How To Thaw Frozen Bananas

Last Updated on January 4, 2021 by cmoarz

There are a lot of reasons someone would want to freeze a banana. From banana cake to banana mush, it has a million uses in the kitchen. Freezing bananas is also a really good way to preserve them for a longer shelf time than having them sit on the counter, but it also has the added benefit of softening them up for many baking applications. The first step to doing any of these things though is to thaw it. So how to thaw a frozen banana? Well, that depends on how you froze it.

How to thaw frozen bananas water method

bowl of water
“bowl of water” by secretlondon123 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are several ways in which a banana can be frozen that will alter the way you thaw it. It could be cut up in slices, it could be pre-mashed, and it could just be sitting there whole still in its peel.

No matter which method you chose, The preferred method to thaw frozen bananas is simply placing them in a bag. Then add a bowl of cold temperature water.

Instructions for thawing frozen bananas in water:

  • Place the frozen fruit in a bag
  • Suck out as much air as you can with a straw or by squeezing the bag, then seal it
  • Submerge it into a large bowl of cold water, making sure it’s completely underwater. Weight it down if necessary.

Why is it important to use cold water when thawing frozen Bananas? This is the recommended method from the center of food and health preservation.

When food starts to thaw and reaches above 40F bacteria can start to grow on the fruit. This can potentially make you very sick.

And because of the 40F rule, The second method to thawing frozen bananas is in the fridge.

How to thaw frozen bananas in the fridge

frozen bananas
“frozen bananas” by wanderingone is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This method will make much longer than the cold water method but is more convenient timing-wise if you don’t intend to use your bananas right away.

By placing them in the fridge at a temperature lower than 40f, you can safely thaw your fruit without ill effects.

This method is especially convenient if you’re using your frozen bananas as a daily routine, such as a morning smoothy or frozen dessert.

This allows you to place the fruit in the fridge a few hours prior to when you will need to use them. They will be soft enough by the time you reach for your fruit.

You should never thaw your bananas on the counter (according to official sources), as the room temperature air around it could cause bacteria growth. If you are in a hurry, this next method is what you should use.

Thawing bananas in the microwave

It’s not secret that the microwave is a marvellous invention. It forever changed the way humanity makes and prepares food for the self and for the masses.

So it’s an understatement to say it can’t be used to thaw your frozen banana.

When your in a rush, this method is certainly for you. But its important to remember this:


As you can imagine, there are a few caveats with this method. Thing’s will heat unevenly. That’s just how microwaves work. As long as you know how to play the 4 corners of the plate game, You will be able to avoid this.

  • Your cooking time will vary based on microwave power and the style in which you froze your banana. For this article, we assume full with a peel.
  • Place banana in the microwave on the edge or middle (depending on your microwave, you will know best).
  • Set to 2 minutes
  • Every 10-20 seconds move and flip the banana around the various corners of the microwave plate
  • Use right away

If your banana was sliced and frozen on a pan so it doesn’t clump together, You should do this in a bowl. If you did slice them but didn’t freeze them on a pan first, And they are a giant horrible clump, you should do this on a plate. Slowly peel off thawed bananas, setting them aside so the rest of the ball of mush can thaw as you continue to microwave.

Can you bake with frozen bananas

In general, it’s not recommended to try and bake or cook with frozen bananas that are still… frozen. They won’t be combined well, your mixture will be lumpy and any cake will probably fail.

The added benefit of freezing and thawing a banana before hand is it will have less water content and already be substantially softer which makes combining in a bowl with other ingredients so much easier.

How do you separate frozen bananas?

If you have a clump of frozen bananas and you only need 1 or 2, it will be very difficult to detach from each other. If they have a peel they may be a bit easier to tear apart with a bit of force and leverage.

The best way to avoid this problem to begin with is to freeze your bananas on a cookie sheet before putting them into their final freezer bag.

This can be done with fully peeled bananas, sliced bananas, or full with peel. Once they freeze on the tray, you can move them into the bag and they wont get stuck together. If some still stick, just give the bag a good knock on the counter.

How low do frozen bananas take to thaw?

Timing will vary based on the way you froze the bananas, as well as the defrosting method you are planning to use.

Soaking in cold water:

peeled banana, around 20 minutes.

Banana will peel: 25 minutes

Ball of banana mush: 40 minutes+


12-24 hours for all kinds of bananas, frozen, peeled or whole. Smaller will thaw faster. It also depends on the temperature of your fridge.

Microwave: under 2 minutes for all kinds

What do I do with extra banana liquid once thawed?

As you thaw your frozen bananas, you will notice an excess of fluids on the bottom of the bowl. This is normal as the frozen banana will expel much of its initial moisture inside it’s cells when frozen.

You can collect this juice and re-freeze it depending on how you’ve defrosted your fruit. Or you could simply add it to an overly dry recipe in lieu of water.

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