Why Experts Avoid Canning Peanut Butter and You Should Too

peanut butter peanuts and peanut butter on bread
Home-canning peanut butter is not recommended due to safety concerns. Unlike commercial peanut butter processed with preservatives, homemade varieties go rancid quickly due to the fat content and consistency. Refrigerating and freezing are the best methods of preserving homemade peanut butter.

Can Peanut Butter be Canned?

No. Preserving homemade natural peanut butter by canning is not safe. While you may come across canning instructions for peanut butter in older editions of popular canning books, these instructions have been removed from current versions due to food safety concerns.

The National Center for Home Food Processing recommends canning unshelled green peanuts instead of peanut butter.

Some reasons why you shouldn’t can peanut butter include:

  • The oils and fats in nut butter deteriorate quickly.
  • Peanut butter has a dense consistency similar to that of pumpkin puree. The thickness makes it difficult for heat to penetrate the mixture properly. Also, air can’t move freely in such conditions, trapping harmful bacteria.
  • Low-acid foods like peanuts require pressure canning, which is only possible using a specialized pressure canner. Peanut butter’s low pH increases the risk of botulism associated with home canning.

How to Preserve Peanut Butter Safely

Even though experts don’t recommend canning peanut butter made at home, you can use other approved food preservation methods to extend the shelf life of store-bought peanut butter.

The additives and processing the store-bought varieties go through make it safe to refrigerate and freeze.

  • Refrigeration – Refrigerating peanut butter prevents exposure to bacteria and air. Put it in an airtight container inside your fridge, and you can enjoy it for up to three months. The lower temperature of the refrigerator slows bacteria multiplication while preventing the separation of oils which leads to spoiling.
  • Freezing – It’s best to divide peanut butter into small portions when freezing it. An ice cube tray will come in handy. Simply portion the peanut butter into cellophane-lined ice cube trays and freeze until solid. The frozen peanut butter can then be transferred to zip-top bags. Experts warn against using glass jars as the peanut butter may expand and shatter the container.

Tips for Storing Peanut Butter

  • Avoid contamination. Use clean utensils to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Keep the jar upside down. This position enhances the even distribution of oils, keeping the nut butter fresh and smooth.
  • Stir before use. Stirring prevents moisture loss and improves the shelf life of peanut butter.
  • Store in a cool, dark, dry place away from sunlight. If your pantry temperatures are below 25 degrees, your peanut butter can last longer.

Shelf Life of Homemade vs Commercial Peanut Butter

Homemade and commercial peanut butter contain different ingredients, and commercial peanut butter has a longer shelf life.

Homemade peanut butter uses natural ingredients, while store-bought varieties contain stabilizers, hydrogenated oils to prevent oil separation, and sweeteners. These additives extend the shelf-life of commercial peanut butter.

Commercial peanut butter is shelf-stable and easier to preserve. If kept at room temperature, the stabilizers keep it fresh for three months after opening. After opening, placing it in a refrigerator increases its shelf life from 6-9 months.

As homemade butter doesn’t have these additives, an opened, refrigerated jar lasts for one month.

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homemade peanut butter in container

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

  • Author: Regie
  • Total Time: 10 minutes


Are you wondering how to make your own peanut butter at home? This peanut butter requires just a few ingredients and can be made in 5 minutes in a food processor!


  • 23 cups dry, shelled, roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar or honey (optional)


  1. In a clean food processor, place your shelled peanuts and salt. Let the machine run for 4-5 minutes while the peanuts transition from a sandy texture into a creamy consistency.
  2. Add as much sugar or honey as you’d like to suit your taste, and then let the machine run for another minute to incorporate fully.
  3. Pack this rich, yummy nut butter in an airtight mason jar and keep it at room temperature if you plan to use it right away. If you want it to last for a few weeks or a month, preserve it in your refrigerator.
  4. That’s it! The peanut butter is ready for sandwiches or enjoying right away!


  • Make sure your hands and the equipment you use are clean to avoid contamination.
  • If you don’t have glass mason jars, airtight plastic containers (with lids), zip-top bags, or vacuum-seal bags will also work to store your peanut butter.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp
  • Calories: 160kcal
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Protein: 7g

How Long Can Peanut Butter Be Stored in a Mason Jar?

Storing peanut butter in mason jars with lids is an excellent way to preserve it long-term. Unopened peanut butter in an airtight mason jar can last up to three months.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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