which can enhance the action of ethylene on bananas.
Do bananas ripen faster when cold or warm?
When placed in a warm place the effect of ethylene on the ripening of bananas increases thereby making it ripen faster. Whenever heat is introduced into the banana. The banana can be placed in a hot car or stove top or in a warm dark corner of the kitchen. It can also be placed in a paper bag where there is an increase in heat.
When banana is placed in a cold place, for instance a fridge, the banana peel changes colour to a dark colour which is an indication that the banana has ripened, however, the ripening process is quite slow when placed in a cold place so the banana might have a dark peel but still very unripe.
Do bananas ripen faster in light or dark?
This has numerous contradicting answers as some people believe that banana ripens quickly in the light while others believe it ripens faster in the dark.
Using the paper bag as a test measure, it has been discovered that banana ripens quickly in a dark and an enclosed place.
This is due to the fact that when in a dark and enclosed place, the rate of ethylene loss is drastically reduced thereby enabling it to focus on the ripening process.
Read also: stop bananas from ripening now!
There is no best way to ripen your bananas but it all depends on the urgency and what it is meant for. The above listed processes of hastening the ripening process of banana can be achieved if you have the required equipment for it (oven, microwave or air fryer). However, if you don’t have these equipment, you can use the paper bag method or let the banana ripen naturally as it tastes better and gives more productive results when it ripens naturally.