I recently bought some "natural" crunchy peanut butter from Harris Teeter. Other than natural my only other description is the oil rises to the top when it isn't stirred for a while. There is a very large message on the top that says:

Refrigerate after opening

However, I mainly use peanut butter for PBJ sandwiches and I cannot spread the peanut butter while its cold. I could set it out for a while, but that seems against the message on the jar.

Is there some secret to spreading this peanut butter when it must be kept in the refrigerator?

Even if you don't have to refrigerate I would like to know how to spread it. I live by myself and it could take 6 months to empty the jar, so refrigeration would help it last longer.

  • Possible duplicate of Does natural {peanut, cashew, almond} butter require refrigeration?
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:18
  • Maybe for the second part of the question. I am still curious as to how to spread it. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:21
  • If it's that hard, cut slices, like hard cheese. I also find that sturdy bread as opposed to plastic-bagged white spongy crud helps a lot. Toasting the bread also helps. Else, nuke enough for a sandwich as Catja suggests.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


The easiest solution that comes to mind would be to figure out how much you need for a sandwich, remove that from the jar, set it on the counter to come to room temp (or put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds) and then spread it when it's warmed up.

"Refrigerate after opening" doesn't mean that it must be in the fridge every second, though... so even if you left the entire jar on the counter for 30 minutes to warm up, it shouldn't pose much of a problem.


If it takes you 6 months to empty the jar, it may indeed start to taste 'stale' at the end of that period, and refrigeration may help prevent that.

But for shorter periods there is no reason to keep it in the fridge.

I suggest you put 1/3 of the contents in another jar, keep that at room temperature, and put the remainder back in the fridge. Repeat with the other 1/3s every two months.

Take the 'room temp' jar size so that it is not filled to the top; that way you can easily mix it when the oil comes floating to the top (always a messy thing when the jar is completely filled).

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