What’s the Fastest Way to Ripen a Peach?

updated Sep 4, 2022
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(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

It might feel like a major letdown when your craving for juicy summer peaches is met with a selection of rock-hard orbs. Those fruits lack both the taste and texture you’re after. But have a little patience, follow this tip, and they’ll be exactly what you’re dreaming of sooner than you think.

Start with a Brown Paper Bag

There are a couple different methods for ripening rock-hard peaches, but when time is of the essence and you want to bite into a soft and juicy peach ASAP, your best bet is to start with a brown paper bag.

Here’s How to Do It

Simply place the peaches in a brown paper bag, loosely roll the top closed, and leave at room temperature. The total time for ripening varies, and largely depends on just how firm the peaches are when starting, but it’s safe to plan on a day or two.

Check the peaches after about 24 hours. When ripe, they should be fragrant and give to the touch just a little. If they’re not quite there yet, give them another day and check again.

Want to speed up the process? Toss a banana in the bag along with the peaches.

Why This Method Works

Peaches, like apples, pears, and bananas, naturally release ethylene gas. When stored in a paper bag, the gas is trapped and accelerates ripening. Avoid using plastic bags for ripening peaches. While they’ll trap the ethylene gas, plastic also traps moisture, which will cause fruit to rot more quickly.

Bananas emit even more ethylene gas, so placing them in the bag along with the peaches will speed up the ripening process even further.

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