You probably know that peanut butter lasts for quite a while in its original packaging, but there are times when it would be better off in the freezer.
Maybe you prefer to make your own peanut butter. You know the fresh stuff doesn’t last nearly as long as the peanut butter you get in stores, simply because it doesn’t contain the preservatives.
While homemade peanut butter is fantastic, you may struggle to use it all before it goes off. You may even want to make a bigger batch. So why not freeze it?
Or you do buy it from a store, but you’re going on an extended trip, and you still have a lot to use. Will it last until you get back? Probably not.
Perhaps you’re trying a new diet that sadly excludes peanut butter, but throwing it out would be a great waste.
At least if you froze it, that would mean an extra step in which you couldn’t then reach for a spoon and then the jar. You’d still need to defrost it.
The Shelf Life Of Peanut Butter
Store-Bought Peanut Butter
If you buy peanut butter from a store, on average it will last 2 years unopened, so long as it’s kept at room temperature.
When you open it, depending on the brand and the ingredients, it could last anywhere from 3 to 5 months before it starts to degrade.
Homemade Peanut Butter
Homemade peanut butter should last you anywhere from 3 to 6 months in the fridge, the latter being the most likely. If you don’t think you’ll use it within that kind of time frame, you’re better off freezing it.
Can You Freeze Peanut Butter?
You can freeze peanut butter without changing the flavor or the texture too much. This is provided that you don’t freeze it for long periods of time.
If you freeze peanut butter for longer than 6 months, you’ll notice it will be affected by freezer burn, and the taste or consistency of the nut butter will be affected.
How Do You Freeze Peanut Butter?
Freezing peanut butter is easy, and you can transfer it straight into the freezer, but there’s definitely one thing you should keep in mind.
Make Sure The Container Is Safe For Freezing
This is important enough that it gets its own heading.
If you freeze a jar of peanut butter without checking if the jar is freezer-safe, you may end up with shattered glass all over your freezer, and what used to be peanut butter all over the place.
So let’s avoid that. Plastic jars of peanut butter should be easy enough to freeze, provided that it’s hard plastic, although the manufacturers probably didn’t design it for freezing.
If in doubt, decant the peanut butter into a container that’s definitely freezer safe.
Tips & Tricks For Freezing Peanut Butter
It’s worth portioning the peanut butter before you freeze it, not only to save space in the freezer, but to cut down on the defrosting time, and to thaw as much as you might need and no more than that.
If you want to freeze a half-empty plastic jar of peanut butter, you might be better off decanting it into a smaller, airtight container first, or at least put some cling film under the lid, to prevent freezer burn.
Label the container before you freeze it, so you’ll have an idea of when you should use it.
Make sure the container is completely sealed before you freeze it, which will prevent freezer burn.
You can freeze food which contains peanut butter no problem, as long as the rest of the dish is suitable for freezing.
This is a great way of preserving peanut butter while also doing the hard work ahead of when you need a savory dish or dessert, saving future-you some time and money.
Get into the habit of checking your freezer every month or so for things that are nearing the point where they’ll start to degrade unless you defrost them.
That way, you’ll also prevent yourself from eating anything that tastes more like freezer rather than what it used to be.
How To Defrost Frozen Peanut Butter
Unfortunately, you can’t use frozen peanut butter straight out of the freezer. For one thing, you’ll be hard-pressed trying to get a spoon into it. So you’ll need to defrost it first.
If you’re freezing pure or homemade peanut butter, you’re better off defrosting it in the fridge, overnight.
This is because there will be some separation as it thaws, and this will be less severe if the temperature is brought up slowly. Once thawed, stir any separation back in.
If the peanut butter contains a lot of emulsifiers, there will be less separation. You can thaw this by putting it on the counter.
Please note that peanut butter can take up to 24 hours to defrost, so plan accordingly. Do not refreeze peanut butter.
You can freeze peanut butter with no problems, as long as you keep in mind that the longer you leave it in the freezer, the more time it has to degrade.