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I’ve bent spoons digging out ice cream before, but in the battle of peanut butter vs. tablespoon, the peanut butter won.

Broken tablespoon

I might start microwaving my peanut butter after I take it out of the fridge from now on. Bed, Bath and Beyond sends me lots of coupons, but I don’t want to use them all on new sets of measuring spoons.

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Olivia • October 18, 2007 at 8:32 am

I don’t keep peanutbutter in the fridge. Maybe that’s not a good thing?


Amy • October 18, 2007 at 8:50 am

buy metal measuring utensils, they’re sexy and you won’t regret it.

does peanut butter need to be refridgerated?


psychsarah • October 18, 2007 at 8:56 am

Doh! That sucks. I agree with Amy re: metal measuring cups. I love mine, and they are so far indestructible.

To those questioning the refrigeration, I noticed that you have natural PB, which does need to be in the fridge, as it is just peanuts and therefore can go rancid at room temp. Standard issue PB (i.e. Jif, Kraft etc.) has different oils and preservatives so it can sit in the cupboard indefinitely.


Debbi • October 18, 2007 at 9:06 am

The only peanut butter I refrigerate is the kind where you have to mix the oil in. I don’t think peanut butter goes bad. Also? Get the Williams-Sonoma measuring spoons. So classy. And you’re worth it!


Joe Grossberg • October 18, 2007 at 9:22 am

re: the rancidity:

* store it somewhere dark and cool (i.e. not near a window or the stove)

* how quickly do you go through a jar

* unlike some foods, when it’s rancid, it’ll be obvious — it’ll smell putrid

Have you looked into other nut butters — almond, cashew, sunflower, soy “nut” are more expensive, but avoid the aflatoxin mold/cancer problem.


lawexamtoday • October 18, 2007 at 9:30 am

Screw the measuring spoons. If you are going to count calories, the absolutely best tool you can have is a $20 fod scale. Mine counts ounces and grams. You will never have to worry about air pockets again! For example: two tablespoons on PB is 190 calores. It weights 32 grams. Put the bread on the scale, zero it, and throw PB on the bread until the scale reads 32 grams. You know exactly how much you are getting every time. Just about every food lists it weight in grams on the nutrition label.


cricket • October 18, 2007 at 9:36 am

I have never put PB in the fridge, you dont need too and it spreads MUCH betttttttttttterr! :)


PastaQueen • October 18, 2007 at 9:39 am

To all – I’ve never refrigerated PB before, but I’ve never bought the natural stuff before and it said to on the label, so I did. Also, I do have a set of metal measuring spoons as well and the PB started to bend it! I might try storing it in a cupboard and just risk it going bad instead.


Sarah • October 18, 2007 at 9:52 am

Mini spatula? Has a longer handle = more force? I know there has to be some physics in there somewhere…viscosity…something.

I have one from pampered chef that I use for all my spreads (no sticky fingers)


Mark • October 18, 2007 at 9:55 am

What happened to the Soehnle food scale we sent you? ;-)

But I use a shallow measuring spoon for peanut butter. I think you’re putting in in too cold a part of your refrigerator. It’s shouldn’t be that hard, unless it separated and you’re using the hard part.

Store it upside down and stir before using. That keeps it soft all the way to the bottom.

PQ – I do use that scale! Once I figured out how to flip the switch so it measured in pounds and ounces it became very helpful.


Erin • October 18, 2007 at 9:56 am

Peanut butter does not go in the fridge, parmesan cheese however does. If only I could convince my roommates of this.


Leticia • October 18, 2007 at 9:58 am

Peanut butter can stay in the pantry! It spreads so much better…. :o)


Diana the Scale Junkie • October 18, 2007 at 10:12 am

While I miss the smooth texture and no refrigeration required of the trans fat laden regular peanut butter, I have really grown to love and prefer the natural peanut butter.

Here is my natural peanut butter trick: When I bring it home I leave it unopened on the counter upside down, once it all oozes towards the lid, I open the jar and stir it really well with a butter knife. Smuckers Natural has been my favorite so far.

If you have Dollar Tree dollar store in your area, they have metal measuring spoons for $1 so you can save your BB&B coupons for other stuff!


OMG!!! I’m TASTY!!! Because I babbled so much in this post, I just scrolled down far enough to see that I’m a TASTY READ!! Its like an early birthday present!! Thank you Pasta Queen!


Laura • October 18, 2007 at 11:14 am

I love peanut butter. So much that I can’t have it too available or I’ll eat 1/2 a jar in one sitting. I only like the “natural” no sugar added style which is what I grew up on. I don’t eat it on bread, crackers or anything else. I sick the jar in the freezer and dig it out in small chunks when it’s frozen. It is indescribably good.


Laura • October 18, 2007 at 11:56 am

Silly solution, but if you want to refrigerate it and it won’t scoop out in the morning into a tablespoon measure because it’s cold, then just get it out with a knife and use the knife to put it into the measuring spoon! I always use a knife to level it off anyway.


Urban Chick • October 18, 2007 at 12:21 pm

PQ, if you go through it fast enough – it won’t go rancid. I had mine(same brand) sitting out on the counter in front a huge sunny window and it used it regularly for a week and it was all good. Granted the average temp was about 65 that week, so it was cool.


G.G. • October 18, 2007 at 12:45 pm

PB is one of my problem bingey foods–I don’t go through much because I don’t let myself eat it very often. And as a single female, the jar sticks around a long time, so I have to put it in the fridge to keep it from going rancid (I also store my bags of raw nuts in the fridge, too).

This may be the stupidest, most anal-retentive & impractical suggestion ever, but maybe you could pre-measure it into plastic bags when it’s new, room-temperature soft & easily spreadable, and then just pull a bag out when you need it?


Reb • October 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm

If your fridge has the freezer on top, put your PB on the bottom shelf near the front. Top shelf is the coldest.

If you have a food blender (new reader) make your own, buy fresh unsalted, unroasted peanuts and grind them into PB. Just scrape it into an old PB jar. That way, you can make as much PB as you will use in a week or two – and you know there are no additives. You can experiment sometimes adding other nuts, or try with spanish peanuts.


Mia • October 18, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that PB doesn’t belong in the Frig. :)) As a matter of fact, if the label says to refrigerate it, then I would. Maybe it would be helpful to set the container out for 15 minutes before you plant to use it (?). Or find a natural PB that doesn’t require refrigeration.


Jenny • October 18, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I got nothing to add, except I want to apologize for laughing.



honi • October 18, 2007 at 3:56 pm

try PB2 you can by it online at Bell Plantation.. its powdered PB u mix with water as u use it.. its very very good. u can use it for recipes too.. you can find Bell Plantation online.. I love the stuff


Holly • October 18, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Measuring spoons, knives, spoons, baggies, scales! DANG PEOPLE just scoop some out with your finger and lick it off! lol!


K • October 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

I never wonder whether to put PB in the fridge or not, because it is the Taste of Evil and so I never buy any :p

(Don’t mind me; I had a traumatic PB experience when I was seven and have never got over it!)


LisaC • October 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Use a metal spoon or knife and put it in a glass of hot or boiling water- will slide through nice and easy especially for just 1 spoonful : )

We have a great freezer and I have to do this when I have icecream (rarely).


BrightAngel • October 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Posted by: Laura at October 18, 2007 11:56 AM

“Silly solution, but if you want to refrigerate it and it won’t scoop out in the morning into a tablespoon measure because it’s cold, then just get it out with a knife and use the knife to put it into the measuring spoon! I always use a knife to level it off anyway.”

That’s my response as well. I never refrigerated Skippy…but when I bought healthy peanut butter, the jar says to refrigerate and so I do. A jar needs to last a Loooooonggggg time, at 100+ calories per tablespoon.

I use a table knife and put it into a measuring spoon, then I scrape it onto a saucer and microwave it for about 10 seconds to warm it up so it spreads further. One tablespoon doesn’t spread on bread so good when it’s hard, but it covers a slice quite well after being softened in the microwave.


Kyle • October 18, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Peanut butter always wins. Don’t mess.


Kathy W. • October 19, 2007 at 12:16 am

nice stainless steel measuring spoon set (cheap, lasts forever) + dig out pb w/butter knife. no need to use the meecro-wavay…


MB • October 19, 2007 at 12:29 am

I use a sturdy butter knife to stir the oil and dig it out and into my measuring spoons. You have to try the Teddy PB – it is the best.

Have your ears been ringing lately?

I keep talking about you and thought I should let you know :) You are such an inspiration!



Lauren • October 19, 2007 at 4:11 am

you could use a metal spoon to scoop it then put it in the measuring spoon.


Kym • October 19, 2007 at 11:37 am

I never knew anybody kept peanut butter in the fridge, are we supposed too? *grins* All these years I must have peanut butter poisoning by now!


Amy • October 19, 2007 at 1:54 pm

I tried microwaving it once too, and I would tell you to be careful – the seal that had been there was foil, and I didn’t notice there were little bits of it still on the jar when I put it in to nuke it. A sparking microwave is a scary microwave.


Lynn • October 19, 2007 at 3:34 pm

I use the same peanut butter! And I have a solution for you.

When you bring it home, turn it upside down in the fridge. The fats will redistribute throughout and provide a softer product. It gets devilishly hard if you aren’t a good stirrer like me.

Love your site!


Margie • October 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm

As the others above who are familiar with natural peanut butter know, yes, you should put it in the fridge after you’ve opened it–unless you use it quickly enough that it doesn’t spoil.

But because natural peanut butter doesn’t have any of those unhealthy bad-for-you trans-fats (which is what makes the name brands like Jif and Skippy so spreadable), you have to stir the oil into the peanut solids. Remember, the oil from peanuts is one of the “good fats” (I’m sure PQ knows this, as she’s a South Beach follower). AND–here’s the important part–once you get all the oil stirred into the PB, if you put it in the fridge, it won’t separate as quickly.

Yes, stirring it is a pita. ;) I always use a metal butter knife.

As for softening it, if you’re using the Kroger kind (like I do), I’ve found that often little bits of the seal–which has some metal in it–stick to the rim of the jar. And we all know how bad it is to put metal in the microwave–so DON’T PUT THAT PEANUT BUTTER JAR IN THE MICROWAVE (sorry to shout–it’s important!). There was a time when I was making PBJ sandwiches every morning for someone in the family, so putting the jar in hot water (you can heat THAT in the microwave, as long as you use an appropriate container) for a few minutes works great for me!

One other point for those of you who aren’t familiar with the difference between “natural” peanut butter and the “regular” commercial brands that don’t need to be stirred: Natural peanut butter doesn’t have added sugar. It’s just peanuts and salt. :) Nobody needs added sugar in their peanut butter.


Migraineur • October 22, 2007 at 2:40 pm

I read this trick in Cooks magazine – when you buy the jar, empty the whole damn thing into a large, flat containter and mix thoroughly. It won’t separate again (they say). I imagine if you store it in the flat container, it will come to room temp really quickly.

I haven’t tried any of this, just passing it on.


Purple Girl • October 23, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Regarding putting peanut butter in the fridge, I took a food chemistry class in college, and according to my professor it doesn’t need to be refrigerated–even the natural stuff. I remember this because he yelled at me for saying it did. :) But there are four factors that contribute to food spoilage, and one of them is water moisture, which peanut butter lacks.

Rancidity is a totally different story. However, nut butters are highly saturated and therefore not terribly prone to rancidity at room temperatures. If you keep it in the cupboard, away from light and heat, you should be fine.


Sylvia C. • October 27, 2007 at 9:24 pm


I can tell by this peanut butter post, alone, that you have quite a loyal following!


It was great meeting you the other day at the conference!

Best to you!

Sylvia C.


ginger • November 20, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Careful w microwaving the peanut butter. I was scraping for the last refrigerated molecule of my au naturale pb and had the brilliant idea of microwaving it….hit START and a mere second later there was a loud clap of thunder and lightening from the microwave…not all the silver paper had been ripped off the jar. that stank, by the way. literally. and spared me some peanut butter calories.


Julia • December 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

I don’t refrigerate PB but I bought some natural cashew butter and that said to once open, I take it out a couple of minutes before I use it and let it sit before scooping and found that works good then put back.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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