How to Ripen a Pineapple with These 3 Easy Methods

How to Ripen a Pineapple

Fond of all things tropical? You’re sure to find comfort in pineapples – in what is undoubtedly one of the most tropical fruits ever. From eating it as it is, frozen, in desserts, or even in savory dishes, this fruit is not one to disappoint… That is unless you have picked an unripe one. With this, you might be wondering how to ripen a pineapple. We have got you covered.

Whether you’ve seen this spiky fruit in the farmer’s market or at your nearby grocery, there’s no denying that pineapples rarely have a tell-tale sign that they are ripe. Sure, they might be yellow and golden on the outside, but their insides can reveal an entirely different story.

Sweet, tangy, juicy, and oh so yummy, pineapples are best consumed ripe. However, when they’re still underripe, you can taste hints of bitterness and sourness. Plus, the fleshy part of the produce itself tends to be quite hard.

Want to know how to ripen a pineapple? We’ll let you in on all the details.

The Maturation and Development Process

Unlike other fruits like apples, oranges, and even mangoes, pineapples won’t ripen on their own once picked from their stems or base. This is because the sugar that makes this spiky fruit is actually stored in the stump of pineapple. These natural sugars are originally starch reserves, which are slowly converted into sugar and contribute to the sweetness of the fruit itself.

How to Ripen a Pineapple

In the event that you managed to snag some unripe fruit on your way home, you can easily find ways to ripen it in your own kitchen. Let’s take a look.

  • Method 1: Store With Other Easily Ripened Fruits

If you have noticed apples, bananas, and tomatoes ripening at a faster pace compared to pineapples, place them side-by-side. Easily ripened fruits owe this property to a plant hormone called ethylene, which is typically associated with ripening fruits. The ethylene emitted from these fruits will affect the pineapple, too. In a few days (or hours) time, you will have a perfectly juicy treat waiting for you.

Pineapple Placed with Other Fruits

  • Method 2: Store the Fruit at Room Temperature

Normally, you want to preserve your fresh fruit in the fridge. But in this case, you may want to leave your pineapple at room temperature to help hasten the maturation process.

Leaving it at room temperature allows the fibers and flesh to soften within one to two days. Any longer than this may result in fermentation, so make sure to keep an eye on your precious golden fruit. A similar approach may be placing the fruit in uncooked rice grains and allowing it to soften and ripen slowly.

  • Method 3: Turn it Upside Down

While this may seem unusual in practice, turning the pineapple upside-down might help you yield faster and more effective ripening results. Doing this allows the natural sugars within to work their way through the tops of the leaves. Not only does this facilitate even development, but this method also saves you from eating rotten fruit. Do this by placing the head of the pineapple onto a plate or bowl.

How to Tell If a Pineapple Is Ripe

Now that you know the different ways you can ripen a pineapple, it’s time that you also learn how to select a fresh and ripe pineapple at the store. Check these out.

  • Check the Color

Although pineapples normally have a greenish-yellow hue, this color can drastically change as it ripens. From a greenish-yellow to a greenish-gray, the exterior tends to take on a yellower tint as it matures over time.

To help you select the best of the bunch, make sure to err on the side of caution and simply pick the fruit with the most yellow tone. The same principle applies after you have ripened the fruit by yourself.

  • Smell the Produce

As with other fruits, one of the tell-tale signs and perhaps the best way to gauge a fruit’s ripeness is by its smell. Take a sniff and if you catch a strong whiff of sweetness, this indicates it is ripe. But, if it barely has any scent, this means that the fruit is still unripe.

However, if you catch whiffs of a vinegar-like odor or an overly sweet smell, this may tell you that fermentation has begun.

  • Feel the Texture

Last but not least, feel the texture of the pineapple. A firm hand-feel might tell you that it’s still unripe. However, a slightly soft texture means that it is ripe and ready to consume.

The Bottom Line

With these easy and nifty tricks, you can stop wondering how to ripen a pineapple. Instead, you can proceed with enjoying your fruit the best way you know how. You can use it with pineapple-based recipes, or even eat it as it is. 

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