Can You Microwave Bananas?

If you’ve bought a bunch of green, unripe bananas from the supermarket and you don’t want to wait for them to ripen naturally, you might be wondering if it’s possible to microwave bananas to speed the process up a little?

Yes, you can ripen your bananas in the microwave if you don’t have time to wait for them to ripen naturally. You will need to split the peel ever so slightly and microwave for twenty seconds, and it will be ripe enough to enjoy.

How to Microwave Bananas

We should start by saying that you should only microwave unripe bananas. If you heat a banana in the microwave that is yellow and ready to eat, it will turn brown and mushy, which isn’t the ideal texture.

Here are the steps you need to take to ripen your banana in the microwave without causing it to go bad:

  1. Pierce the Peel
    Begin by running a sharp knife down the banana peel to create a small slit. You don’t need to run the blade all the way down the banana; just an inch or so in the centre should do the trick. 
  2. Wrap in a Paper Towel
    Once you have slit your banana, wrap it in a paper towel and place it in the microwave. 
  3. Heat
    Switch your microwave to medium power and nuke your banana for 20 seconds. 
  4. Check for Doneness
    Remove the banana from the microwave and check its feel and texture. You want to make sure the banana has softened enough to eat it, and you can return it to the microwave for a further ten seconds or so if it isn’t quite ready. 
  5. Enjoy
    After nuking your banana, peel it and tuck in! 

3 Tips for Microwaving Bananas

If you don’t want to ruin bananas by turning them into a mushy mess in the microwave, then take the time to read out top 3 tips:

Don’t Overdo It
If you microwave a banana on full power or leave it in the microwave for too long, you will cause it to go mushy, and it may even turn brown. As such, 20-30 seconds should be more than enough time to ripen your banana in the microwave.

Microwave One at a Time
If you want to ripen more than one banana in the microwave, you will need to microwave them one at a time. Putting a bunch of bananas in the microwave at the same time will cause them to heat unevenly and is likely to spoil the bananas. 

Leave the Peel On
You don’t need to remove the peel when you’re microwaving bananas. Instead, just cut a small gap in the peel to allow the heat to get to the fruit, and you can then peel it once it has ripened. 

Advantages of Microwaved Bananas

While you might think that microwaving bananas is a little strange, it’s actually a perfectly good way to get them ready to eat, with the following advantages:

  1. You Don’t Need to Wait for them to Ripen Naturally
    Waiting for bananas to ripen naturally can be frustrating, particularly if you want a quick snap. Nuking them in the microwave for twenty seconds means you can enjoy unripe bananas whenever you like. 
  2. You can Buy Unripe Bananas from the Supermarket
    Knowing this simple trick to ripen bananas in the microwave means you can buy unripe bananas from the supermarket. This will save your bananas from going to waste.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Bananas

While ripening bananas in the microwave is relatively straightforward, it’s not 100% foolproof for the following reasons:

  1. You can Ruin the Texture
    If you microwave a banana for too long (more than thirty seconds), you will ruin the texture. Make sure you nuke your bananas by following the steps above, and you shouldn’t have any issues. 
  2. It’s Only Viable for Unripe Bananas
    You should only microwave unripe bananas, as microwaving those that are ready to eat will cause them to go mushy and discolour. 

How to Reheat Bananas in the Microwave

Frankly, we wouldn’t recommend reheating bananas in the microwave. While it’s okay to nuke them once to ensure they’re delicious and ready to eat, if you put a banana in the microwave more than once, it will change its taste and texture.

For the best results, enjoy your banana immediately after you have nuked it, and it will taste absolutely fine.

How to Defrost Bananas in the Microwave

If you’ve frozen a bag of peeled and sliced bananas to use in a smoothie or any other recipe and what to defrost them, you can microwave them for sixty-second bursts on your microwave’s defrost setting until they’re soft enough and ready to eat or use in your chosen recipe.

Again, make sure you don’t overdo it when it comes to thawing your bananas, or you will find that they will go mushy.

Final Summary

Microwaving bananas for 20-30 seconds is a great way to ripen them, and providing you follow the steps introduced above, you shouldn’t experience any issues when it comes to microwaving bananas.