But, it is not going to work for all unripe tomatoes—just those that tick all the boxes (see below). Lots of people put their unripe tomatoes in a paper bag or box lined with newspaper plus a ripe banana or apple and—poof—a few weeks later they have nice, ripe fruit. Others do the same and they stay as green as the day they were picked.
This of course begs the question “How do you ripen Tomatoes in a paper bag?”
Dry the tomatoes completely and then put them all into a big paper grocery bag. Fold the top over to close the bag. Look inside every day to see what magical ripening action has taken place. Take out the fully ripened tomatoes and add more newly-picked mostly green tomatoes if you have them.
This begs the inquiry “How to ripen green tomatoes in the bag?”
In the bag: To ripen a few green tomatoes, put them in a paper bag, close it up, and store in a warm location in your home. Kept enclosed together, the ethylene they emit will stimulate ripening. You can add a ripe banana or apple as well to speed things up. Once a tomato is ripe, remove it from the bag and enjoy it right away.
Why do we ripen fruit in paper bags?
The short answer is that paper bags keep the ethylene trapped in the bag which enhances the ripening process while at the same time permitting some oxygen to enter the bag, allowing the fruit cells to respirate and produce more ethylene.
I discovered the ethylene produced during respiration enhances the ripening process so when we put climacteric fruit in a paper (or plastic) bag, “none” of the ethylene can escape, thereby exposing the fruit to more and more ethylene as it continues to ripen.
How do you ripen under ripe tomatoes faster?
The more ethylene they’re around, the more they’ll ripen. So putting the not ripe tomatoes in a situation where they’re around more ethylene is the key to ripening them further. Put all of your under-ripe tomatoes together in a breathable container. This could be a cardboard box, a paper bag, or a plastic bag with holes cut in it.
I can dig in! check the tomatoes’ ripening progress every day or so. If a slip-up occurs and one goes mushy, simply sort out the rest into another paper bag, washing away anything suspect, and toss out the damp paper bag (or recycle it). This year, I’ve used a wide but shallow cardboard box (approximately 18” x 12” x 6”) as the tomato ripening center.
Place two or three unripe tomatoesin a brown paper bagwith an apple, and roll the top closed. As the apple continues to ripenin the bag, it naturally produces ethylene gas, a plant hormone responsible for the ripeningprocess. The gas trapped in the bag willcause the tomatoesto ripen. Will Green tomatoes ripen on the window sill?
What happens if you put Tomatoes in a plastic bag?
Note that using sealed plastic containers will capture too much of what they let off; intact plastic bags and containers will trap in humidity along with ethylene. The humidity will make the tomatoes rot, often before they even have a chance to further ripen.