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 caramelized banana splits, and I wanted to make them 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:
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:
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 (or even less if you want ripe but still somewhat firm bananas for banana pancake ice cream). And, 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.