Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods in the whole world. Creamy, crunchy, it doesn’t matter, I love it all! Sometimes I buy so much of the stuff that I worry that it will go bad before I can eat it. This led me to find out if you can freeze peanut butter.
You can freeze peanut butter. Unlike many foods, peanut butter can be frozen without causing a change in taste or texture. That said, peanut butter has a long shelf life, and there is no real reason to freeze it. In addition, frozen peanut butter will take a long time to defrost, delaying your use.
However, if you’re interested in freezing peanut butter, you might have some questions about the process. If so, you’re in the right place!
Does Peanut Butter Freeze Well?
Different types of peanut butter freeze differently.
Natural peanut butter (also known as pure peanut butter – generally peanut butter that you make at home) freezes the best. This is because natural peanut butter is made entirely of peanuts.
With natural peanut butter, you can thaw it and consume it immediately without worrying about changes in taste and texture. Just give it a quick stir, and off you go.
When it comes to most store-bought peanut butter, they tend to have quite a few added ingredients such as salt, sugar, and added oils. These commercial peanut butters also freeze well, but you will have to do a better job of stirring it after it thaws to make sure that any separated ingredients are mixed back in.
Now that we know how peanut butter freezes well let’s talk about some different ways to freeze it.
4 Ways To Freeze Peanut Butter
Here are four different ways you can freeze peanut butter. Choose a way that will work best for your end use.
1. Freezing Peanut Butter (The Classic Way)
The most common way to freeze peanut butter is to spoon it into a plastic freezer bag or airtight container.
If you’re using a freezer bag, just press out all the air from the bag after you place the peanut butter inside. If you’re using an airtight container, choose a container about the same size as the volume of peanut butter you want to freeze.
If you don’t have an appropriately sized Tupperware container, place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface to reduce the risk of oxygen interacting with the peanut butte.
Whether you’re freezing in a container or a bag, it’s important that you leave as little air inside with the peanut butter as possible. Long-term, direct contact with excess air will cause the peanut butter to oxidize and/or cause freezer burn.
2. Freezing With Ice Cube Trays
In some instances, you may want to freeze small amounts or single serving sizes of peanut butter.
In this case, scoop the peanut butter into ice cube trays and then freeze for several hours. Once completely frozen, pop out the peanut butter cubes and store them in a sealable freezer bag (remember to push out the excess air).
Freezing like this makes defrosting peanut butter a snap – the frozen peanut butter cubes are the perfect portion size so you may only need to thaw one or two cubes at a time. This way, you don’t have to thaw out all of the frozen peanut butter at once just to get a small serving.
3. Frozen Peanut Butter Balls
The only downside with freezing peanut butter in ice cube trays is that it can take some extra time to clean out the tray and get all the nut butter out. If that sounds like a hassle to you, instead try scooping the peanut butter into balls and freezing them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Once frozen, transfer the peanut butter balls to an airtight container and use them as portions in recipes (like smoothies).
4. Freezing With Baking Sheets (A Fun Way!)
Here’s a fun way to freeze peanut butter (and other nut butter). Spread the peanut butter into a thin sheet (about the same size as a slice of bread) on parchment or wax paper. Once that’s done, freeze it.
The next time you’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pull out the sheet of frozen peanut butter and, instead of fresh peanut butter, use frozen – it will make constructing the peanut butter sandwiches easier and add a nice, cool, crunchy element to your meal.
Can You Freeze a Jar of Peanut Butter?
You can freeze an entire jar of peanut butter. However, if you want to freeze it in its original container, you’ll have to ensure the jar of peanut butter is made of plastic.
The equation changes if the peanut butter is stored in a glass jar.
Freezing Peanut butter In A Glass Jar
Some store-bought peanut butter jars are made with freezer-safe glass and can be frozen without issue. However, the majority are made out of cheap glass, which can shatter due to the pressure exerted on it in a freezer.
A shattered jar will ruin the peanut butter by filling it with shards of glass and will likely contaminate other foods in your freezer.
If you want to try freezing peanut butter in a glass jar, you have to open the jar first. An unopened jar is extremely unsafe.
Once you’ve opened the jar, remove the safety seal. This gives the peanut butter more space to expand and reduces the risk of shattered glass. Then, put the opened jar in your freezer.
Important Note: The safest way to store a glass jar of peanut butter in the freeze would be to put it into another glass container (i.e., mason jar) that will be stronger in the freezer.
Freezing Opened Jars Of Peanut Butter
If the jar has been opened and is less than half full or has been open for some time, you shouldn’t freeze the entire jar. Instead, transfer the peanut butter to an airtight container or freezer bag.
How Long Can You Keep Peanut Butter Frozen?
Peanut butter will still taste good after being frozen for up to 6 months. Ideally, peanut butter should be consumed within this period.
Thawing peanut butter that has been frozen for over 6 months does not mean it will be unsafe to eat. However, the taste of the peanut butter will start to degrade after six months.
How to Thaw Frozen Peanut Butter
When it comes time to thaw peanut butter that has been frozen, the best way is to move it into the fridge overnight.
If you’re thawing smaller portions or cubes of peanut butter, it won’t take long to thaw. You can even leave it on the counter to let it thaw quickly.
If you’re thawing an entire jar or other large amounts of frozen peanut butter, it will likely take many hours for it to thaw. This is why it’s best to leave it in the fridge for 8 or 9 hours.
Freezing Creamy and Crunchy Peanut Butter
Smooth peanut butter and crunchy peanut butter both freeze equally well. However, it’s likely that the oil will separate, and the peanut butter will need to be stirred very well.
Freezing Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
While freezing peanut butter doesn’t make much sense in most situations, freezing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is a totally different story! By keeping pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the freezer, you always have something to grab when you need a meal on the go.
Just make the sandwich as normal, then wrap it tightly in cling wrap. You can then place several pb&j sandwiches into a large freezer bag.
These are especially great for families with kids!
Can You ReFreeze Peanut Butter
You should not refreeze peanut butter after you thaw it. Refreezing thawed peanut butter will speed up the deterioration of the taste and quality and will significantly increase the risk of bacteria growth, which means it may be unsafe for you to consume.
Instead, store any thawed nut butter you haven’t consumed in your refrigerator.
The Best Ways to Store Peanut Butter Long-Term
Honestly, the best way to store unopened peanut butter long-term is to keep it in your panty, cool, and out of direct sunlight.
Opened jars of peanut butter can be stored in the pantry at room temperature for up to three months or in the refrigerator for 6-7 months.
If you’re not using your nut butter frequently, it’s always recommended you store it in your fridge. The oil separates when it is stored in the pantry for long periods, and while you can mix the oil back in, the process may affect the quality and taste of the peanut butter.
Can You Freeze Peanut Butter – Final Thoughts
It’s possible to keep peanut butter frozen for about six months before the quality and taste begin to become affected.
However, while freezing is possible, it’s not necessary – you can get just as long of shelf life by storing peanut butter in your refrigerator and about half that when storing it at room temperature in your pantry.