Unlike most tree fruits, pears only ripen after they are harvested from the tree. The fruits provide a long storage life because of this, but they still must reach a certain stage of maturity to ripen successfully after harvest. Mature pears feel firm and have developed their mature color on the bottom, which is red, yellow or pink-blushed depending on the variety. Both unripened and ripened pears store well in the refrigerator. Refrigeration extends the storage life of the pears, especially if done prior to the final ripening period.
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Place the pears inside a perforated storage bag. Store them in the vegetable crisper drawer for up to three weeks.
Remove the pears from the fridge when you are ready to ripen them. Place the fruits in a 60 to 65 degree Fahrenheit location away from direct sunlight.
Ripen the pears for one to three weeks, or until the fruits soften enough to yield under gentle pressure. The entire skin of the pear changes to the mature color once fully ripened.
Place the ripened pears back in the fridge if you are not using them right away. Store ripened pears refrigerated for three to seven days.