Perhaps you came across a huge sale on your favorite brand of peanut butter. Or maybe you’re preparing for the apocalypse and want a good source of protein as the world burns. Kidding aside, either way, you might wonder how can you store it and the big question is: “Can you freeze peanut butter?”
Yes, you can freeze peanut butter with minimal changes to its taste and texture.
In the pantry, most brands of peanut butter last for around 6 to 24 months. In the freezer, peanut butter can last more than 2 years!
Freezing peanut butter may sound like a straightforward process, but there are quite a few mistakes to avoid.
In today’s article, we will be talking about how to freeze peanut butter, defrost it, and what mistakes to avoid to prevent premature spoilage.
Can You Freeze Peanut Butter?
Yes, you can freeze peanut butter and keep it in your freezer indefinitely. However, frozen peanut butter won’t taste good forever.
For optimum quality, we recommend freezing peanut butter for up to 6 months. Although your peanut butter will still be safe to eat after that, the texture and taste will not be the same.
So, how do you stock up on this tasty spread?
Here’s what to do:
How To Freeze Peanut Butter?
First things first, we highly suggest freezing peanut butter when it is unused. Peanut butter that has already been dipped won’t last as long as untouched peanut butter.
We also recommend freezing peanut butter that comes in plastic jars only. Glass expands at freezing temperatures, which can lead to your container cracking or even exploding. (*)
Freezing Full Peanut Butter Jars
It’s best to freeze untouched peanut butter that is in a plastic container. Here’s how to do it:
- Do a test freeze first. Spread out a little bit of peanut butter on parchment paper and put it in the freezer.
- After an hour or two, transfer the peanut butter to the fridge. Wait for it to thaw.
- After the peanut butter thaws, check the consistency. If it is up to your liking, you can now put the entire jar in the freezer.
Performing a test freeze will help you avoid wasting an entire container of peanut butter if it turns out you don’t like how it tastes after freezing. So, take this extra step if you don’t want to waste your money!
But what if you already made a dent in your peanut butter?
Freezing Half-Full Peanut Butter Jars
If your peanut butter jar is about half-full or less, here’s how you can freeze it:
- Transfer your peanut butter into a smaller container. Little air should be left on top to prevent freezer burn.
- Close the lid and seal it tightly. If you are using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Label the container with the peanut butter’s expiry date as well as the date you put it in the freezer.
As you can probably guess, defrosting an entire jar of peanut butter can take a long time. Here’s a helpful alternative:
Freezing Small Amounts of Peanut Butter
This method is great if you want to defrost only a few tablespoons of peanut butter at a time (or if you want to make frozen treats for your dog). Here’s what you need to do:
- Scoop the peanut butter into ice cube trays. Put as many as you want into each square.
- Put the trays in the freezer and wait for the peanut butter to freeze completely. This should take around a few hours; it varies from brand to brand.
- Once your peanut butter is frozen solid, pop them out of the trays and transfer the cubes into a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
- Label the bag with the current date and the expiry date on the jar.
- Peanut Butter Hack: Freeze your peanut butter in slices instead of cubes for easy sandwich making in the future! To do this, simply spread out peanut butter on parchment paper and wait for it to freeze. When you’re making a PB&J, slap on a slice of frozen peanut butter on there and melt it in the microwave for a few seconds.
And there you have it! Just pick a method you want, follow the steps, and you should be able to freeze your peanut butter without any problem.
How To Thaw Frozen Peanut Butter?
Thawing frozen peanut butter is easy, but it does require some patience. Depending on the size of the jar, frozen peanut butter can take from 12 hours to a whole day to defrost.
Natural peanut butter contains fewer emulsifiers, so the oil will likely separate upon thawing. Don’t worry, you can minimize the separation by thawing it slowly in the refrigerator.
Nevertheless, you can recombine the oil with peanut butter by giving it a good mix. (*)
Other types of peanut butter contain more emulsifiers, which help prevent the oil from separating. Thus, the oil is less likely to separate while thawing, so you can defrost the peanut butter at room temperature.
In a hurry? You can also speed up the thawing process by soaking your peanut butter jar in a bowl of cold water. A medium-sized jar should thaw in about an hour or two.
What about frozen peanut butter cubes?
Take out the number of cubes you need, place them in a bowl or mug, then transfer them to the fridge. They should thaw in a few hours.
But if you want to enjoy your peanut butter ASAP, you can also put the cubes in a microwave-safe container and nuke them for 30 seconds. Remember to give the peanut butter a few stirs if the oil has separated.
Yes. If your peanut butter has gone off, you will notice a loss/change in the aroma; a dryer or harder texture, and a sour or bitter taste.
Yes, as long as you have not left it out of the fridge for more than 2 hours and if it hasn’t gone beyond its original expiry date.
Instead of asking, “Can you freeze peanut butter?” What you should be asking is, “Does peanut butter freeze well?”
Luckily, the answer to both questions is ‘yes!’
Just make sure to follow our tips and tutorials above, and your peanut butter stock should be safe for years to come.
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