How Long Does Peanut Butter Last

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last? Can It Go Bad?

Peanut butter is a widely used condiment in several countries and it’s tempting to assume that it can remain edible for eternity. However, does peanut butter spoil? It has an impressive shelf life, but can it still spoil at some point?

Peanut butter is like any other food product and has the potential to spoil when contaminated. Fortunately, it’s a rare occurrence. On the other hand, keep in mind that even if it isn’t spoiled, its taste tends to diminish over time.

It is essential to ensure proper storage of food items to enjoy the best quality of them. If they are stored correctly, you can use them before they start losing their flavor. Shelf life (the period when the quality is optimal) is largely dependent upon your storage habits.

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last

Nearly every container of peanut butter is equipped with a ‘Best By’ or ‘Use By’ label. This is merely the maker’s best-guess at how long the product should remain in its best condition.

Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter doesn’t go bad immediately after its “best by” date. In fact, it can maintain its freshness and quality for months or even years if it has enough preservatives in it and is unopened.

Peanut butter that has already been opened can still be kept safely in the refrigerator for at least a few months past its expiration date. The exact shelf life of peanut butter after opening depends on its ingredients and how it’s stored.

The longevity of homemade peanut butter depends on the ingredients used in the recipe. Generally without any perishable items, it can stay good for up to a month or even more. Many recipes include instructions about the shelf life and how to store it correctly.

Unopened Peanut Butter“Best By” + 6 – 12 months 
Opened Peanut Butter“Best By”“Best By” + 3 – 6 months
Homemade Peanut Butter 1 – 3 months

It’s important to note that the dates in the table are approximations. In many cases, peanut butter may last even longer than expected.

How To Store Peanut Butter

Keeping peanut butter in a secure manner is simple. Make sure the lid of the jar is always tightly secured when not in use. Peanuts & peanut butter contain a good amount of oil, and oxygen can spoil its flavor if exposed to it for long periods of time.

The breakdown of fats in food due to oxygen exposure is known as rancidification. When this happens, the flavor and smell of the product can become unpleasant. Keeping peanut butter sealed and away from oxygen helps preserve its desirable taste and aroma for longer.

For storing store-bought peanut butter which hasn’t been opened yet, the best storage option is to keep it in a cool and dark area such as a pantry.

If you’re going to use the contents of a jar within two months, then you can keep the container in the pantry. Otherwise, it’s best to store an opened jar of peanut butter in the refrigerator for longer-term storage.

Peanut butter has an expiry date and it tastes best when opened and used at room temperature. Leaving it out will cause the flavor to fade away gradually, but if you store it in the refrigerator, the process will be slowed significantly.

One of the primary drawbacks of storing peanut butter in the fridge is that it becomes much harder, making it difficult to spread efficiently. As a result, its consistency and properties are drastically altered.

If you make your own peanut butter without any stabilizers, it’s better to store it in the refrigerator for optimal texture and shelf-life.

How To Tell If Peanut Butter Is Bad

Peanut butter contains a high fat content and low water level, making it difficult for bacteria & fungi to survive and propagate in this food product.

Oxygen plays an important role when it comes to peanut butter’s flavour, even though it doesn’t necessarily make it go bad. Of course, if the butter has been otherwise contaminated this would not be the case.

When storing peanut butter and almond butter over time, oil might rise to the top of the jar. Don’t panic – this is quite normal! All you have to do is give it a stir and you can enjoy your spread as usual.

Don’t take any chances when it comes to peanut butter. If you notice that it has an odd smell, a different taste, or anything else that seems off, it’s best to throw it away. Better safe than sorry!


If the taste of your peanut butter isn’t quite what it used to be, this doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad. Unless there are discernible signs of spoilage, it should be safe to eat.

Although it may not hurt you to consume it, the quality may be questionable and so some people opt to discard it. Ultimately, it’s your call – some folks don’t mind a different taste in their peanut butter while others find they prefer the usual flavor.


What Happens If I Eat Bad Peanut Butter?

Consuming food that has gone bad can cause serious digestive problems such as cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. In worst-case scenarios, it may even lead to Salmonella. Peanut butter is especially prone to going rancid so be sure to check the expiration date before you eat it!

Ignoring the proper procedures for storing natural peanut butter can have serious consequences. The good news is, if kept properly sealed & unopened, it can last up to a year in the refrigerator or pantry.

What Does Expired Peanut Butter Look Like?

Poor quality peanut butter can vary in texture from hard and dry to soft and creamy. Also, the color of bad peanut butter is darker than its normal light tan hue. You may notice a sharp, soapy, or bitter smell if it has gone bad.

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last After Opening?

A jar of commercially-processed peanut butter can be kept in your pantry for 3 months – and if stored in the refrigerator, it can last for up to 9 months. On the other hand, natural peanut butter is only good for 6 months after opening – so it’s best kept in a cooler environment.

Does Peanut Butter Need to Be Refrigerated?

Depending on the type of peanut butter, it can be kept at normal room temperature and in a cool, dry pantry if it has been commercially processed. The stabilizers used in these products make them safe for storage at such temperatures.

If you want your product to last longer, the refrigerator is the best option. This will extend its shelf life by up to three times and help ensure that you can use it for a longer period of time, regardless of how quickly you eat through the jar.

It is important to keep natural peanut butter refrigerated, as it doesn’t contain the same preservatives and stabilizers as other varieties.

What Makes Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Once the packaging of any food item is opened, it exposes the food to numerous external factors like bacteria or humidity. This can make it less safe and less appetizing for consumption.

Peanut butter is made of mostly unsaturated fats, which can easily oxidize when exposed to oxygen. So if you open the jar of peanut butter, the fatty acids in the oil start deteriorating and it loses its oxidative stability.

Oxygen can cause oxidation in fats found in oils, leading to their eventual decomposition and turning them rancid.






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