Skip to Content

How To Tell If Peanut Butter Has Gone Bad

How To Tell If Peanut Butter Has Gone Bad

Are you wondering if your peanut is still good, or if it’s gone bad? I get asked how to tell if peanut butter is still good all the time so I decided to write this article so you know if your peanut butter is safe to eat.

No matter if you have natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy this article has you covered.

Can Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Yes it can! Peanut butter contains oil that can expire if it sits too long or if it is stored improperly.

Natural peanut butter has the shortest shelf life because it does not contain artificial preservatives.

That’s a good thing if you are eating a clean diet, but it does mean you should make sure your peanut butter is still good before eating it.

Creamy and crunchy peanut butter tends to have a longer shelf life because it does contain artificial preservatives. But these types of peanut butter can go bad too.

Natural peanut butter is made with peanuts, salt, and potentially oil. While creamy and crunchy peanut butter likely has had sugar added as well.

Peanut butter has a low moisture content which adds to it’s generally long shelf life. So if stored in a dry, room temperature location out of direct sunlight, it can last a long time without spoiling.

How To Tell If Peanut Butter Is Still Good

jar of crunchy peanut butter and whole peanuts

Let’s say you’re rummaging around your pantry and way in the back is a jar of peanut butter you don’t even remember buying.

Do you throw caution to the wind and start making sandwiches or just throw it in the trash?

Don’t throw it away just yet. And you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope for the best either.

With this ridiculously simple method, you can tell if your peanut butter is still good to eat.

Note: Oil at the top of your peanut butter does NOT mean it’s gone bad. Separation of the oil is to be expected, especially with natural peanut butter.

Spoiled peanut butter is easy to identify. Because of it’s high oil content, those oils can go rancid.

You can tell if your peanut butter has gone bad because it’s texture will no longer be creamy (even after stirring the oil back in). It will instead have a grainy and lumpy consistency.

Peanut butter that has gone bad will also tend to be a darker color than fresh peanut butter.

You can even give a small amount a taste as bad peanut butter will taste off. That’s a sure sign it’s time to throw it away.

Keep in mind that peanut butter will not grow mold so you need to test it by looking for the signs outlined above.

What causes peanut butter to go bad?

jar of creamy peanut butter with knife and apples

Peanut butter goes bad due to improper storage. Allowing air into your peanut butter will lead to spoilage.

So it’s important to keep your stored peanut butter well sealed.

High temperatures can also be detrimental. Keep your peanut butter in a cool, dark place. A pantry is fine but the refrigerator works well too.

You can also freeze peanut butter.

If you have natural or homemade peanut butter it is recommended to only store it in the fridge or freezer.