Curious how to ripen peaches? Do you too find yourself picking through the produce section looking for the ripest peaches only to find rock-hard fruit? I hear you. I’ve been that crazy lady rifling through the stone fruit. 

Not all of us live in peach-growing areas. And for those of us who purchase peaches at the grocery store, not a road-side stand, well, we’re often faced with choosing the perfect unripened peach from a bushel of unripe peaches.

But that’s not the hard part, the challenge comes in ripening said unripe peaches. And the tender stone fruit can be finicky when it comes to ripening off the vine. So that leaves us with the question, how do you ripen peaches?

Diced peaches and fresh thyme sprigs in a saucepan set on a marble surface.

How to Ripen Peaches.

There are a few methods for ripening peaches, but here is what I’ve found to be most effective.

The Best Way to Ripen Peaches

If you don’t mind waiting a few days, arrange the peaches, stem-side down, on a cotton kitchen towel and lay another towel over top. Make sure the peaches are out of direct sunlight and not touching each other.

Let peaches sit at room temperature for a few days to a week. You’ll know they’re ripe when they smell peachy and the stem side is slightly flattened from its own weight.

How to Quickly Ripen Peaches

Although not the best method, if you’re short on time, place a few peaches in a paper bag, lightly fold the top down, and let sit at room temperature. Check for ripeness after 24 hours.

Vibrant peaches clustered together on a marble surface.

How to Store Ripe Peaches

Once your peaches are ripe they’re ready to be eaten! Can’t eat 6 peaches in a day? You can store ripe peaches in the refrigerator until ready to eat, just be sure to eat them within a few days for the best texture and flavor.

Peach Recipes

Put your perfectly ripe peaches to use in a Peach Galette, Georgia Peach Cocktail and Peach Salad!

Simple summer salad with peaches, herbs, and burrata arranged on a pink platter, or salt block, set on a white surface.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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