How to Ripen Cherries

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In addition to their pleasing flavor, cherries offer a number of important health benefits -- including lowered cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduced free radical concentrations and a lowered risk of certain types of cancer. In addition, cherries can be an effective alternative to over-the-counter painkillers for individuals who have osteoarthritis.

Ripening Cherries on a Tray or Bowl

Remove cherries from the plastic bag, and place on a flat tray, such as a cookie sheet, or in a glass bowl.

Carefully spread the cherries out over the surface of the cookie sheet, forming a single layer.

Place the cookie sheet or bowl in a cool, well-ventilated area. Make sure the fruit is not in direct sunlight.

Allow the cherries to remain in place for two days, then evaluate their status. If the cherries have not reached your desired degree of ripeness, let them sit for another day. Depending on their maturity at the time of harvest, they may be at optimal ripeness within two to three days.

Ripening Cherries in a Bag

Remove the cherries from the plastic bag, and place them in a paper bag. Put a ripe banana inside the paper bag along with the cherries.

Place the paper bag in a well-ventilated area that offers cool temperatures. Position the paper bag so it is out of direct sunlight.

Allow the bag to remain in place for two days, and check the cherry ripeness levels. Leave them in the bag for another day if they have not yet matured.


Do not wash cherries until you are ready to eat them. Washing the fruit before attempting to ripen it may cause it to rot.

Promoting increases in the production of ethylene gas can be an effective way to speed fruit ripeness. Placing fruit on a flat tray, in a bowl on in a bag with other produce can be an effective way to stimulate the production of ethylene gas.