How to Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors

When frost approaches, or your tomato vines are dying, you will probably find yourself left with unripened green tomatoes.  They can obviously be cooked in green tomato recipes, but can you ripen them?

Yes, quite easily.

I have read in preservation books many different methods that are, in the author’s view, ideal or even required to ripen tomatoes indoors.  The one that sticks out in my mind is the newspaper method.

The newspaper method is this.  Wrap each green tomato individually in a sheet of newspaper and then carefully place them in a single layer in a low tray or cardboard box.  Every couple days, unwrap them all (!) and check for tomatoes that are ripening or rotting that you must then use or throw away.

Talk about time-consuming!  I’m lazy!!!   I have found through my own personal experience that there is a much, much simpler method of ripening green tomatoes indoors:

Put them in a bowl

Yes, that is really all you have to do.  Just put a bowl of green tomatoes on the counter.  Most will turn red.  You’ll lose a few to rot, and if you don’t dig through the bowl often enough the rotten ones can ruin a few others, but OH WELL.

Are the tomatoes ripened indoors a lot better than store bought tomatoes?  Taste-wise, not a lot.  But you do know who grew them and what chemicals were put on them and you are using something that would be wasted otherwise.


6 responses to this post.

  1. This is how I ripen my green tomatoes, too 😉 … and for the same reason (I’m lazy ;). I managed to ripen several pounds of green tomatoes we picked just before the first frost, and just a few days ago, I made a couple of quarts of tomato sauce from them. As such, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the taste, because they will be further seasoned in a pasta sauce or as chili. So, this method of ripening green tomatoes works great for me, and it is the only method I’ll probably ever use ;).


  2. Posted by Ozarkhomesteader on November 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    We used the newspaper method one year, but Mr. Homesteader was not good about checking for ripeness and stacked them. It wasn’t pretty. My preferred method of dealing with green tomatoes now is to make green tomato relish. 🙂


  3. I really like your method for ripening tomatoes, it is the same one we use and has never failed us.:) Simple is often best.


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