Can You Freeze Peanut Butter


Can You Freeze Peanut Butter

Yes, you can freeze peanut butter. Most types of peanut butter have a long shelf, life, and do not require refrigeration, or that it be frozen. However, there are several reasons why you may choose to freeze peanut butter.

Peanut butter jar on bread

Let’s look at the different reasons, you may want to freeze peanut butter, and how to go about freezing it for the best results. 

How do you store peanut butter?

Most peanut butter is stored at room temperature. Peanut butter has a long shelf life, that allows you to store an unopened jar of peanut butter in the pantry for a significant amount of time.

This is the most common way to store, peanut butter, however, there are various reasons why you might wonder if you can freeze peanut butter. The short answer is yes, you can freeze peanut butter, although it is not always recommended. 

What are the different types of peanut butter?

There are many different types of peanut butter. The type of peanut butter you are dealing with will determine the best way to store it, and if it may be frozen or not.

Let’s look at these different types of peanut butter. 

Pure / Natural peanut butter

Natural peanut butter is just as it sounds. This type of peanut butter is made entirely of peanuts, but may also contain salt or oil, to help season it, and hold it together. 

Natural peanut butter is primarily made from crashed or blended peanuts, seasoned with salt, and sometimes with oil added in. 

Typically, freezing natural peanut butter, will turn out well and should not cause any change to the peanut butter as it is frozen and then thawed. 

Crunchy Peanut Butter

Crunchy peanut butter is a type of processed peanut butter that has been crushed, with a few remaining chunks of peanuts left in the peanut butter, and combined with other ingredients to give it a sweet and salty flavor, and oils to give it its nice texture. The pieces of peanuts that are left in the peanut butter make it crunchy. 

Crunchy peanut butter may not hold up very well as it goes through the freezing and thawing process because it does contain some pieces or chunks of peanuts. 

Jif crunchy peanut butter

Smooth Peanut Butter

Smooth peanut butter is like crunchy peanut butter in that it is a type of peanut butter that has been processed so that the peanuts are completely smooth.

It is combined with other ingredients, such as oils, sugars, molasses, and salt. The specific ingredients depend on what brand you are looking at. 

Smooth or creamy peanut butter, unlike crunchy peanut butter, will likely freeze better because of its smooth nature. It will typically go through the freezing and thawing process without losing flavor or texture.

Peanut Butter Spread

A peanut butter spread is another type of peanut butter made from peanuts as well as other ingredients, such as oil, sugar, salt, etc. Typically, a peanut butter spread varies from your average peanut butter because a peanut butter spread is made up of 90% or less of peanuts according to the FDA

Although peanut butter spread can be frozen, you may run into some difficulty when peanut butter spread goes through the freezing and thawing process.

Some of these brands may separate, depending upon what ingredient they contain.   

Other Peanut Butters

There are many other types of peanut butters sold in today’s market. Some are made of peanuts, while others are made using other ingredients.

A lot of peanut butters available for purchase today have a stabilizer incorporated in their ingredients, which helps to prevent the ingredients from separating as they sit on the shelf. 

Many of these other types of peanut butter that contain a stabilizing ingredient, can go through the freezing and thawing process without much difficulty. 

The Bottom Line: Yes, You Can Freeze Peanut Butter

Why would you freeze peanut butter?

Many peanut butters, such as Jif, Peter Pan, and Skippy all have long shelf life, usually lasting one or even two years for an unopened jar. Often, open jars of peanut butter also have a long shelf life. So why would you want to freeze peanut butter? 

There are a few different reasons why you might consider freezing peanut butter. For most normal peanut butters, there is no need to freeze it for longer shelf life. However, you may enjoy freezing peanut butter for a treat, which just might be your new favorite snack, over as part of a recipe. 

There was even a viral internet trick a few years ago, they suggested you freeze peanut butter after it has been spread on parchment paper, so that it is easier to add to your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you don’t have to worry about breaking the bread.

However, there are other types of peanut butter, such as homemade peanut butter, that do not have stabilizers, and do not last nearly as long as a jar of Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan.

In order for your peanut butter to last longer, it may be a good idea to freeze, homemade peanut butter, so that you can get up to six months out of it. 

No matter what your reason for freezing peanut butter, please know that it can be done. Frozen peanut butter will likely last up to six months if it is stored properly. There are also a few tips and tricks that you will want to be aware of when freezing peanut butter, so that it is done properly.

skippy peanut butter

How to Freeze Peanut Butter

There are a few different ways you can go about freezing your peanut butter. Below are all the ways, as well as some tips and tricks you want to be aware of along the way.

Freezing an entire, unopened jar

If you are looking to freeze a large amount of peanut butter, it may be done by simply placing your entire unopened jar of peanut butter in the freezer.

However, it is important to note if you were going to do this, make sure that your jar is not glass. When a glass jar goes through the freezing and thawing process, the contents of the jar, expands and contracts, which will likely cause your glass jar to break.

This is not safe for your food, or safety in general. If you are going to freeze the entire jar, make sure that it is not glass. 

To freeze an unopened jar of peanut butter, we do recommend that you remove the lead, and paper seal before placing the jar of peanut butter into the freezer. Then once it has frozen, replace the lid, so that is sealed securely. 

An opened jar of peanut butter, in a plastic container, may be placed in the freezer for up to six months. 

Freezing an Opened Jar

To freeze an open jar of peanut butter, we recommend transferring the peanut butter to an airtight container that can contain the volume of the peanut butter and will leave little air space so that your peanut butter does not become freezer burnt, or you can seal it in a plastic freezer bag. 

Once it is in an airtight container, or plastic freezer bag, be sure to label and date the container. Then place your sealed peanut butter, into the freezer for up to six months. 

peanut butter on bread

Freezing a Small Amount

If you are looking to freeze a small amount of peanut butter, an ice cube tray makes a great container to freeze it in. 

Fill an ice cube tray with peanut butter, and place it into the freezer for a few hours or until the peanut butter is solid. When it is solid, crack the ice cube tray to remove the peanut butter cubes, and transfer them to an airtight container, or seal them in a plastic freezer bag. 

If you run into trouble removing them from the ice cube trays, you may need to dip the bottom of the tray into warm water to help get them to release. 

Store in the freezer for up to six months. 

Freezing Cookie Fillings

One of the reasons you may need to freeze peanut butter is because it is included in the recipe, such as a cookie filling, or maybe even a peanut butter cup filling. 

To freeze small amounts of peanut butter for a cookie filling, you will first want to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once your cookie sheet is lined with parchment paper, take a large spoon, or cookie scoop, and scoop the peanut butter onto your cookie sheet. 

If desired, you can use a knife or spoon to flatten out the peanut butter. Once your peanut butter is shaped as desired, place your cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours or overnight just until your peanut butter is frozen solid. 

If you need to freeze the peanut butter for longer amount of time, transfer it to an airtight container or seal in a plastic freezer bag for up to six months.

Then when you are ready, you can pop them out of the freezer and add them into your cookie dough. 

Other Ways to Freeze Peanut Butter

Shaped on Parchment Paper. Freezing your peanut butter on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet is one of the best ways to freeze whatever shape of peanut butter you desire.

Simply scoop your peanut butter onto the parchment paper and shape it as you wish. Then place the entire cookie sheet into the freezer for a few hours or overnight, just until the peanut butter is frozen solid.

Once it is frozen, you can add it to your recipe, eat it, or enjoy it however, you wish. 

Jif creamy peanut butter

Sandwich Filling. As we mentioned above, one internet hack was to freeze peanut butter for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich filling. To do this, you will want to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Spread your peanut butter on the parchment paper so that it is approximately the size of your sandwich. Place it into the freezer until it is frozen solid.

Once frozen, you can assemble your sandwich and enjoy it right away, or wrap the entire sandwich in freezer paper, aluminum foil, or add it into a freezer bag. 

Freeze until shortly before you’re ready to enjoy. Then you can remove your sandwich from the freezer and take it in your lunch. By the time lunchtime rolls around, your sandwich should be nicely thawed and ready to enjoy. 

How Long Does It Take to Freeze Peanut Butter?

How long it takes to freeze peanut butter depends on how large the peanut butter is that you’re trying to freeze. If you’re trying to freeze an ice cube size bit of peanut butter, then it will likely take a couple of hours.

However, if you are trying to freeze an entire jar of peanut butter, and it will take several hours for it to completely freeze. 

Tips for Freezing Peanut Butter

Ice Cube Trays. For smaller amounts of peanut butter, that you wish to freeze, we recommend using an ice cube tray to shape your peanut butter, and help it to freeze nicely. 

Freeze in tubs rather than glass. If you’re looking to freeze an entire jar of peanut butter, make sure that your peanut butter is in a tub, or plastic jar.

You do not want to freeze glass as it will likely shatter when the peanut butter expands. 

Label your container. As always, it’s a great idea to label and date any container of food that you place into the freezer or fridge. This helps you keep track of what it is, and how long it has been in there. 

Be sure to use airtight containers. It is always a fabulous idea to use an airtight container when freezing food or chilling it.

Using an airtight container, helps prevent any unwanted bacteria from contaminating your food, and in this case, it will help prevent your peanut butter from becoming freezer burnt. 

How to Thaw Peanut Butter

In the Fridge. What is the easiest ways to thaw peanut butter? It is to simply remove it from the freezer, and add it into the fridge.

You’ll want to allow at least 24 hours for the peanut butter to fully thawed in the fridge if it is a large chunk of peanut butter.

Using small portions, such as an ice cube size, your peanut butter would likely be ready overnight. 

On The Counter. If you are trying to thaw normal peanut butter, such as creamy, Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan peanut butter, you can easily thaw it on the counter, simply by leaving it sit at room temperature.

Make sure that your peanut butter is safe to sit at room temperature and does not require refrigeration to be sure this is safe for your specific peanut butter. 

In Cold Water. Another method to thaw peanut butter is to place your peanut butter in an airtight container or seal it securely in a plastic bag. Then place it into a bowl of cold water, changing your cold water every 30 minutes until your peanut butter is thawed. 

In the microwave. For a quick thawing method, you could also try microwaving your peanut butter. Please note that this should apply only to traditional peanut butter, such as Skippy, Peter Pan, or Jif.

You’ll want to make sure that you are not using this method for other types of peanut butter, or peanut butter substitutes. 

To microwave the peanut butter, make sure it is in a microwave safe bowl, then microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring it in between until your peanut butter is thawed. 

creamy peter pan peanut butter

Using Frozen Peanut Butter

You could also enjoy frozen peanut butter directly from the freezer. Simply remove it from the freezer, and enjoy it as a snack, or incorporate it in your recipe. 

Alternate Ways to Store Peanut Butter

Most types of peanut butter say right on the packaging that refrigeration is not required. You simply want to make sure that your peanut butter does not require refrigeration, then keep it sealed in a cool, dry location. 

Storing peanut butter in the pantry or cupboard is ideal for most normal types of peanut butter. Be sure to reference your peanut butter packaging to be sure this can apply to your food. 

Keep peanut butter in a cool, dry place for the best storage practices.

How do you know when peanut butter has gone off?

There are a few different signs that will help you determine if your peanut butter has gone bad. First, check the date on your packaging. Most peanut butter will last on the shelf for 1 to 2 years. 

Then, examine the texture of your peanut butter. Make sure that it is nice and creamy, if it is dry or hard, these are signs that it has gone bad.

Next, smell your peanut butter to see if it smells sour or off. If it smells bad, or off at all, these are also signs that it has gone bad. 

Finally, examine the peanut butter for signs of mold, and changes in color. If it has changed color, or there is any sign of mold, growing, then your peanut butter has likely gone bad, and should be thrown away. 

If there is any doubt in your mind, as to whether your peanut butter is still safe to eat, or not, do not risk it, and throw it away. It is not worth it to eat food that has spoiled, or that has likely grown unwanted bacteria, which can make you very sick. 

Consume the Peanut Butter within a Year of Opening

Most peanut butter, that is your traditional peanut butter is safe to be stored in a cool dry location for a year, and sometime even two. Be sure to check the expiration date on your packaging for when your specific brand of peanut butter expires. 

A good rule of thumb is to consume your peanut butter within a year of opening it. Typically, a jar of peanut butter will not last nearly that long, because it is just so delicious to enjoy, and can be incorporated in many different recipes, or just enjoyed by itself. 

Related FAQs

How Long Can You Freeze Peanut Butter?

Typically, peanut butter that has been properly frozen will last in the freezer for up to six months. 

How Do You Defrost Peanut Butter?

There are several different ways you can defrost peanut butter. The best way may depend upon what specific type of peanut butter you are trying to thaw.

Different defrost methods include refrigerating it until it is thawed, leaving it on the counter, placing it in a cold water bath, or even throwing it in the microwave. 

Can You Refreeze Peanut Butter?

We do not recommend that you try to refreeze peanut butter. Once peanut butter has been frozen, and thawed it should be used, and not frozen again. 

Does Peanut Butter Freeze Well?

Most types of peanut butter will freeze all right. There are a few types that may separate if frozen however, in general peanut butter freezes just fine. 

How long does peanut butter last in the freezer?

Peanut butter that has been properly stored in the freezer will last up to six months. 

Does peanut butter go bad?

Yes, peanut butter can go bad. It is important to pay attention to your opened jar of peanut butter and examine it for signs of spoilage.

Typically, peanut butter has a long shelf life, but if your peanut butter has been open for a long time, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on it. 

substitute for peanut butter

How to Freeze Peanut Butter

There are many different reasons why you may choose to freeze peanut butter. Peanut butter can be frozen in a jar, in ice cube trays, or in shapes on parchment paper.

Once peanut butter is frozen, it’s important to transfer it to an airtight container or seal in a plastic freezer bag for longer storage, and to prevent freezer burn. 

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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