How to Ripen Bananas Quickly in the Oven

How to quickly ripen bananas

Craving banana bread, but no ripe bananas? Try this easy kitchen hack to ripen bananas quickly in your oven!

So you have an urge to make something requiring ripe bananas (or actually overripe bananas), like banana bread, or my german chocolate cake. But you don’t have any overripe bananas, and you don’t want to wait a few days to ripen them in a paper bag. It happens.

Luckily the magic of science has provided us with a solution to take regular or even slightly underripe bananas and ripen them quickly in the oven.

Simply spread your bananas (with the peels ON, please) on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the skin is shiny black. I don’t show it in the photo, but it might not be a bad idea to use a silicone baking mat over your baking sheet since the bananas can break open and leak, but direct contact with aluminum probably isn’t a concern if you leave the peels on.

Yeah, really, that’s all it takes. They will come out looking frighteningly black:

Ripen Bananas in the Oven

But don’t worry, on the inside they are nice and soft and sweet. The heat from the oven activates the sugars in the banana, simulating the ripening process.

You can stick them in the fridge for a few minutes until the bananas are cool enough to handle, and then peel them open. See? Not burnt at all! Just soft and ready to mash into whatever recipe you’ve got a hankering to make.

Bananas Ripened in the Oven

This doesn’t work with completely green bananas–they do need to be at least mostly ripe to get the desired results. But since they are usually close to ripe when you buy them, this shaves off a few days of waiting!

How many of you already knew you could quickly ripen bananas in the oven so quickly? Anyone have any other simple kitchen tips that save time or effort to share? I’m always looking for new pointers!

Thank you for sharing!

Quickly Ripen Bananas

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49 Comments

  • Love the tip! Great timesaver! Tip: I did mine in a toaster oven and it went real quick. Temp still at 300 but it only took a total of 25-30 mins flipping them halfway through. Turned out great!

  • When I needed bananas to be riper than they were, I froze them and they worked great for banana bread. It didn’t take them long to thaw. They were very moist and mushy.

  • Hi, just used this trick to make some banana muffins. Putting them in the oven for an hour certainly made the bananas soft and easy to mash but they still tasted unripe; they hadn’t developed that rich banana flavor. So I wouldn’t recommend it for anything where the taste of the fruit isn’t really important.

  • This works well, but like you said, the texture of the oven-ripened bananas is different – I find them so mushy that they’re really only good for banana bread or baking. I like slicing up bananas and putting them in the freezer but I could never do this with the ones I made in the oven, they were incredibly unappealing to me.

  • So glad i saw this. Im craving banana bread today and i didn’t want to wait for the bananas to ripen. They are in the oven now. Thank you!!

  • Thanks a billion!!! i was a bit scared when i saw my big black banana but it was perfect for my banana walnut cookies! I wanted to make it for my brother who was coming the next day and i was worried because i forgot to get bananas. Thanks to your method i’m saved the time needed for bananas to ripen.

  • Thanks for the tip, I will be trying this, I made banana bread for my fiance last week and now he wants it all the time but our bananas are not ripe enough so you can bet I will try this tip!!!

  • Thanks for the tip on the butternut squash Audrey! I love making soup with it, but HATE peeling them. This should make the whole process so much quicker, easier with so much less mess 😀

  • WTF? I followed the recipe using near ripe bananas and mine came out hard inside and impossible to mash. You owe me $1.50 worth of organic bananas. 🙂

  • I tried this today and it didn’t quite work out. The banana skins went dark black, but the bananas themselves had an odd odor and they tasted awful, not like bananas at all. I opted not to use them as I’m making a dessert for Christmas Day and want it to taste good 😉 Not sure what went wrong there.

  • Thanks So Very Much, I always Make Banana Breads for Christmas & forget How Early to Buy them, so they get soft & mushy !! Really Appreciate This !! 🙂

  • My sister has the flu and asked me to bake her a loaf of my banana bread. I learned years ago that banana bread tastes as good coming up as it does going down and shared it with my family. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any ripe bananas to fill her request. Thank you for your wonderful, quick way to make it possible to grant her wish.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  • Great idea to put in the oven. I had been putting them on top of stove as the oven baked other dishes to speed up the ripening. That does speed up the rippening as well ,but not it is a much slower process.

  • What about microwaving the banana’s I thought I had heard that once somewhere that you can ripen a banana in the microwave. Has anyone else heard of that?

  • Love the tip on the squash. I love having some sort of squash/zucchini in my soups but I hate having to cut up a squash and that is a great idea!

  • This is the best tip I’ve found in a very long time! I’m both impatient and impulsive, so I’ve made compromises on taste by using unripened bananas on many occasions.
    It worked perfectly!
    Thanks!

  • Did I somehow screw up the simple process of putting bananas in the oven? No one else has mentioned that this makes the bananas taste and smell terrible. Totally no good for making ice cream.

  • Hi:
    I needed ripe bananas to make ice cream so I tried your oven trick. It worked but an hour was way to long. I checked on them after 30 minutes and even that might have been to long. The next time I’ll try a lower temp an check on them every 10 minutes. It’s a very good idea, thanks.

  • See you have many options to share tips from your site; however, what happened to the old e-mail forward?????

    Not all of us are tech savvy nor want to be!

  • I actually just tried this yesterday, and it worked just fine for baking, but the texture of the bananas coming out of the oven was really odd, Sort of not as soft, or maybe stringy. Is that typical?

  • One way is to keep the bananas with an apple in a brown paper bag; or keep an apple near the bananas. Of course your method seems to be the quickest!
    🙂

  • How do you think these bananas would turn out after “browning” and then put in the freezer? Do you know if they would still turn out creamy?

  • am surprised…. so quickly you came to know about the award. love your blog jessica. and i won’t be silent now. loved this tip too of ripening the bananas.

  • Well, that is a new trick. But, since we have our own banana palms, and the weather is getting hot…104 deg. F yesterday…I can save on the oven. BUT, do like the idea of a quick way to ‘ripen’ them in the winter time. Thanks.

  • Wow, how interesting! Those black bananas do look a bit freaky, though. 🙂

    One tip I found out that has really made things easier for me is to partially cook butternut or kabocha or other squashes before cutting. I just wash the squash, poke a few holes in the top and pop in the oven (at whatever temp–325, 350, 400F) until I can easily stick a knife in it, but it is not yet mushy. I then take it out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and then cut and peel it as a I normally would. Once it’s cut up how I want it I just roast it, steam it, toss it in a stew…whatever the recipe calls for… to finish cooking.

  • I’ve never done this before! I always have bananas on hand and I let them ripen and buy more as needed. I use a lot for smoothies and such so I like to have the ripe speckled bananas. Speckled ones are best for smoothies, and very soft squishy black bananas are the best for baking.

    If you need to replace oil or eggs in a recipe and you don’t have bananas you can also peel and chop an apple and blend with a little water for a raw apple sauce you can use right away as well.

    I have a guide on how to tell if bananas are ripe and when they are at the best taste for eating and recipes

    http://lowfatveganchef.com/how-to-tell-if-a-banana-is-ripe/

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