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How To Use Your Oven To Ripen Bananas

Hey, did you guys know you can ripen bananas in the oven? Call me naive, but I did NOT know this until last weekend. I wanted to make Tropical Mango Banana Bourbon Bread, and I wanted to make it right away. I had already waited for my severely underripe banans to ripen for about a week. And seriously, those things just weren’t budging. They were more green than yellow and hard as rocks, and I wasn’t waiting any longer.

I had heard of the trick of ripening things by putting them in a paper bag with an apple. I’ve had some moderate success with that with underripe avocados, but it still usually takes 2 – 3 days to work it’s magic. And seriously, I really didn’t want to wait any longer.

Enter stage left: a quick Google search. A few different sources told me I could put the bananas in a low oven and ripen those bad boys right up. Here’s what they looked like when I started:

Use Your Oven to Quickly Ripen Bananas for Bread, Muffins, etc. |

I put them in the oven at the lowest setting my oven would run at (170° F). I baked them for 20 minutes, and the bottoms were starting to darken, so I flipped them over and baked them another 20 minutes. At that point, they looked like this:

Use Your Oven to Quickly Ripen Bananas for Bread, Muffins, etc. |

Pardon the bad photography – the sun started to set while I was doing this, and I forgot to white-balance the camera between shots. But I can assure you that that’s the same baking pan and the same bananas. Not gonna lie, I may have overdone it a bit. These bananas were so soft on the inside, they were like a creamy paste! This worked out perfectly well for banana bread, although maybe 30 minutes baking time would have been enough. However, I wouldn’t recommend this method for ripening bananas for eating as-is purposes.

There you have it. My little kitchen hacking adventure that got me eating banana bread right away instead of watching bananas never slowly ripen.


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9 Responses to “How To Use Your Oven To Ripen Bananas”

  1. Autism United — April 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Great tip! We have been having banana shortages here in Ontario, well my little village anyways, and when we can get bananas they are so so green.


  2. Lori Yates — April 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Oh no – sorry to hear about your banana shortages. I actually don’t prefer them on their own (I really only eat them when they’re baked into baked goods…haha). So, if I could ship you my share of bananas from here in Michigan, I would! haha.


  3. Suzanne — April 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I never knew this, I have had the same problem with banana’s not ripening, This is a revelation, Thank you for posting this!


  4. Lori Yates — April 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks Suzanne. I debated about whether to even post it or not, but I’m glad I did! I usually try to keep ripened bananas in the freezer, but that doesn’t always happen, so this is another way to work with what you have.


  5. Pat Kallio — April 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    This is genius!! Banana bread here I come!!


  6. Lori Yates — April 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Yay Pat! Let me know how long the bananas take to cook in your oven, if you try it.


  7. Mahomed — July 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    If you are willing to wait a few days then leave the bananas in direct sunlight. They’ll ripen naturally and quickly and will be edible, as opposed to just good for banana bread :)


  8. Martyalbright — February 6, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Tried the oven method and the bananas tasted like potatoes! Yuck


    • Lori Yates replied: — February 9th, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you, Marty! Are you sure they weren’t plantains? 😉


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