Do I need to refrigerate peanut butter

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do I need to refrigerate peanut butter?” We will also discuss how you need to store peanut butter and the shelf life of this product.

Do I need to refrigerate peanut butter?

No, you do not need to refrigerate peanut butter. Commercial peanut butter should be fine when kept in the pantry for up to 3 to 4 months. After this time, you can place the jar inside the fridge to enlarge its shelf life.

The reason why peanut butter is not needed to be stored in the fridge is that at room temperature the creaminess of this product is at its best.  However, if you live in a humid and warm environment, it is recommended to store it in the fridge right away.

What is peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a delicious compliment for a quick snack, it is made from roasted peanuts mixed with some sugar, salt, oils, and extra additives that work to avoid the separation of the different parts. 

Not only peanut butter is rich in fat but also protein, vitamins, healthy fats, and fiber. Many athletes use it to meet their protein intake and help them get the body of their dreams. 

Despite its nutritional information, peanut butter is delicious and has a creamy, smooth, crunchy texture. 

You must buy peanut butter which has peanuts listed in its ingredients. When it is made of nuts, an odd biphasic jelly will appear. You will need to stir both of the phases to redistribute the oils and end up with a homogenous mixture.

How is peanut butter made?

The manufacturing process of peanut butter implies different stages, such as

  • It all starts with the peanuts. To get peanut butter with excellent quality, peanuts need to be submitted to a deep cleaning when all the empty shells and dirtiness are removed.
  • Then the hull of peanuts needs to be carefully removed to avoid any damage to the seed or kernels. Also, this is when all external materials are removed.
  • The peanuts will then be dried according to their level of moisture. 
  • The skin will then be removed, and it will be submitted to a blanching process.
  • It is time to grind the bleached peanuts. Commonly, peanut butter needs two different grinding stages.
  • Peanuts should be submitted to constant pressure, this will protect the product from bubbles and will guarantee uniform grinding.
  • A stabilizing stage occurs to prepare peanut butter for its packaging. Once it is done, the final product will be placed inside jars, capped, and labeled.

Preparing peanut butter is a complex method, but it can also be done at home! 

How long does peanut butter last?

The shelf life of most products will depend on their storage. Also, when the jar has not been opened, the product will exhibit a large shelf life. Once opened, it will keep its quality for up to 3 to 4 months.

Peanut Butter Shelf Life
TypeIn the pantryIn the fridge
Unopened peanut butter6 to 9 monthsNot needed
Opened peanut butter2 to 3 months6 to 9 months

If you do not keep peanut butter in the fridge after it has been opened, the oils will be separated.

How can you tell when peanut butter has gone bad?

You can determine whether peanut butter is still safe for consumption when checking for different signs. Your senses will do all the work, make sure your peanut butter is still fresh by taking care of these signs

  • Changes in texture. Peanut butter is naturally soft, if you note that it has become dry and hard to spread, it means it might have gone bad.
  • Color changes. Peanut butter has a natural light brown color. When darkened,  peanut butter might have lost its quality.
  • Off smell. If you smell your peanut butter and note a rancid smell, you need to discard the product.
  • Unpleasant taste. If your peanut butter tastes rancid or sour instead of the original nutty flavor, it means that the product has gone bad.

If you note any of these signs, it is safer to discard the peanut butter to avoid foodborne illness.  If you want to read more about what causes foodborne illness, please click here.

What does refrigeration do to peanut butter?

Refrigerating peanut butter can mess up different features of this product, like the texture or taste. It is very likely that after being submitted to cold temperatures, the texture becomes dry and difficult to spread.

What you can do to avoid the dryness of cold peanut butter is to let it warm outside the fridge before using it. 


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do I need to refrigerate peanut butter?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.