Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Claire
You can ripen banana without a paper bag with various other ways such as baking them in the oven, microwaving, wrapping them in a foil, putting them in the air fryer, or placing them in warm areas. You probably already know you can use a paper bag to ripen a banana, but for some reason you don’t want to use one. You might be scared you’d probably forget where you placed your bananas till they become over ripe and get spoiled—you know the old maxim “out of sight is out of mind”.
Or you don’t have the luxury of time and need your bananas ripened as soon as possible.
Worry no more! This article will be exploring the other ways you can use to ripen a banana without a paper bag, along with a few helpful tips along the way.
How to ripen banana without a paper bag
The methods to use will depend on the amount of time you have on your hands.
If you’re in a hurry:
- Bake them in the oven
- Microwave them
- Use the air fryer
If you don’t mind waiting for a day or 2:
- Place them in warm areas
- Wrap the whole bunch in a foil
1. Bake them in the oven
Takes between 30-45 minutes to ripen or up to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C)
- Put the unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet (make sure there are no spaces between them)
- Check on the bananas at regular intervals to see if they’re soft enough, this is because the less ripe the banana is, the longer it takes
- The peels will become shiny and black when they’re ready.
Tip: This method is great if you want to use your banana in any recipes, and not for eating
2. Microwave them
Takes less than 3 minutes to ripen.
- Use a fork or knife to poke the unpeeled bananas on all sides so the steam can escape
- Place the banana in a microwave-safe plate or paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds (Repeat this process until your desired level of ripeness is reached)
Tip: This method is great for making your bananas mashable in case you want to use them for any recipes that require them.
3. Use the air fryer
Takes about 8-12 minutes to ripen.
This method is suitable for students who live in dormitories that do not have access to a microwave.
- Line the air fryer with a foil or parchment paper (in case the bananas burst)
- Put the unpeeled bananas in the air fryer at 300°F
- Leave the bananas in there for about 8 minutes or until you notice the peels are darkened and the bananas are soft
- Take them out and leave them to cool down
Tip: Like the microwave method, this method is great for making your bananas mashable in case you want to use them for any recipes that require them.
4. Place banana in warm areas
Takes about 1-2 days to ripen.
- Place unpeeled bananas in warm areas such as an oven that’s cooling down, near a stove, or close to any source of heat
- Check them frequently to ascertain their level of ripeness
- They’re ready if you notice the formation of brown spots
- You should take them away from the warm area or heat source you put them.
Tip: This method would produce bananas with a taste profile similar to that of the paper bag method.
5. Wrap the whole bunch in a foil
Takes about 1-2 days to ripen.
Similar to using a paper bag, bunching up and wrapping them together in a foil means more ethylene is emitted in one place.
- Don’t separate the bananas, wrap the whole bunch in a foil
- Leave for about 1-2 days as the ripening process takes some time, but remember to check them at certain intervals so you can ascertain their level of ripeness
- Unwrap them from the foil when the desired level of ripeness is reached.
6. Ripen bananas in the sun
Simply exposing bananas to direct sunlight will raise the temperature of the bananas and make them ripen faster. But the only caveat is that bananas ripened this way may become too soft and taste bland—SFGates confirms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do bananas ripen faster in the dark?
Bananas kept at room temperature in a cool, dark area with proper air flow will taste better and ripen naturally, but not at a faster rate when compared to bananas left in warmer areas such as direct sunlight or ovens.
What is the fastest way to ripen a banana?
The fastest way to ripen a banana is to use a microwave. It takes less than 3 minutes to ripen a banana in a microwave. Just remember to use a fork or knife to poke the unpeeled bananas on all sides so the steam can escape, before placing the banana in a microwave-safe plate or paper towel and microwaving them for 30 seconds until they’re brown and soft.
There are other methods to ripen bananas without using a paper bag. These methods sometimes produce similar results depending on how much time you have on your hands, and if you plan on eating your bananas raw or if you plan on using them in a recipe you want to make.
Just make sure you follow proper instructions for any method you decide to use and check them at regular intervals.