How Long Does Peanut Butter Last? How to Know if Peanut Butter Has Gone Bad?

Delicious peanut butter on the table

The shelf life of peanut butter depends on several factors such as time, temperature, purchase date and shelf life. While some appliances can save peanut butterfor more time, others may make it bad very soon. Although canned products like peanut butter come with a relatively strong shelf life, it is alwaysrecommended to use them within the time recommended in the label of every product.

Peanut butter is one of that food which we have to store in our refrigerator so that it can be kept fresh for the next use. Of course, they will not last longer if stored improperly. So, read our guide below to find out how long does peanut butter last and does peanut go bad.

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last?

Probably, all peanut butter containers have a ‘Use by’ or ‘Best to Use Before’ label in it. This is just an information provided by the manufacturer revealing the time within which the product must be used. That does not mean that it will taste awful or go rancid after the mentioned period. Believe me, it rarely does. You will be amazed to know that an unopened can of peanut butter may last for severalmonths and even a year after the ‘best by’ date. Though it depends on how much preservatives have been added to the peanut butter.

Opened cans kept in refrigerators can stay good for at least some months past the package date. But if you want to know whether peanut butter can be used after the expiration date, you may never find a straight forward answer since it depends on various factors and how your peanut butter is stored.

When it comes to homemade peanut butter, the recipe you used to make it decides the shelf life of peanut butter. Therefore, in most, of the recipes, the author mentions the shelf life of the product. If your peanut recipe does not have perishable items, perhaps it may last for more than a month.

How long does peanut butter last when the can is opened?

The accurate answer to this question depends on various factors. In a pantry, commercial peanut butter lasts for 6-24 months if unopened and 2-3 months after opening then cans. Since natural peanut butter lacks preservatives, that may last for a few months when opened and up to a month after opening.

Again, different brands have different shelf life and may last longer even after the can is opened since they have stabilizers added to it. For example, homemade peanut butter stored in a darker, cooler and dry place can be stored for more than a month. However, they do not last longer than it since other properties in the butter likely go rancid.

How long does peanut butter last at room temperature?

Peanut butter is always recommended to be kept in cool, dry and darker places. Though, commercially processed peanut butter contains essential stabilizers and preservatives which makes them storable at room temperature. Pantry storage further makes the spreading of peanut butter simpler task. An opened can of peanut butter stays well for three months at room temperature if processed commercially.

How long does peanut butter last in a refrigerator?

Commercially processed peanut butter can easily stay good for more than 6 months. Natural peanut butter, on the other side, may become rancid after a couple of months.

Can we use peanut butter even after the expiration date?

Provided peanut butter is stored properly, it can be used post-expiration date. But, before using it, you must check few things: whether the jar is damaged or not, any kind of spoilage sign like change in colour or smell. All commercially packed peanut butter comes with a safety date within which the company recommends using the peanut butter. It is just an estimated date and before throwing your peanut butter after the expiration date, do check if it has turned bad or not.

The shelf time mentioned in the package is for opened butter and best quality after which, the butter’s texture, flavour or colour may change. But, in most cases, it is safe to consume if the peanut butter has been stored in the refrigerator all the time and the jar is unbroken.

How to know if peanut butter has become bad, spoiled or rotten?

In rare cases, peanut butter becomes bad. The major cause is usually contamination due to other food presence leading to fungi and bacteria growth in the peanut butter jar. Such spread must not be consumed as it may cause food poisoning. Check below tips to ensure if your peanut butter has turn bad or not.

Discoloured looks: if your peanut butter has turned darker with time, maybe it’s time to throw it away. The spoiled peanut butter changes its colour due to mould infection and oxidation.

Unusual smell: do sniff the jar before spreading peanut butter in your food if it has been stored for a long time. If it smells bitter or rotten, throw it immediately. The safest way to use peanut butter is when it smells exactly like peanut butter. So, avoid risk and never compromise even for the smell.

Bad taste: If you are suspicious about your peanut butter’s quality, just taste a little portion of it. If the spread leaves an unpleasant feeling on your taste buds, avoid consuming it further. Consuming a small portion is good rather than serving it on more plates.

Texture change: if the peanut butter separates, you can stir it easily. Though, if the spread has turned unusually stiff, dry and lumpy, it is no longer edible and must be thrown immediately.

How to store Peanut Butter to make it last longer?

A jar full of peanut butter is usually never consumed at once. So, to maintain a specific taste and prevent oxidation, we need to follow certain rules that can make peanut butter last longer.

  • Close The Lid properly every time you use it. Afirmly closed lid preserves peanut butter quality at its best and prevents loss of texture. Failing this, you may see a dark-coloured crust appearing on the peanut butter which tastes unpleasant.
  • Clean your spoon or knife before using them to take out peanut butter from the jar. Bacteria and dust particles in the air can contaminate the spread even though you keep your utensils safe in drawers. It is also non-advisable to eat butter with the same spoon you insert in the jar since saliva will enter the jar and spoil your spread faster.
  • Since the oil present in the peanut butter sits at the top of the jar, the solid nut usually descends to the bottom. Before eating, stir the entire spread properly with a spoon if you notice separations.
  • One convenient trick that can stop the separation of oil from solid nut or to prevent the butter from becoming too stiff is turning the jar upside down for a day or two. This allows necessary vegetable fats to distribute evenly across the spread and keeps the peanut butter texture and looks intact.
  • Choose powdered peanut butter if you are an occasional peanut butter consumer. Moreover, powdered peanut butter comes with few fats and calories and you can easily store them in your pantry for a longer period. The powdered peanut butter has a similar taste to regular peanut butter and does not get oxidised soon.
  • Last but not the least, store peanut butter in small dollops or small portions for later use. You can use silicone mould or ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can take out a small portion rather than the entire jar at once.