How to Tell When an Asian Pear Is Ripe?


There is one major difference between all Asian pear varieties and European pear varieties: how they ripen. European pears must be picked and sent to market while they are not yet ripe. Leaving them on a counter at room temperature allows them to ripen, much like bananas or apples. Asian pears, however, must be fully ripe before they are picked. They will not ripen any further once they have been removed from the tree. Discerning whether or not they are ripe is therefore key.

Step 1

Smell the pear. Sniff all over to detect whether it smells strongly of pear.

Step 2

Touch the pear all over. Rub it gently but do not squeeze; ripe Asian pears will be firm, similar to unripe European pears.

Step 3

Look for insect damage. Ensure that anything you are smelling is not coming from harm wrought by unwanted Asian pear pests.

Step 4

Take a bite. Flavor should be strong and slightly sweet; flesh should be firm and juicy if the pear is ripe.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of internal browning. Debate still rages worldwide over what causes it. However, there is no debate over the symptoms. Asian pears that are victims of internal browning will look wonderful on the outside, but will have mushy, gummy brown flesh on the inside. Asian pear flesh is usually firm and white, possibly with a slight tinge of yellow. If affected pears are coming from your own Asian pear tree, check others to see if they have been affected, too. It is uncertain whether this problem is caused by disease, fungus or insects. Your other Asian pears may be fine. Do not pick Asian pears before they are ripe. They will not continue to ripen any further once picked and will be tasteless and hard.


  • What's Cooking Canada: Asian Pears
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Asian Pear Culture in Alabama
Keywords: ripe asian pears, checking pear ripeness, detemining ripe fruit

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.