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Do you need to refrigerate an open jar of peanut butter?

I've been keeping peanut butter in the pantry my whole life and have lived to tell about it. Also I believe that room-temperature peanut butter is better than cold peanut butter. But I am now hearing that most people keep it in the fridge? Is that what you're *supposed* to do? Please advise, thank you!

asked by Brette Warshaw 3 months ago

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11 answers 1216 views
Emma Laperruque
Emma Laperruque

Food Writer & Recipe Developer at Food52

added 3 months ago

Hm! I keep natural/unsweetened peanut butter in the fridge to avoid oil separation. But if it's standard/sweetened, def pantry.

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Smaug
added 3 months ago

yes

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boulangere
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 3 months ago

If it's the kind that has to be stirred together, hopefully without making too much of a mess, like tahini, then I do refrigerate it simply so I don't have to repeat the process e.v.e.r.y. time I open the jar. I'll even store it upside down. But that's probably just the OCD talking.

The stuff I cram into my dogs' Kong toys: no.

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Ttrockwood
added 3 months ago

I’ve never put any nut butter in the fridge (nut oils, yes) and also have never had any go off.
Then again I LOVE nut butters and I don’t think any jar no latter how big has lived more than 2-3months.
I just use a chopstick and get in my upper body workout for the natural pb that separates

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Stephanie G
added 3 months ago

I have often wondered about this. I make nut butter often. Some recipes say to refrigerate; some say the nut butter will last less than a month. With no other ingredients besides roasted nuts and salt, I don't see the need for refrigeration or the short life span. Does anyone have a scientific reason for the lifespan of nut butter?

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ktr
ktr
added 3 months ago

The oils in the nuts can go rancid. That can happen to the nuts as well if they are stored at room temperature. I personally have never had an issue with this and don't have the fridge space to store the fairly large variety of nuts and nut butters we keep around. I do however keep pine nuts in the freezer because I use them so infrequently that I was concerned they may go bad. I keep tahini in the fridge as well but again that's because I don't use it very often. I buy natural peanut butter in a large tub and have never had an issue with it going bad sitting in my pantry - but I've never had it last longer than 6 months.

Sam1148
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added 3 months ago

Cold peanut butter is cracker killer when you try to spread it.

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ChefJune
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 3 months ago

I have never kept it in the fridge, and I don't see anything on the jar that says I should. Some people keep just about everything in the fridge. Like ketchup, which also does not need to be there!

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cranberry
added 3 months ago

We grew up refrigerating peanut butter (and I still do) due to some kind of carcinogenic mold that supposedly can grow on it if stored at room temperature. I have no idea if that is true.

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BakerRB
added 3 months ago

I think that's more of concern during peanut storage in silos prior to processing. (...if it's a concern at all.)