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You've Been Storing Peanut Butter Wrong Your Entire Life

Keep your nut butter at optimal freshness with this easy trick.
Jar of peanut butter open

It's satisfyingly creamy, full of healthy fats, and one of the most satiating snacks that fills you up. Yes, we're talking about peanut butter. Unless you have a serious peanut allergy, most households will have at least one tub of peanut butter in their pantry at all times. Although peanut butter has been a long-term pantry staple, that doesn't mean that everyone knows how to store it properly. Actually, it's very likely that you've actually been storing your peanut butter incorrectly this whole time.

For the best PB&J, you have to make sure you're peanut butter is stored in tip-top shape, We reveal the absolute best way to store peanut butter to make it last longer, maintain flavor, and improve ease of use. Once you find out how to store it, learn more about the legume blend in 27 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Peanut Butter.

The best way to store peanut butter

If you're noshing on natural peanut butter—as you should be—your best bet is to store it upside down.

Unlike no-stir peanut butter, natural peanut butter consists of just peanuts and sometimes a sprinkle of salt rather than hydrogenated oils and sugar. That's why you'll notice a thick pool of oil floating at the top of your natural peanut butter jar.

This oil separation is totally natural, but it can use some serious arm grease when stirring it. The solution? Pop the jar in your pantry upside down, and it will help to evenly distribute the plant oils, avoiding the layer of oil from rising to the top. Wait, pantry?

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The best place to store peanut butter

Yes, you can totally store your PB in the pantry—as long as you finish the jar within a month of opening it. According to MaraNatha, one of our favorite natural peanut butter brands, you can keep your nut butter in a cool, dark place, like your pantry. According to its Nut Butter FAQ, "You may find that refrigeration is not required, as long as you use the contents of the jar within a reasonable amount of time. If you choose to do this, check the aroma of the nut butter regularly to ensure it is not becoming rancid."

Natural nut butters are preservative-free, so their shelf lives are shorter than that of processed peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. So, as a general rule of thumb, if you know you'll polish off the entire jar in less than a month, go ahead and store it in your pantry.

If you take a little more time nurturing your jar, opt for storing it in the fridge to prevent the fats in the peanut butter from going rancid.

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If you store PB in the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature for about five to 10 minutes before each use to avoid spooning into a rock-hard peanut spread. Looking for the perfect natural sandwich staple? Consult our exclusive report, The 36 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked.

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