unripe bananas getting ready to be quick ripened for banana bread

How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread

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How to ripen bananas fast (in under 10 minutes): 3 Easy To Follow Methods! – In need of overripe bananas for your banana bread or other baked goods? In this post, we will show you how to quickly ripen bananas with the use of a microwave, oven, and even an air fryer! So, if you’ve been craving some banana bread but only have under-ripe bananas on hand, don’t fret – We got you!

Bananas are one of the most versatile foods known to man. They’re wonderful to eat as-is and add great flavor and natural sweetness to baked goods. But bananas can be frustrating too. Often they get ripe faster than you’d like when you plan to eat the fruit as is, and then the opposite happens when you need to bake with them!

When you buy them with the sole intent of baking something delicious with them, like banana bread, they don’t seem to ripen quickly enough, and the wait can be brutal! The thing is, if you are baking banana bread, banana muffins, or bars and want them to be the best they can be, you need to use overripe bananas. But who wants to wait a week for that to happen? Not us! So, how do you speed up the ripening process in bananas and get them to ripen fast? 

That’s what we set to find out. In this article, we will discuss three methods we tested to ripen yellow bananas, so you can have them ready for your baked goods in 10 minutes instead of four to five days! Hello, on-demand overripe bananas – the oven is calling!

How do bananas ripen?

Like many fruits, bananas produce ethylene gas, which is critical to the ripening process. Ethylene is what changes the consistency and flavor of bananas and the color of the banana skin. It breaks down cell walls and transforms starches into sugars, which affects the taste and overall texture.

An essential part of banana ripening is the starch breakdown. Green and bright yellow bananas contain more complex starches, and as they ripen, more and more of those starches break down into simple sugars. This is what makes overripe bananas taste very sweet and perfect for baking.

As bananas ripen and age, they put off more and more ethylene, which in turn ripens them faster (aka breaks them down more quickly). Ethylene is responsible for the rapid (yet slow, when you want to actually bake with your banana) deterioration of the banana. We’ve all seen it happen; one day, you see a few brown specks, and the next half of your banana is brown and mushy in just 24 hours.

ripen bananas fast for baking How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

The Fastest Way to Ripen Bananas (in 10 minutes or less) For Baking Banana Bread

There are 3 methods to quickly ripen bananas for baking. Two of those take 10 minutes or less- the microwave and the air fryer. The third way to ripen bananas fast uses the oven, which takes just a few minutes longer.

The fastest way overall to ripen a banana is the microwave. BUT, the microwave is not our top choice. The allure of popping in your banana and cooking it for 2 minutes may seem great, but it does not produce as sweet or as nutritionally beneficial of a product as the oven, and air fryer do. If you’re looking for superior-tasting banana bread, then it’s best to skip the microwave altogether.

The air fryer comes in second as one of the quickest ways to ripen bananas, but we know not everyone has access to one, and some find the hassle of cleaning it to be more of a pain than it’s worth. Much like using the oven to turn your bananas into overripe wonders, the air fryer breaks down the starches and converts them to sugars in a more gentle way.

That leaves the oven as the third option, making it the slowest of the fast ripening options. That being said, it’s got our vote as the best. It won’t take longer than 20 minutes for your bananas to reach the ideal texture and sugar content for baking, and it comes with some additional perks!

If you have days instead of minutes and prefer to quick ripen a little more naturally, there are other methods you can use, such as putting them in a paper bag or with other fruits. We will touch on those methods after addressing the quick ones.

Can you use the microwave to ripen bananas?

Yes! Using the microwave is the fastest way to ripen bananas. However, the sugars won’t develop as deeply as they would with natural or other ripening methods. Because of this, the microwave method is best suited for recipes that use additional sugar or when you have a few already overripe bananas and just need to get one or two more bananas in for a banana-heavy recipe.

When it comes down to it, even though the microwave is the fastest method to quickly ripen bananas it’s not the tastiest.

how to ripen bananas quickly in the microwave How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

How to quickly ripen bananas in the microwave for banana bread

Ripening bananas in the microwave is a snap! All you’ll need to ripen bananas really quick is a microwave-safe plate and your bananas.

Step 1 For Quickly Ripening Bananas for Baking with the Microwave

Prepare your bananas for microwaving by peeling them and placing them on your microwave-safe plate. Bananas, if unpeeled, may explode in the microwave. If ripening multiple bananas, ensure they are not touching.

Step 2 For Quickly Ripening Bananas for Baking with the Microwave

Set your microwave for 60 seconds and start it. Check the progress of your bananas and flip over if they are softened on the top.

Step 3 For Quickly Ripening Bananas for Baking with the Microwave

Set your microwave to 30 seconds and continue to ripen the bananas in 30-second increments. The full amount of microwaving time will depend on your microwave power and how much ripening they need. Typically, it takes between 1-2 minutes total microwaving time.

Your banana is “ripened” when the texture is soft and mushy, almost runny looking. Remember, the goal is to break down the starch to achieve that starch to sugar transition, and the best way to gauge this is by the feel of the banana.

how to ripen bananas fast in the microwave How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

Can you use the oven to ripen bananas?

Absolutely! The oven method is the “slowest” of the quick techniques but still takes just minutes and is usually ready to use in your baked goodies in under 20. Also, since you’re presumably baking right after this, your oven will already be preheated and ready for your banana bread and the like. Oven ripening is also the ideal method for ripening a larger number of bananas at one time.

How to ripen bananas in the oven

Ripening bananas in the oven is our favorite method for quick results. Although it takes a few more minutes to get them to that overripe state, it produces the best product. The bananas taste better than using the microwave (and hold more nutrients). It gives you time to throw everything together for your recipe; as we mentioned above, your oven is ready to go soon after the bananas are done! Win-win! In total bananas ripen in the oven in 10-20 minutes, which compared to waiting days for countertop ripening is super quick in our book. 

To ripen your bananas in the oven, you’ll need a baking sheet with a lip and optionally aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

how to ripen bananas fast in the oven How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

How to Over Ripen Bananas Fast in the Oven Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. If you’re using aluminum foil, line your baking sheet with it. Layout the bananas on the baking sheet so that they are not touching. There is no need to peel the bananas.

How to Over Ripen Bananas Fast in the Oven Step 2:

Put your prepared baking sheet of bananas in the oven. If the bananas were already somewhat ripe (brown spots, just not soft), check on them after 5 minutes. If they were mostly yellow, wait 10 minutes to check on them.

How to Over Ripen Bananas Fast in the Oven Step 3: 

Once the bananas are a deep brown all over on the top side, flip them over (optional) and put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Flipping them will ensure the most even ripening. However, having done it both ways, it’s not problematic to skip flipping if you’re in a rush.

how to ripen bananas quickly in the oven How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

How to Over Ripen Bananas Fast in the Oven Step 4: 

Once the banana skins are “blackened” or brown-looking, they are ready to bake with. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool enough that you can work with them. Peel and use in your banana bread.

how to ripen under ripe bananas quickly in the oven How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

Can you use the air fryer to quickly ripen bananas?

Yes! In fact, because an air fryer is effectively a small convection oven, it may be the ideal appliance to quickly ripen bananas for baking. You get the more developed sugar breakdown of oven ripening, compared to the microwave, only faster! 

How to ripen bananas in the air fryer in under 10 minutes!

Ripening bananas for baking in the air fryer is a cinch. All you need is your air fryer and bananas, though parchment or aluminum foil can be used to reduce the cleanup. It is preferable to the microwave and, just like the oven, yields a better flavor and higher nutrient retention.

how to ripen bananas fast in the air fryer How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

How to Ripen Bananas Fast in the Air Fryer Step 1:

Preheat your air fryer to 300 degrees. Do not place foil or parchment paper in the fryer during the preheating process- with nothing weighing it down. It can blow around and damage your appliance. If you use foil or parchment, only cover the bottom of the basket, or wrap the bananas directly in foil and place them in the basket.

How to Ripen Bananas Fast in the Air Fryer Step 2:

Ideally, add the bananas to the basket so that they are not touching. If your air fryer has a rack to make it two-tier, you can utilize that to air fry more bananas simultaneously. Like the oven method, peeling the bananas is not necessary.

How to Ripen Bananas Fast in the Air Fryer Step 3:

Set your air fryer for 8-10 minutes. Remove the basket and let cool until the bananas can be peeled. Peel and use the bananas in your baked goods.

how to ripen bananas quickly in the air fryer How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

Best Banana Bread Recipes To Make With Your Newly Ripened Bananas!

If you’re looking up how to ripen bananas quickly for banana bread, you probably will enjoy a fast cooking banana bread recipe too. Muffins, mini-loaves, and bundt cake versions all bake up in about half the time of a traditional bread loaf:

Quick-Ripening Bananas FAQs

Can I use unripe bananas for banana bread?

It is not recommended to use unripe bananas in banana bread. While you can mash them with enough elbow grease, the sugars will not be adequately developed from their starch stage. The texture, sweetness, and flavor will all be impacted.

Can you bake In General with unripe bananas?

No, do not bake with unripe bananas. While you can mash them, the sugars in the banana will not be well-developed. The texture, sweetness, and flavor of the banana will be altered. Just like with using unripe bananas in banana bread, it is not advised.

Do bananas ripen faster in a bunch?

Yes, bananas ripen faster in a bunch than separate. This is because of the ethylene gas they put off as they ripen, which in turn speeds up the ripening process. Being around other bananas means each banana is exposed to the ethylene of the whole bunch instead of just its’ own.

Does a banana ripen faster in the fridge?

Yes and no. A banana peel will brown and blacken far faster in the fridge than on a counter. However, the fruit flesh inside ripens slower in the refrigerator, reducing the starch to sugar conversion that is desired for baking with bananas. Because of this, it is not recommended to ripen bananas in the fridge.

What fruits make bananas ripen faster?

Ripe apples, pears, and tomatoes help ripen bananas faster, along with other bananas. The saying “a bad apple spoils the bunch” is based on this concept- a very ripe apple puts off a good bit of ethylene gas, which then accelerates the ripening of the other fruit near it.

To utilize the “bad apple” to help you ripen your banana quickly, just throw the two together in a brown paper bag and watch your banana brown overnight!

how to ripen bananas quickly for baking How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

How do you ripen a banana in one day?

The best way to ripen a banana in one day is to place the banana and another ripe fruit like an apple in a paper bag. The ethylene produced by the other fruit (apples, pears, and tomatoes are best) helps to quicken the ripening of the banana, and the paper bag keeps the ethylene nearby to maximize the natural ripening.

How do you ripen a banana overnight?

The brown paper bag method is the best choice for overnight ripening. Place the banana and a ripe fruit- ideally an apple- in a paper bag and close it loosely.

What is the best way to quickly turn a banana from green to yellow?

The best way to turn a green banana yellow is to place it in a paper bag with other ripe fruit. Ripe apples, pears, tomatoes, or already ripe bananas are the best fruits to use.

Why are my green bananas not turning yellow?

Your green bananas may need more time to ripen and become yellow. Alternatively, they may not become that bright yellow, especially if they are organic. The fruit will still ripen inside, but some will be a duller yellow. In rare cases, the ripening process may have been stopped with refrigeration during transport and not restarted. If that is the case, the brown paper bag method may be enough ethylene gas to jumpstart the ripening.

ripen bananas fast for banana bread How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

You Can RipeN A Banana Quickly Without Scarificing Taste

So, what’s the verdict? The oven is our top choice for ripening bananas quickly. It takes just a few minutes longer than the microwave but produces a sweeter and more nutritious product. If you don’t have an oven or if you want something that will take even less time, the air fryer comes in at a close second. With just 10 minutes of cook time, your ripe banana desires will be fulfilled! But if you really can’t wait and need to make some banana bread STAT, the microwave is your best bet.

We know which one is our favorite- the oven- but we want to hear from you. What method are you going to try? Don’t forget to come back and let us know how it went.

bananas that were ripened quickly using the air fryer

How To Ripen A Banana Fast For Baking (3 Ways!)

Need to ripen a banana for banana bread or other baked goods? Turn your bananas from yellow to brown in under 10 minutes with the use of the microwave, oven or air fryer. Just pick your favorite method and get to baking!
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
0 mins
Total Time 12 mins

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper Or Aluminium Foil
  • Microwave-Safe Plate

Instructions
 

HOW TO RIPEN BANANAS IN THE OVEN

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. If you’re using aluminum foil, line your baking sheet with it. Layout the bananas on the baking sheet so that they are not touching. There is no need to peel the bananas.
    a row of bananas on a sheet pan getting ready to be ripened in the oven for use in banana bread
  • Put your prepared baking sheet of bananas in the oven. If the bananas were already somewhat ripe (brown spots, just not soft) check on them after 5 minutes. If they were mostly yellow, wait 10 minutes to check on them.
  • Once the bananas are a deep brown all over on the top side, flip them over (optional) and put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Flipping them will ensure the most even ripening, however, having done it both ways it’s not problematic to skip flipping if you’re in a rush.
  • Once the banana skins are “blackened” or brown-looking they are ready to bake with. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool enough that you can work with them. Peel and use in your banana bread.
    oven baked bananas on a sheet of tin foil after being put in unripe have come out of the oven ripened in 10 minutes

HOW TO QUICKLY RIPEN BANANAS IN THE MICROWAVE FOR BANANA BREAD

  • Prepare your bananas for microwaving by peeling them, and placing them on your microwave-safe plate.  Bananas if unpeeled may explode in the microwave.  If ripening multiple bananas, ensure they are not touching.
    a banana that is getting ready to be ripened fast in the microwave to be used in baking
  • Set your microwave for 60 seconds and start it.  Check the progress of your bananas and flip over if they are softened on the top.
  • Set your microwave to 30 seconds and continue to ripen the bananas in 30-second increments.  The full amount of microwaving time will depend on your microwave power and how much ripening they need.  Typically, it takes between 1-2 minutes total microwaving time.
  • Your banana is “ripened” when the texture is soft and mushy, almost runny looking. Remember the goal is to break down the starch to achieve that starch to sugar transition and the best way to gauge this is by the feel of the banana.
    banana that has been quick ripened in the microwave

HOW TO RIPEN BANANAS IN THE AIR FRYER IN UNDER 10 MINUTES

  • Preheat your air fryer to 300 degrees.  Do not place foil or parchment paper in the fryer during the preheating process- with nothing weighing it down it can blow around and damage your appliance.  If you use foil or parchment, only cover the bottom of the basket, or wrap the bananas directly in foil and place them in the basket.
    three bananas in an air fryer basket to be getting ready to be ripened for use in baking
  • Add the bananas to the basket, ideally so that they are not touching.  If your air fryer has a rack to make it two-tier, you can utilize that to air fry more bananas at the same time.  Like the oven method, peeling the bananas is not necessary.
  • Set your air fryer for 8-10 minutes.  Remove the basket and let cool until the bananas can be peeled.  Peel and use the bananas in your baked goods.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author:

AnneAslanides How to ripen bananas quickly (10 Min!) For Banana Bread Baking & Sweets

Anne is a stay-at-home mom of two young children who started Easier Motherhood to combat overwhelm in motherhood by sharing easy, family-friendly recipes. She believes that moms deserve more than just getting through the day and that by spending less time in the kitchen they can spend more time enjoying their families- and even have some for themselves too.

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