Pineapple is a tropical fruit and is often associated with Hawaii and summer times. Just hearing the word pineapple will make you drool because the sweet taste and flavor of pineapple are unique and refreshing.
However, the pineapples you buy may not be optimally ripe; in that case, they might be too sour to eat. So today, I shall teach you how to identify pineapples, ripen them, and much more. So let’s begin!
Before you learn how to ripen pineapples, you should learn how to identify the best and most ripe pineapples.
How to Choose the Best Pineapples?
- Color: Color is a great indicator of the ripeness and state of a pineapple. However, ripe pineapples often stay green but mature inside with the outward appearance of a raw pineapple. You should choose deep golden-colored pineapples. Avoid brown pineapples as they may be rotting.
In addition to this, avoid buying pineapples that have poor leaves and damaged and discolored leaves.
- Softness: Usually, a healthy pineapple will not be soft. Softness is a sign of rotting when it comes to pineapples. That being said, hardness is a sign of immature and unripe pineapples. Ideally, when you tap or press a pineapple gently, it shouldn’t cause a dent, and the feel should be relatively firm.
- Skin: The skin should have no bruises or damage.
- Smell: Ripe pineapples will always have a sweet smell, especially around their base.
Tip : If pineapples smell too sweet and a bit tangy, they have started to ferment and go bad, so always avoid them.
Avoid eating pineapples if you have acid reflux problems.
How to Ripen a Pineapple Quickly at Home?
Pineapples can be ripened in various ways. Let us see the best and most effective hacks:
1. Exposing to Ethylene Gas
This may sound complicated and, to some extent, scary, but it is the easiest way ever. This method has been used for a long time and is tried and true. Ethylene gas encourages fruits to ripen. The best and easiest way to expose pineapples to Ethylene gas is by keeping them together with fruits that emit ethylene gas. Some common fruits that emit huge amounts of Ethylene gas are apples, bananas, pears, etc.
- Take a paper bag; a brown grocery bag will work just fine.
- Take some bananas, apples, etc., and place them in the bag.
- Place the unripe pineapples inside the bag and close it.
- Wait for about 12 hours and check.
- If it has not ripened, close the bag up, leave it to mature, and return and check it frequently after intervals of a few hours.
Tip : Even if you don’t see visual clues, if you smell a sweet aroma from the pineapples, it has ripened.
If you plan on ripening pineapples this way, always closely observe them, as they can go bad easily.
2. Placing It Upside Down
Okay, this might sound unbelievable but trust me, this works! Pineapples have a strange tendency to ripen from the bottom up. It might also happen that the bottom of your fruit is ripe, but the top isn’t. So, to fix and make the pineapple mature evenly, follow these steps.
- Take the pineapple and remove or cut some leaves so it can stand.
- You may need to cut the crown off, but ideally, you should avoid doing that.
- Wait for a few hours and inspect the fruit; if it hasn’t ripened yet, then wait for a few hours and repeat this until the pineapple is fully ripe.
Gravity is the main reason why this ripening occurs. It makes all the natural sugars and juices slowly make their way down, thus dispersing them more evenly throughout the fruit.
3. Placing It in Rice
Okay, this may sound crazy to some extent, but rice can help your pineapple to ripen faster!
- Take a large container or bowl.
- Place the pineapple inside it.
- Now cover the entire pineapple in rice up to the stem.
- Let it stay there overnight and check it the next day.
- If it still hasn’t ripened yet, then simply check it after intervals of a few hours until it ripens.
The rice draws out the pineapples’ moisture and encourages them to ripen. Afterward, the rice may have a slight pineapple smell, but is that bad? You can make sticky rice or stir-fried rice with that, which will taste amazing!
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4. Storing It in a Polythene or Clear Bag
This will also help the pineapple ripen, which usually takes about a day.
- Place the pineapple in a poly bag.
- Place the bagged pineapple in a nice dark shaded spot at room temp.
- Allow it to stay there for a day and keep checking it till it’s ripe!
This is one of the easiest and most simple ways of ripening pineapples at home.
What to Do with Pineapples that Are Not Fully Ripe?
If your pineapple isn’t fully ripe after following these steps, then chances are you did something wrong. But in that case, a few things can be done to it so that it doesn’t taste that sour.
- Sprinkle sugar on it.
- Add honey to it.
- Soak it in orange juice.
- Cook them by grilling, baking, or even simmering them.
While these may not be the best solutions, these are viable. And it won’t hurt to try these out to save your pineapples from ending up in the trash can.
How long does pineapple take to ripen naturally?
Pineapples take about 12-16 months to ripen on the plant.
How long does it take for pineapples to ripen at home?
Depending on its state, it can take anywhere between 8-48 hours.
Do pineapples ripen faster inside the fridge?
No. They may become softer, but they won’t ripen.
Is pineapple an acidic fruit?
Yes! They are very acidic!
Do pineapples ripen after being harvested or cut from the plant?
No, pineapples stop ripening naturally after being harvested or cut from their plant.
Putting pineapples in pizza may be a debatable topic. But one thing the whole world agrees on is that pineapples are tasty! No other fruit is like it. So go out there and get some pineapples, even if they are not fully ripe yet. Because now you know how to ripen them at home. Thank me when you are sipping down that Pina Colada, and yes, till next time!