While some fruits do best out on the counter, others are best refrigerated. Where do bananas do best? Will they keep longer in the fridge? 

What is the best way to store bananas?

The best way to store bananas is to keep them at room temperature and hang them from a banana tree or hanger to maximize airflow to the fruit until they ripen. This assumes that you are waiting for your bananas to ripen before you eat them.

Can you put bananas in the fridge?

If you have ripe bananas that you want to preserve a little longer, you can put them in the refrigerator. This will slow the ripening process so the bananas stay firm and flavorful for longer.

The banana’s peel may turn black in the fridge, but the fruit inside should still be good for about a week.

Why does banana skin turn black in the fridge?

I had a boss several years ago who rode a motorcycle to work, even in the cold. He brought a banana with him to snack on at work and he was amazed that when he got to work and pulled the banana out of his bag, it had turned black. He said it was green when he left home.

This shows how quickly banana skins can turn black when being subjected to cold temperatures. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t ripen the fruit. It just turns the skin black.

Bananas are tropical fruit and they are not made to be in the cold. We aren’t even talking below freezing temperatures – bananas are affected at any temperature below 58°f. 

Banana skin turns black because the cold temperature ruptures the cells within the skin. It oxidizes the phenol enzymes to melanin, turning the skin black. 

Going back to bananas being a tropical fruit, they just simply don’t have the ability to protect themselves from the cold temperatures.

However, only the skin is negatively affected by the cold temperatures, so even though it may be unsightly on the outside, the fruit inside is still safe to eat.

Should sliced bananas be refrigerated?

If you have a partial banana, you can keep it a little longer by putting it in the fridge. Keep the skin on the remainder of the banana, cover the exposed end to block as much oxygen as possible, and store it in the fridge for a short amount of time. 

If you need to slice up a banana for a recipe you’re making later, you have the option of refrigerating or freezing the banana slices. 

The peeled and sliced fruit will turn brown unless you coat them with an acid like lemon juice. Once coated, store them in an airtight container in the fridge if you will be using them soon, or in the freezer if you want to save them for making ice cream or banana bread later.

Can you put unripe bananas in the fridge?

If bananas are not ripe before they get cold, they will be unable to ripen once they have been subjected to cold. Even if you remove them from the cold, they will be unable to continue ripening past the point that they did before they were chilled.

If you like your bananas a little more green rather than ripe, you could try putting some in the fridge before they ripen to preserve them in that state.

In fact, several people seem to prefer the taste of chilled unripe bananas.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I'm home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.

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