Kiwifruit is best when vine-ripened, but certain varieties taste just as good when they're ripened at home. The trick is to choose a good kiwi to begin with. After that, you just set it on your kitchen counter and wait for the kiwi to reach its juicy, flavorful peak. See Step 1 to learn how to ripen a kiwi the right way.

Method 1
Method 1 of 2:

Ripening Kiwi Fruit

  1. Look for a kiwi that doesn't have any dark spots or tears in the skin. Feel the kiwi and choose one that's firm to the touch.
    • Most kiwi fruit varieties that you find in the grocery store ripen perfectly fine off the vine.
    • If you're growing your own kiwi and want to know how to ripen them, check into the variety you have to determine whether you should leave your fruit on the vine til it's ripe or harvest it while it's hard.
  2. If you have a lot of fruit to spare, cut one open and look at the seeds. A kiwi won't ripen if its seeds are still green or yellow - they must be black. Black seeds indicate the kiwi has enough sugar to ripen properly.[1]
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  3. Hard kiwis will last in the refrigerator for at least 4 months.[2] Store kiwis alone so they don't come into contact with fruits that make ethylene, the gas that causes fruit to ripen.
  4. Place them in a bowl on your countertop and simply wait a few days. The fruit will ripen in 3 to 5 days if stored at room temperature.
    • Don't put the kiwis in direct sunlight. This could cause them to become discolored or rot too quickly.
  5. Set the kiwifruit next to an apple, banana, or pear. This exposes the kiwis to ethylene produced by the other fruits. Keep the ripening kiwis out of sunlight and away from heat sources.
    • To make the kiwi fruit ripen even faster, put it in a paper bag or a vented plastic bag along with an apple, banana, or pear. Store the bag at room temperature for 1 or 2 days.
  6. The fruit is ripe if it yields to slight pressure. A kiwi that's ready to eat is plump and fragrant.
  7. Make sure to eat them when they're at their peak - otherwise, they'll start to rot.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 2:

Storing Ripe Kiwi Fruit

  1. You can extend the storage time for another week if you refrigerate them in a plastic bag. The bag lessens dehydration and prolongs freshness.
  2. Simply place whole kiwis in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for several months.
  3. sliced kiwi fruit. Kiwi slices make great garnishes or additions to smoothies and other healthy treats. If you have extra kiwis on hand, you can slice them up and freeze them.
    • Slice the kiwis and sprinkle sugar on the slices to keep them firm and flavorful.
    • Put the sugared kiwi slices on a cookie sheet and slide the sheet into the freezer.
    • Transfer the frozen kiwi slices from the cookie sheet into plastic freezer bags. Store them in the freezer.
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Expert Q&A

  • Question
    What parts of a kiwi am I able to safely eat?
    Marrow Private Chefs Marrow Private Chefs are based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. It is a chefs’ collaborative comprised of an ever-growing number of chefs and culinary professionals. Though regionally influenced primarily by coastal, traditional southern, cajun, and creole styles and flavors, the chefs at Marrow have a solid background in all types of cuisine with over 75 years of combined cooking experience.
    Marrow Private Chefs
    Private Chefs
    Expert Answer
    You can safely eat the whole thing, but the skin isn’t particularly enjoyable, so it is common to peel it before eating.
  • Question
    Are hard kiwi fruit sour?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Yes, they are.
  • Question
    Can I eat the skin of a kiwi?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Yes, the whole thing is edible.
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Things You'll Need

  • Kiwi fruit
  • Plastic bags
  • Banana, apple or pear
  • Paper bags
  • Sugar
  • Cookie sheet
  • Freezer bags


Expert Interview

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about preparing food, check out our in-depth interview with Marrow Private Chefs.

About This Article

Ollie George Cigliano
Reviewed by:
Private Chef & Food Educator
This article was reviewed by Ollie George Cigliano. Ollie George Cigliano is a Private Chef, Food Educator, and Owner of Ollie George Cooks, based in Long Beach, California. With over 20 years of experience, she specializes in utilizing fresh, fun ingredients and mixing traditional and innovative cooking techniques. Ollie George holds a BA in Comparative Literature from The University of California, Berkeley, and a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate from eCornell University. This article has been viewed 478,360 times.
6 votes - 67%
Co-authors: 18
Updated: January 14, 2024
Views: 478,360
Article SummaryX

To ripen kiwi fruit, start by making sure you buy kiwis that are unblemished and firm to the touch for best results. Then, place the kiwi fruit in a bowl on a countertop and wait 3-5 days for them to ripen. To speed up ripening, place the kiwi fruit next to an apple, banana, or pear, which will expose them to ethylene. To check if your kiwi fruit are ripe, press your thumb against one to see if it gives under the pressure. When they're ripe, eat them quickly so they don't rot. For advice on storing kiwi fruit in the fridge and freezer, keep reading!

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