Can Bananas Be Refrigerated? (Explained)

Can Bananas Be Refrigerated

We’ve all been there where we buy a bunch of bananas. The bandanas stay green for a long time before turning yellow and ripe for a split second just before turning brown and overripe.

You might be wondering how you can preserve ripe bananas or figure out how to make perfectly yellow bandanas last longer.

So can you store bananas in the refrigerator?

Ripe unpeeled bananas can be refrigerated to help them stay fresh for longer. However, refrigerating unripe bananas will prevent them from ripening causing the peels to turn black and the inside to be bitter. So only place bananas in the fridge when they have turned ripe and eat them within two days.

Peeled and sliced bananas can be stored in the fridge for up to three or four days.

There are some nuances to refrigerating bananas. So here are some guidelines to help you preserve your excess or leftover bananas.

Why Do Bananas Ripen So Quickly?

A superstition from the 1700s prevented sailors from bringing bananas on any journeys they took on their boats.

Bananas are said to be an omen of danger, but in reality, it’s because of the gas they emit when ripening. The gas that bananas emit, ethylene, would cause other food on the boat to spoil. This would make the long boat journey even harder with all the food spoiled.

Ethylene gas is emitted from bananas as they ripen which also ripens other fruits and vegetables around them.

Cool temperatures stop bananas from ripening so if you live in a cool climate or a heavily air-conditioned space then your bananas may stay green for a while.

However, the ripening process is very quick so your yellow bananas will turn brown in no time!

Ethylene gas spreads from the stem of the banana to the other parts of the fruit quickly. So one ripe banana will cause the other bananas in the bunch to ripen.

Can Bananas Be Stored In The Fridge?

So is it bad to put bananas in the fridge? What happens to bananas that get refrigerated?

Unripe green bananas should not be placed in the fridge. These unripe bananas will not ripen. In fact, the skin will actually darken and turn black while the inside will remain firm and bitter.

ripening bananas

Ripe yellow bananas can be stored in the refrigerator in order to preserve their freshness. The cool temperature in the fridge prevents the banana from over-ripening quickly. Typically ripe bananas placed in the fridge will last for up to two weeks.

However, make sure that you store your bananas in the fridge correctly.

How To Store Bananas In The Refrigerator Correctly

Even in the fridge, it’s important to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any residual ethylene gas that may be emitted from the bananas does not reach any other fruits or vegetables in your refrigerator.

For example, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkins, squash, and leafy greens are all sensitive to ethylene gas.

Storing Bananas In Fridge With Peel On

Storing bananas with the peel on is very simple. Just wrap each banana individually with plastic wrap to block and contain the ethylene gas.

Storing Peeled or Sliced Bananas In Fridge

Storing peeled or sliced bananas is a simple process.

A peeled banana can be stored in plastic wrap similar to a regular banana with the peel on. However, peeled bananas may get discolored and start to turn brown.

In order to slow down or prevent the brown color from happening, you can squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the banana. This trick also works with sliced apples and pears since lemon juice helps prevent oxidation.

How Long Do Bananas Keep In The Fridge?

Unpeeled ripe bananas keep for a few days in the fridge. They do emit some gas which can spoil other products in your fridge so you’re better off enjoying them sooner rather than later.

Peeled sliced bananas last for 3 to 4 days if they are stored properly in the fridge.

How To Keep Bananas Fresh Longer

There are a couple of hacks that help you keep your bananas fresh so that you do not need to refrigerate them.

First, you can wrap just the stems with plastic wrap. You may notice that banana bunches bought at grocery stores already have some plastic wrapped around the stem. This prevents the ethylene gas produced by bananas from spreading to other parts of the banana, slowing down the ripening process.

Secondly, hang your bananas on a banana rack. Airflow helps keep bananas fresh. Additionally, the bottoms of the bananas won’t bruise, which prevents them from browning quickly.

Lastly, keep bananas away from direct sunlight. Even though bananas are a tropical fruit used to sunlight while growing on trees, picked bananas are a different story. Once picked, bananas will ripen faster when exposed to direct sunlight.

Is It Better To Keep Bananas In The Fridge Or On The Counter?

It is best to store bananas on the counter until they are ripe. Make sure to keep the bananas away from other fruits and sunlight.

Once bananas are ripe the best storage method depends on how quickly you plan on eating the bananas.

If you like to eat bananas as a snack then try wrapping the stems with plastic to prevent them from getting overripe too quickly.

However, if you plan on eating the bananas next week then it is best to wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the fridge. You can also let the bananas get overripe and include them in your next banana bread dish!

Final Thoughts

Bananas are a finicky fruit. It can take a while for bananas to ripen and it can feel like there’s a very short window for enjoying a perfectly ripe banana.

However, there are steps that you can take to keep your bananas fresh for longer which includes refrigerating bananas when they are perfectly ripe.


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