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Refrigerate peanut butter?

Once in a blue moon purchase here, and I don't know what to do with it. Fridge or cupboard? I have a brand with no preservatives (nor sugar, salt, stabilizer)....I kinda hate putting it in the fridge because of the spreadability factor. While I'm here, what else can you put on a pb sandwich besides banana or jelly?

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  1. My mother used to put it in the refrigerator. I was always greatly bothered by it! Don't do it! What good is peanut butter if it tears apart the bread when you try to spread it?

    We buy natural peanut butter and never put it in the fridge.

    Meryl
    http://theoccasionalcook.blogspot.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: puppymomma

      We use natural peanut butter at home, and I find that storing it in the refrigerator door keeps it from going rancid, but still allows me to stir/spread it.

      1. re: MMRuth

        It doesn't last long enough at my house to worry about rancidity. But if I wasn't such a peanut butter fiend I'd definitely put it in the refrigerator. i can't deal with that rancid taste. My husband can't even taste it.

      2. re: puppymomma

        If cold peanut butter tears your bread, you need to buy whole grain bread! And toast it a bit first. My refrigerated natural peanut butter never tears my toast...

        Anne

        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Yes but that is contrary to what is my favorite bread to eat with PB which is Soft Potato Flour or Buttermilk Bread from Milton's

          Take Care

          - P

      3. mrs jfood has the natural that separates badly in the pantry so she keeps hers in the fridge.

        jfood's skippy low calorie stays in the pantry not the refrigerator.

        1. What can't you put it on? I'm of the belief that pb and ketchup are the master foods. One of them will go well on anything. :)

          For a sandwich, apples are nice, as are pickles. (Not for everyone, I admit, but still tasty.)

          I only put natural pb in the fridge. It keeps it from separating. Regular goes in the pantry.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Pylon

            We've always kept it from separating by keeping the jar upside down. I swear, no separating ever!

            Meryl
            http://theoccasionalcook.blogspot.com/

            1. re: puppymomma

              I do that with new jars so they mix without stirring. But they usually separate after a day or two. Maybe it's a brand thing. I usually go with Smuckers. What are you using?

                1. re: Pylon

                  It will still separate, but at least when you flip the jar over now the solids are on top and the oils begin moving back to the bottom. Of course I find myself stirring it anyway because I am concerned (perhaps irrationally) about using all the solids and missing out on some of the tasty nutritious(?) oil.

                  I'm using Old Dominion peanut butter since I am fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of the roasting factory.

                  1. re: jzerocsk

                    The stirring is not just about nutrition, though that is important. It also keeps you from getting a mouthful of really dry PB.

                  2. re: Pylon

                    Oh, I get Teddy! It's my favorite. And I've never seen it separate.

                    Meryl
                    http://theoccasionalcook.blogspot.com/

                2. re: Pylon

                  mrs jfood went aerobic last night slowly stirring a new bottle. Then into the fridge. She asked if she could just pour off the oil and jfood told her it would change the flavor.

                3. If you're going to use it quickly you can leave it out. But the natural stuff will turn rancid after awhile, and you'll have to stir it whenever you use it.

                  When I was in eighth grade my sandwich was peanut butter, a slice of cheese, and sliced sweet Gherkin pickles. But don't just think sandwiches! Peanut butter can do a whole lot more. I have a recipe for an African-style stew with chicken, potato, yam, and spinach, with tomato sauce, hot peppers and peanut butter. (there's also a vegetarian variation that substitutes chickpeas for the chicken.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: revsharkie

                    I ate almost the same sandwich through most of high school, though my pickles of choice were dill.

                    As for storage? We buy natural/separated and turn it upside down in the pantry until it's needed. Then I use a stick blender to mix it and store in the fridge. Since I started blending it with the stick blender I haven't had any problems with it getting stiff or hard. I've actually had the opposite problem - the peanut butter is too runny - it runs out the side of a sandwich, celery, etc.

                  2. You'll find a universe of peanut butter ideas in this thread. One poster even suggests a peanut butter and mustard sandwich!!

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404973

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PlatypusJ

                      honey or butter....or both....definately a yummy combo....

                    2. Peanut sauce, just search for a recipe for chicken satay and peanut dipping sauce. I just made a great recipe for Asian Chicken Salad by Ina Garten from foodnetwork.com that used PB in the recipe and it was great!!

                      PB & Bacon on white toast is my favorite.

                      PB is also great on an English muffin, all gooey and melty in the nooks n' crannies.

                      PB right on a banana or an apple is a great snack.

                      Enjoy it! I'm an addict.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: geg5150

                        Don't forget about oatmeal and pb!

                        1. re: Pylon

                          Peanutbutter... in oatmeal?!! This had never occurred to me!! I have been known to sprinkle chocolate chips in my oatmeal, though. I think I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow... Oatmeal with some cinnamon-raisin peanutbutter (from PB Loco) swirled in!

                          All PB addicts must check out www.pbloco.com

                          1. re: Pylon

                            I've been putting peanut butter in my oatmeal ever since someone mentioned the combo to me in January!!

                            I'm trying to gain muscle, so every morning I mix oatmeal, chocolate protein powder, and peanut butter. It's filling and packed with protein and good fats.

                            1. re: PlatypusJ

                              Same here, except I use banana flavored whey. Great way to get started in the AM.

                              1. re: PlatypusJ

                                I seem to remember someone posting a protein pick-me-up of sweet potato, cottage cheese, and peanut butter. It was suggested by his trainer, IIRC. Maybe you could find it or someone else can remember this.

                                Here it is!!
                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/318503

                          2. Crunchy PB makes a great exfoliating soap.

                            1. Several people mentioned the 'spreadability factor' of refrigerated peanut butter - i use natural (and rarely) so i have to refrigerate it and i simply take off the lid - pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir and then another 30 seconds. Perfectly spreadable and lovely. (great tip for when I need a 'pourable' peanut butter for cooking, too)

                              1. Fridge for natural peanut butter, pantry for the more processed stuff. My mother taught me to store the natural peanut butter (fresh ground at the co-op we belonged to) upside down, so that the oils work through the peanut mass and you don't end-up with an inch of oil to dig through trying to get at the solid stuff.

                                What else on a PB sandwich? I always liked PB and honey. Also PB, banana, and honey.

                                Growing-up we had a baby-sitter (we lived in a commune) who used to make this "dip" that was peanut butter, honey, raisins, mashed banana, and toasted sunflower seeds, all stirred together. We'd spread it on tortillas and make "roll-ups" or use it as a dip for apple slices, carrots fresh from the garden, fresh baked/whole wheat pretzels, etc. It was thick and gooey and rather decadent, near as I can recall.

                                I tend to cook with a lot of peanut butter these days, but my favorite recipe is for a potato salad with a curry/peanut butter dressing that's different and delicious. (I'll also spread pb and a drizzle of honey onto a flour tortilla and roll that up for a quick late-night meal.)

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ElsieDee

                                  PB potato salad? OK, you have to share that recipe.

                                  1. re: Pylon

                                    Just posted it here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424705

                                    It really is my favorite potato salad - can't recall the last time I made anything more traditional.

                                    1. re: ElsieDee

                                      Thanks for sharing! I'll be sure to give it a try!

                                2. Make a BLT but substitute peanut butter for the the mayo. It rocks.

                                  1. I use both natural and regular. Both go in the fridge. I don't use peanut butter daily and I can definitely taste the rancid flavor peanut butter develops when it's kept in a pantry. If I need to soften it I either just take it out a little ahead of time and let it soften on the counter or sometimes I do as others here have suggested and I zap it in the microwave.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: flourgirl

                                      There are many Peanut Butter Sauce recipes that go very well with chicken, shrimp, noodles, etc. Deborah Madison has one we love - it's in her The Savory Way cookbook.
                                      We keep our organic PB in the fridge.

                                    2. If you have natural peanut butter, you must, must, must refrigerate it. Even more upsetting than the rancid taste is the toxic red mold that develops on it within the span of a week if it is not properly refrigerated.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: danikm

                                        I have been eating the same natural peanut butter (nothing in it but peanuts) almost every day for several years. I keep it out on the counter, sometimes for well over a week, and I have never heard of, let alone experienced, any mold in it!

                                        1. re: Kagey

                                          I've never seen mold in peanut butter, either. A jar lasts about three weeks here, usually, and I don't refrigerate it. It doesn't seem to get rancid or anything else in that amount of time.

                                          1. re: revsharkie

                                            I don't think it goes mouldy - but it can go rancid after a while. I'd usually play it safe and refrigerate.

                                            1. re: piccola

                                              If it took me longer to use up a jar, I'd probably put it in the refrigerator. But it never hangs around that long here.

                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                Good point. Whereas my PB jar has lived in several different apartments. (I hide it at the back of the fridge to prevent myself from eating PB with a spoon. Out of sight, out of mind.)

                                                1. re: piccola

                                                  Maybe I should try that, after all! That's part of the reason it doesn't last around here--that and a very strange peanut-butter-eating cat.

                                      2. I buy the natural, and as the jar says, it must be refridgerated after opening...In answer to your second inquiry..some people put honey, bacon, carrots, raisins,..not all together of course!

                                        1. natural goes in the fridge. jif goes in the cupboard. i love them both, and usually keep a jar out to dip chocolate bars in.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: itsrob

                                            Not a Jif fan. Peter Pan is the fav by far, so you can imagine the withdrawal pains I'm going through...

                                          2. PB in the refrigerator definitely, to avoid any chance of bad experience that may scar you for life: imagine if you can't stand the smell of PB for a year, or two after being sick...not fun.
                                            Like others said, take it out of the fridge ahead of time and let it soften.

                                            PB with banana is good. PB, banana and creme cheese/sour creme/creme fraiche is even better, PB, banana, creme cheese/sour creme/creme fraiche AND a hint of maple syrup...would be getting out of hand, but it only gets worse if you add anything alone the line of chocolate.....

                                            1. I can't believe no one has mentioned PB and Fluffernutter (marshmellow fluff). Unfortunately for many of us west coasters, Fluffernutter is available only in the east coast, I believe. I remember having it as a kid in Maine, but have yet to find a jar out in So Cal or any parts of the west.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Pamela

                                                I beileve you can buy the stuff online at ilovepeanutbutter.com.... if you must have it. The peanut butter on that website is the best peanut butter in the world, imho, and they sell Fluff, too.. Of course ilovepeanutbutter.com is the website for Peanut Butter & Co located in New York City, so I am still not sure if you can find fluff on the West Coast... but you can order it!

                                                And on the topic, definitely do not refrigerate peanut butter. It is so much better soft and stirrable from the cupboard.

                                                1. re: Pamela

                                                  I'm sorry to be a PIA, but the marshmallow product is Fluff. Together with Peanut butter in a sandwich, it makes a Fluffernutter. Just don't want anyone out looking for a product called Fluffernutter. I'm sure many are aware of Fluff but just in case.

                                                  1. re: Pamela

                                                    And the best way to elevate a Fluffernutter...?

                                                    Monsieur it!

                                                    Dip a Fluffernutter in egg and milk batter, then fry in butter... Serve w/ jam or maple syrup.

                                                    Variation: Make Fluffernutter with a layer of jam already inside it and then batter and fry the same way.

                                                  2. I love PB too. I despise mayo so all through high school I got PB&J every day. Choosey moms choose Jif, and now I do too! And it stays smooth and spreadable in my coolest kitchen cabinet (ie- not over the stove).
                                                    -I recently had a fabulous sandwich of whole wheat bread, pb, banana, and whole cranberry sauce- yum!
                                                    -Another fave is whole wheat bread, PB, nutella, granny smith apple slices, and granola. So good :)
                                                    -Last but not least was a sandwich in an orlando rest- Burger bun w/ PB slathered on, bacon, grilled chicken, tomatoes and lettuce. Fabulous.

                                                    1. To address your last question, I really enjoy honey with PB. I also really like it with orange marmalade. Also, not for a sandwich, but PB with apples or celery is great too. I guess I just really like PB!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: aching

                                                        If you like it with marmalade (as I do), try with chutney. Mango chutney's just the starting point, too - even more savoury ones, like cilantro, work well.

                                                      2. I prefer natural PB but when I open a new jar I pour off the oil--just prefer the stiffer texture and more intense peanut flavor. I can't remember where, but I recently read a comment thread where one poster not only did that, but puts a paper towel in the jar to sop up excess oil.

                                                        I agree it's good with almost anything (am going to have to try it in my oatmeal) but my favorite is a wrap on a whole wheat tortilla, with banana, dry roasted peanuts, and raisins or chocolate chips.

                                                        A recent discovery becoming a favorite (which doesn't work with natural PB): the flourless PB cookies from the Gourmet cookbook.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: cmkdvs

                                                          LOL... that's me... the paper towel oil drainer! I leave paper towels in the jar always, and the peanut butter becomes more chewy and solid as time goes on. I like it this way on a spoon; great yummy snack--bite of chewy PB.

                                                          1. re: cmkdvs

                                                            good idea, I might try pouring off the oil too....

                                                            1. re: howboy

                                                              I do keep my pb on the refrigerator door even though I eat Trader Joe's salted crunchy peanut butter just about every day. For breakfast I will put it on; crackers, toasted multi-grain English muffins, waffles, or pancakes. I will add it to an Asian salad dressing made with seasoned rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. For snacks I'll have an apple with a pb dip. Vanilla ice cream is very happy when I melt some pb in the bottom of a dish and plop the ice cream on top. This past weekend we made our own version of Reese's pb cups! My grandkids eat pb off a spoon too and call it "peanut butter lollipops'!

                                                          2. For whatever it's worth, I just got a jar of Crazy Richard's PB (natural) and the jar says that refrigeration is not necessary.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jzerocsk

                                                              I like the **idea** of natural peanut butter, but it never delivers for me. I grew up on JIF and I'm still a JIF fan. It went in to the refrigerator as a kid, but I discovered the glory of keeping it room temperature once my wife showed me the error of my ways. I returned the favor by getting her to try jellies/jams/preserves that were stored in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.

                                                              www.roguefood.com

                                                            2. Most of the refridgerated organic nut butters I use do not solidify, and those that do either quickly soften when placed on the counter for five or ten minutes (a few seconds in the microwave also helps in a pinch) while I prepare my crispy buckwheat crepes (made from pancake batter that I thinly spread on the griddle with a dough spreader, cook, and then finish off in the toaster oven for that crispy/crunchy texture I love that is akin to a waffle cone) or toast some spelt/honey whole wheat bread. Brands of peanut and almond nut butters I buy are Santa Cruz, Whole Foods 360, Trader Joe's, Smucker's, Laura Scudder's, and Woodstock Farms, with the latter being my favorite and Santa Cruz a close second!

                                                              I top my crispy crepes with a mixture of a tablespoon of nut butter and two tablespoons of either sweet potato butter or pumpkin butter (no actual butter involved; just a spread made from the fruit/veggie plus sugar and spices). Divine!! I use the same spread to make a sandwich, but sometimes I mix it up by smashing an almond-coconut date roll onto my toast and then spreading nut butter on top. I used to enjoy the banana-nut butter combo, but I've become allergic to bananas, and now must content myself with the apple or pear combo with nut butter. Good, but not as great as banana/PB!

                                                              Since organic nut butters are usually lower in carbs (due to less sugars used to sweeten them), I sometimes use other preserves such as fig, blueberry-lavender, triple/quadruple berry, or cherry to sweeten. Try agave nectar, instead of honey, to sweeten- agave nectar's low-glycemic index won't cause your blood sugar level to spike up and dip down. I also love to mix nut butter in with some all-natural ice cream (Breyer's makes some without corn syrup!!) when I cannot get a hold of peanut butter or hazelnut gelato!

                                                              1. My $.02, very late in the game: We use natural peanut butter. I prefer it in the fridge, the Domestic Partner prefers it on the counter; so we usually have 2 jars going at the same time. My bread doesn't tear, and his PB doesn't grow mold, FWIW.

                                                                1. I'd like to add that Woodstock Farms organic nut butters do not need refrigeration. Other brands that do not require refrigeration are PB Loco (fave: European Cafe Mocha, Raspberry Dark Chocolate, Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin) and Peanut Butter Co. (fave: Dark Chocolate Dreams, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl) nut butters, which also taste great. Sadly, these two brands use sunflower oil and corn derivatives (corn syrup, cornstarch, maltodextrin, dextrose) to make their peanut butters. (I'm allergic.)

                                                                  1. Sue me, I gave up on Smucker's natural, which my green friends told me to refrigerate. It was too much trouble to stir it, hack out some of it, and have it destroy my sandwich bread. I tried using my microwave on low to soften it, but who needs all that trouble. I'll probably rot to death, but I use Skippy now, and enjoy it immensely.

                                                                    I still use the Smucker's for cooking.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mymymichl

                                                                      My husband swears by Adams natural peanut butter, which is sorta hard to come by here. I wasn't all that impressed--it comes in a HUGE jar that I'd have to refrigerate because even I couldn't finish it all before it got rancid. But what I get here is an unknown brand that comes from ConAgra, and although i know ConAgra is evil, this is a smallish jar (a pound, I think), and there is nothing in it but peanuts and a tiny bit of salt, and it doesn't have to go in the refrigerator. The regular peanut butter doesn't even taste good to me now.

                                                                    2. Great thread! Thanks, everyone.