Peanut butter is a popular spread in many countries. For those living in North America, it is a must-have item in the pantry, unless you are allergic to it.
Peanut butter is incredibly versatile and makes a perfect topping for savory and sweet foods. It is also shelf-stable, which makes it easy to store.
Despite the amazing long shelf life of peanuts and its butter, you may consider freezing peanut butter in a particular situation. Perhaps, you need to leave for a long holiday, and you just opened a jar of peanut butter.
Although peanut butter is rich in healthy nutrients, it is also high in calories. If you are trying to lose weight, it is better to limit your consumption.
Either way, you might be wondering about a proper way to prolong peanut butter’s shelf life. Is freezing it worth trying?
We got you covered. In this article, we walk you through the complete guide to freezing and defrosting peanut butter. So, read on!
So, Does Peanut Butter Freeze?
First thing first, peanut butter is a shelf-stable product that doesn’t really need refrigeration before and after opening.
Store-bought peanut butter typically lasts for one to two years. After opening, you can keep it in the pantry or cupboard.
It is not very hard to use up a jar of peanut butter in a couple of months or so. But, if you’re trying to limit this butter from your regular diet, you can keep it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness for another 3 to 4 months.
If you have a full, unopened jar of peanut butter, there’s no need to freeze it. Unopened jars usually last for at least 2 years. That being said, in most cases, you won’t need to freeze peanut butter.
Not all producers are in favor of freezing their products. For example, Skippy emphasizes keeping its products freezer-free. Cold temperatures harden the texture, which makes it less spreadable.
Store-bought peanut butter is often added with sugar, oil, salt, and miscellaneous ingredients. Pure peanut butter freezes better than those with more added ingredients.
In short, peanut butter doesn’t freeze equally well. So, you might want to try freezing a small amount and see how well it goes.
By now, you’ve already known what to expect from freezing peanut butter. Let’s get down to the step-to-step guide of freezing this butter.
How To Freeze Peanut Butter
There are a few ways of freezing peanut butter, depending on your situation. If your butter comes in a glass jar, transfer it to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Glass jar tends to break easily at freezing temperatures.
Freezing peanut butter is a no-brainer hack, and anyone can do it. Here is how you should do it.
1. Select the right container. It is okay to freeze peanut butter in its original plastic jar packaging, but not in a glass jar. If the amount is half full or less, consider transferring it to a freezer-bag or smaller container to save up space for other foods.
2. If you only use a small amount each time, consider packing in a smaller container or in ice cube trays. If you’re freezing in ice cube trays, flash freeze for several hours before packing them in a freezer bag.
3. Squeeze as much air as possible if you’re using a freezer bag.
4. Seal the container tightly.
5. Mark the container with the freezing date.
6. Place the package in the freezer.
Frozen foods should be kept at 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower for long-term storage. That’s why it is crucial to check your freezer’s temperature regularly.
How To Thaw and Use Frozen Peanut Butter
There are a couple of ways when it comes to defrosting frozen foods. The safest method is by placing it in the refrigerator and letting it slowly thaw. Alternatively, you can also put frozen peanut butter to thaw on the countertop.
It is common for foods rich in fat to separate after thawing. If that happens to your butter, no worries. You can fix it quickly by giving it a good stir until it reaches the right consistency!
You can use thawed peanut butter for various purposes, similar to how you use regular peanut butter. Add it into a classic PB&J sandwich, a stand-alone snack, mix into smoothies, and many more!
How Long Can You Freeze Peanut Butter?
Frozen foods can be kept indefinitely. However, the longer it is frozen, the lower the quality is. It is best to use your frozen peanut butter within six months to enjoy its creamy and delicious taste!
How Do You Tell If Peanut Butter Goes Bad?
Peanut butter rarely spoils in a typical sense. You can safely keep it outside the fridge without getting damaged.
The main issue with this butter is similar to other fatty foods, which is a rancid smell. The oil content will gradually break down and turn rancid. Rancid foods won’t necessarily make you sick, but it doesn’t taste great.
If your butter is overexposed to air, it tends to develop off-flavor and dry texture. Check our article for further explanation about peanut butter shelf life.
The shelf life of peanut butter considerably varies depending on the brands. Ingredients and processing methods are two determining factors. In general, most store-bought peanut butter has a 2-year shelf life. After opening, you can keep it for 2 to 4 months. Meanwhile, homemade version lasts for around 2 to 4 weeks.
Yes, sandwiches prepared with peanut butter or other nut butter freeze pretty well! The idea of freezing sandwiches is sometimes frowned upon. But, it is a smart kitchen hack that saves money and time. You just need to know which sandwich fillings freeze well.
Yes, freezing peanut butter cookies, either the dough or baked ones, is possible to do. If you’re planning to serve a big crowd with your favorite homemade cookies, you can consider making a big batch and freezing them.
Peanut butter is a shelf-stable food that has a remarkable shelf life. In most cases, you won’t need to freeze it to prolong its shelf life. But, if you do, make sure to freeze peanut butter properly.
Don’t freeze peanut butter in a glass jar as the container may break at freezing temperature. Transfer the nut butter to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
Consider flash-freezing it in ice cube trays if you only use a small amount each time. You can use the tips above to freeze almond butter as well.
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