Shelf Life of Peanut Butter

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Sonnyjim, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    It seems like the going rate for peanut butter is 2 years. Some people say as long as up to 5 years before the oil goes rancid. In our military rations it comes with peanut butter in small packages. I have eaten a 6 year old ration with peanut butter and it was still good. Most of the butter is pretty dry and does not have a lot of oil in it. I know that it is the oil that is the fat needed but what about pouring off/using the oil before it's life and re-canning what's left for another few years? Any thoughts? I might have a little project on my hands....
     
  2. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    The oldest peanut butter I have eaten was 2 1/2 years old and it was ok.
     

  3. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    The canned peanut butter in metal cans or foil packs seems to last the longest, followed by peanut butter in glass jars. Plastic jars have the shortest shelf life.

    Other things factor in too, such as light and heat. If you keep the peanut butter in a cold, dark place, it lasts a lot longer. Heat, light, and air are the enemies of all edible oils.

    I don't know if draining off the oil and re-canning would help. Logic says it would, if the floating oil is the majority of the fat content. When you opened it to eat it, I would think it could be thinned out with a little oil stirred into it. It probably wouldn't even matter which kind of oil you used?
     
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    :hmmm: as long as it's NOT motor oil! :eek: ;) :D :nuts:
     
  5. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    :eek:

    Depends if it's YOUR family you're feeding or the roving hordes...

    :gaah:

    (just kidding, for those who need to know that! lol)
     
  6. PintoBob

    PintoBob New Member

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    Edible oils are subject to rancidity with a limited shelf life. Another word used to describe this is Oxidation. Remove the oxygen and the problem is solved. I use two methods to accomplish this. I store oil foods in sealed Mason jars that have had all the atmosphere removed down to 29.9999" hg. It's not a perfect vacuum but in my experience it's close enough for my work. Remember that only 20% of the atmosphere is oxygen. The rest is mostly Nitrogen which is a good thing. An easier method to accomplish nearly the same thing but in the average home situation is to use O2 absorbers which I also do a lot. I would guess using a 2 qt Mason jar with a 300cc O2 absorber would do the trick. But with peanut butter I'd put the O2 absorber into a zip lock bag that has many little holes punched into the top of it, the part that contacts the lid seal. In this manner the O2 absorber would never contact the oily food but would still have access to the environment within the sealed jar. An O2 absorber consists of powdered iron filings which absorb oxygen when they rust or oxidize. I use this and/or the first method for stored nuts, roasted coffee beans, olive oil (which is also wrapped in tin foil to keep light out and kept cool) etc.
     
  7. Dead food keeps longer.

    The length of time peanut butter will keep depends on the type. If it's a commercial brand like Skippy or Jiff which are full of chemicals to help preserve it's good at least 1 year probably much longer opened on the shelf. I have yet to see it go bad in the refrigerator.
    If it's an organic peanut butter your better off keeping it in a refrigerator or at the very least a root cellar. Natural, organic or fresh ground by yourself is best kept in a refrigerator where it will keep for 6 months. If you cant keep it in the refrigerator the next best way would be a root cellar where it stay good for probably at least 3 months.
     
  8. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

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    My personal experience is that once the jar is opened, it loses shelf life much more quickly. I once saw that someone kept their peanut butter in the refrigerator. I have never done that, but I thought about how p.b. does go rancid more quickly after it is opened and maybe I should do that. It will be stiff from being cold, but even letting an amount for a serving sit out for a little while would help with spreading.
     
  9. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    I'm eating PB I have had for 5 years!!:p
    You guys make me laugh some times.:brickwall:
     
  10. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

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    THanks, JayJay, I was just thinking about some peanut butter that I know is 4 years old in my basement! I am so glad that you posted this. I have never been so much about expiration dates on non refrigerated foods. I read the date, use the sniff test, and then maybe the taste test. I know that not everyone can do this, but I can. When SHTF, it may change things up for what people can and can't do.
     
  11. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

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    That is my general technique also. Checking the date lets me know how close to get when giving it the first smell test. If it is several years it gets the 'waft' test first.
     
  12. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

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    most of our peanut butter is over 5 years old, it's stored where it's cool, dry and dark.right now I'm looking at a jar that says best if used by June 03.2009. we don't eat the stuff ourselves, but at some point in time there may be people here that do and if it's rancid, then we'll toss it.

    About 45 yrs ago, the government was giving away peanut butter, cheese, butter, flour and some kind of meat, I would take a town truck and go to the assigned place and pick up whatever they allotted the town, anyway, people told me that the peanut butter was so old that it wouldn't spread but the needy people ate it anyway, if it ain't poison, it'll taste better than a snowball.
     
  13. mamamouse

    mamamouse Active Member

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    why not dehydrate and powder it? That would increase shelf life, and make it easier to condense a lot into a small container
     
  14. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid growing up, we used to get this government food, called commodities. Over the years, I have talked to many others who also grew up getting this food. Many of these people still have a hard time eating peanut butter. I don't know if it was old, or if it lacked the sugar, oil and salt that most p.b. has in it. We used to get lots of flour each month. Our peanut butter mostly went into cookies.
    We really liked the cheese in mac and cheese, or grilled cheese. The butter was great. We would get canned pork and somehow, many people really did not like it. If I could get it now, I would use it in green chile.
     
  15. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

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    I wonder about this. I think that commercially produced dehydrated peanut butter powder does not have a long shelf life. I have some in the basement and recently saw something that made me think it was over the expiration date.

    I wonder if anyone has ever tried to dehydrate it at home? And if it really makes a difference in shelf life?
     
  16. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

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    I think all the peanut oil was robbed from it and replaced with tallow from a cow, if it was replaced with lard, at least I think it would be spreadable.. I don't know when that government food ended, our town got to cheap to send a truck over for it, the town fathers were stealing all the good stuff anyway, butter, ect. All I done was drive the trk over and pick up the load and park it at the town hall, the politicians handed it out like they were paying for it.
     
  17. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Mine is and has been in a dark room(a bedroom with insulated curtains and closed blind behind that and no sun because the window is under the porch.
    Cool, no sun, and dry. No heat in the winter, and cooled in the summer with A/C.
    My oldest best by date is 2011, so that was probably bought in 2010?
    We eat lots of PB in this house, because I started storing in 2008.
    I did discard a huge cardboard box of crackers...yuk--plastic taste from the sleeve.
    Since then, vacuum sealed in mason jars and ritz too!!

    Be weary of Kroger's crackers--I bought 10 boxes and all were stale. Never happened before.:scratch
     
  18. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Nope--it has oil in it.

    Oh, best PB cookies ever--1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg--bake 15 minutes @ 350°

    very good and easy.
     
  19. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

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    I recently ordered a bag of Maltodextrin and made some powders from oils, I've been meaning to try it with peanut butter but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Guess I'll give it a try in the next few days, the "make or break" will be how much liquid other than oil the PB has in it.
     
  20. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    I probably shouldn't feed them half the stuff that I throw in there...

    I have watched them; they will "spit out" the stuff that tastes bad - But, it must have to taste pretty bad for them to do that, since they'll eat most anything!