How to Make Peanut Butter

by Merissa on February 20, 2013

in Featured, Recipes

How to Make Peanut Butter - Little House Living

How to Make Peanut Butter

Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most satisfaction.

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Peanut butter is such a basic pantry staple, it never occurred to me to make my own. It's already such a simple food, and easy to just toss a few jars into the cart when shopping. I decided to try making it from scratch when I became serious about eliminating high fructose corn syrup from my family's diet. There are many debates regarding HFCS; some studies indicate that the body does not process it any differently than regular sugars, while others say it could be linked to the sharp rise of type 2 diabetes in America. As there is no truly conclusive evidence for either argument, I stick to my usual reasons: if it isn't found in nature and/or is created in a laboratory, than I don't want to eat it.

Homemade peanut butter is in a category all its own. Thick, smoky, and surprisingly bright flavors make each jar feel like a gourmet treat. The deceptively simple ingredients practically beg you to give it a try. Just peanuts, oil and salt! If you're feeling fancy, you can also drizzle in some of your favorite honey. (I love it both ways, though I have found that if your peanuts are roasted just right, you don't really need the honey.) For a crazy twist, try a drizzle of melted chocolate, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, or even a dash of smoked paprika. That boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich never looked so good. Let's dig in an learn how to make peanut butter today!

Home Made Peanut Butter

Makes about 2 ½ cups

What You Need:

  • 1 lb raw shelled Peanuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons Oil (melted coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, etc) (Where to Buy)
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt (Where to Buy)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large saucepan or soup pot with water and bring to a boil.

If you have pre-blanched nuts you can skip the boiling step and go right to roasting.

Add the raw peanuts to the water and boil for 1 minute. Strain the peanuts and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the peanuts in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. The nuts should be browned but not burned.

Take the peanuts out of the oven and let cool completely.

Remove the skins. Rubbing the peanuts vigorously in your hands will help loosen them. This can be a tedious process, so it's nice to have a helper or someone to chat with. My husband had a great idea: rub the peanuts while wearing rubber gloves (more friction), then place the baking sheet in a large clean trash bag. Aim a hair dryer set on cool at the tray and blow off the skins into the bag. You can also purchase skinless peanuts, which are sometimes even pre-blanched (this is what I get, from nuts.com). My family goes through a ton of peanut butter, so while buying them still in the shell or skins is much cheaper, I would rather pay a little more and save a lot of time.

peanut butter-001

Place the roasted, skinless peanuts in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment. (You may want to advise onlookers to cover their ears as the initial whirl is really loud.) Process the peanuts for a minute or so until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add a teaspoon of salt and continue processing. Drizzle in the oil a little at a time. After a few minutes, the mixture will begin to transform from dry pieces into a matte, chunky paste. Keep processing, it will eventually break down further into a fairly smooth, shiny butter. (The length of time depends on the strength of the processor's motor and the sharpness of the blade. I am not able to get my peanut butter to the velvety consistency of a store-bought jar, and that's okay with me.) Taste your peanut butter and add more salt or oil as needed.

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That's it! Now you know how to make peanut butter! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

peanut butter

Have you ever made your on homemade nut butter of any kind?

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen February 20, 2013 at 9:55 am

If you get the pre blanched peanuts, would you just skip the boiling water and put them right into the oven?

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2 Amanda February 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

Yes. Thanks for pointing that out, I will fix it in the recipe now!

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3 Karen February 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks! Just ordered some peanuts and will be making it this week end! I LOVE your blog!!

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4 Amanda February 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Awesome! And thank you. :)

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5 Mama February 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I used to work at a health institute, and we made large amounts of peanut butter. I LOVE real peanut butter. Nothing beats the real thing. We used an old fashion nut grinder, like this one – http://www.rakuten.com/prod/premium-cast-iron-corn-grinder-for-wheat-grains-or-use-as-a-nut-mill/225634958.html?listingId=174304330, although I’m not advertising for them. It was super easy to use and didn’t require electricity. We’re not using one ourselves, but one day I plan to!

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6 Gail February 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

Some of the best peanut butter we have ever eaten came from the Peanut Patch in Yuma, Az. It was made right in their shop with Spanish peanuts. OMG it was the best. Does anyone know if you can freeze peanut butter. I would buy a ton of it next month when we go there if I could freeze it.

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7 Karen February 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

From what I read, it is possible to freeze, but refrigeration is more recommended. I just made my first batch, and it is YUMMY! I kind of “over roasted” my first tray of peanuts, but no worries, my chickens will enjoy their treat for a few days! Thanks again for sharing this!!:)

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8 Amy February 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

How long will this peanut butter last in the fridge?

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9 Amanda February 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

I personally haven’t had it last long enough to find out, but from my research it looks like it will last several months in the fridge.

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10 Karen February 25, 2013 at 5:50 am

Homemade will last 3-6 months.

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11 troy May 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

for oil i would use palm, coconut or grapeseed oil

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12 Crystal Mickle July 12, 2013 at 6:41 am

My hubby luvs chunky pb…would you just noy process as long or add additional nuts? Thx!

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13 Amanda July 12, 2013 at 8:59 am

I would process it as stated in the recipe, then add a handful or two of whole peanuts in the last few seconds of processing, so that they are chopped but not pureed.

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14 Mercy May 13, 2014 at 6:11 am

I started making peanut butter last year primarily because it was cheaper (not many people eat it in India and the imported stuff is overpriced), but I knew there would be health benefits too.

I make it in my blender using the largest blade, since don’t have a food processor. I use 400 gr. unsalted peanuts and salt to taste. I don’t even need to add extra oil. I just keep blending it until the natural oils release and it is smooth and creamy.

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15 Brett May 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Why are you adding the oil. I make this often but never add extra oil.

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16 Aubrey May 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I never use oil either. Peanuts have enough oil in them naturally. Just let the food processor run long enough and the oils release. I always know mine is done when I hear a “whipping” sound. The peanut butter will be runny, but it is so smooth and it sets nicely when it cools to room temperature. Also, when I am in the mood for crunchy PB, I add a few more peanuts in at this point and run the food processor just enough to crush them in.

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17 Jan May 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Does the peanut butter separate like ‘natural’ peanut butters at the store? Or does the oil keep it together?

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18 Aubrey May 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

The oil separates after it sits for a long time. Gives you an idea of how fresh the store-bought stuff is.

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19 Penelope Rose August 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Jiff, Skippy, etc, even some of the *natural peanut butter have an ingredient to prevent separation. I forget what it is, as i would rather just remix it with a spoon if it hangs around that long. But i am sure you can google it.
I have gotten rotten peanut butte from a food bank that didn’t separate, but was rancid just the same…

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20 SallyAnn May 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

Hi,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. It has inspired me to stop buying jar after jar of peanut butter and make my own. I mean, jeez, I have made my own almond butter for pete’s sake, why in the world not peanut butter? So thanks for the little push I needed.

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21 Mike May 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

I love the idea of making your own PB. Here is the problem though: I did the math on how much it costs to make your own. The cheapest price on peanuts was $1.99/lb. At Costco you can buy a 40 oz jar of all natural PB for $5.50 after tax. Ingredients are Peanuts and Sea Salt. To make that same jar of PB yourself would cost you a little over $5. I’m not sure the .40-.50 savings is worth it to me. Has anyone found bulk peanuts for cheaper than what I could??

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22 Adam August 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Wow, props to you. I’m a Sam’s Club member, and all we got here is Jif….and it’s got molasses, sugar, etc…stuff that peanut butter doesn’t “need” in it ;) So yea, in your case your better off with Costco lol.

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23 Gretchen May 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

I buy already roasted peanuts (still pretty cheap) and simply process them. It takes a little while because you have to turn the food processor off occasionally so it doesn’t overheat but it works really well and I don’t have to add any oil. I’ve heard if you use other nuts that are less oily, you need to add oil but I’ve never had to with peanuts. I used to hate peanut butter even though I loved peanuts which is when I realized that it’s the sugar in regular peanut butter that I hate. Homemade is yummy and easy.

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24 Joanne Goranson May 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I found out about 4 years ago that I am highly allergic to corn (my Dr. and I were amazed at how much my health improved after eliminating it from my diet), so finding out I can make my own peanut butter is great. I think I will follow Mercy and Brett’s way of doing it in the blender though.

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25 Michael May 18, 2014 at 6:52 am

I thought this would be a great idea, making my own peanut butter. I could save a ton of money…until I saw the shipping and handling from nuts.com. One pound of blanched peanuts would cost me nearly $15. No thanks. I’ll continue with Jiff.

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26 TJ May 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Although this users suggestions and advice for making homemade peanut butter is a great thing, it seems she is making it tougher than it should be. I buy 1 lb. of unsalted/salted/honey roasted peanuts (your choice) for about $3.99 from Trader Joes. Put them in my food processor for 3-5 minutes depending on the chunky/thickness I desire. No boiling, no shelling, no baking, no adding ingredients. Done and done. Personally we prefer the honey roasted taste but to each their own. Price is almost lb. for lb. in price to store bought and with the process only taking about 10 min after clean up it is a win for me.

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27 Sara Star June 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

At many local health food stores and even regular groceries with a bulk or health food section you can grind your own almond or peanut butter in store into a plastic tub. Its no more expensive than regular natural peanut butter, but has none of the additives, and the store does the clean up and equipment maintenance/ownership for you. Also it does take a while for the oil to separate, so if you just get a week or twos worth at a time you never have to worry about that. My local Winco, Fred Meyers, and Whole Foods/New Seasons all have this option.

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28 Fatima Khan May 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

Hello All,
Thank you Amanda.
Have you or any readers tried it with the skin/peel on as that has fibre & nutrition too?

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29 Penelope June 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm

All this is good. I’m a fortunate owner of a Champion Juicer and we at one time made all our own peanut butter with just lightly roasted peanuts that we bought by the 25 – 30 pound buckets. We used no salt or oil. But alas the peanuts got more expensive than the peanuts and salt only peanut butter from Whole Foods. So we just stock up when we go to the city.

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30 Roger Boisjoli July 31, 2014 at 9:12 am

Our peanut butter contains only peanuts, nothing else. We buy it at a bulk food store where they have a peanut grinding machine. I always wonder why people want to add salt to everything. It is not needed.

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31 Penelope Rose August 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm

I have made peanut butter (and almond and pecan butter too) but have never cooked the nuts in any way prior too. just put in the food processor, or lacking that, first into the coffee grinder, and when it begins to get crumbly then slightly oily, into a bowl with the hand mixer. a little salt for the peanut utter – no oil needed as the nuts supply their own….
The flavor of the roasted kind sounds like a nice difference occasionally, but i don’t need extra work as a rule ;;-)).
The pecan butter was the easiest, and the almond the hardest…
and of course always use organic…

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32 nicole howse August 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I was just wondering if using peanuts at the store can be used? you know, the peanuts by the pound that u put in a plastic baggy and a twist tie with the name of peant on it. can it already be roasted. I read the article and new! I’m just curiou. thx for ur time and keep up the good work!!

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33 Janis August 10, 2014 at 10:08 am

Hi…maybe I missed this but what temp do you set your oven for?

Thanks! Janis

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34 Bernie Rader August 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

when my boys were growing up I made almost everything we ate–I would go to the Amish village near us and buy 25# boxes of roasted (unsalted) peanuts and the only thing I did was put them in the food processor and after a few minutes they became peanut butter, no oil or salt is needed! they make their own oil and it is a lot better tasting than anything you can buy at the store!!

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35 Don August 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

Diabetics aren’t supposed to eat salt either. Also, Smuckers makes a Natural peanut butter that doesn’t have oil or salt, the only ingredient is peanuts.

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36 MARY August 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

You don’t need any added oil to make peanut buter. The longer you process it the thinner and oilier it gets.

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37 Shawna August 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Glad to have found this. Each year in Sept or Oct I have to go on a low iodine diet, for thyroid testing. I can’t have any salt that is not iodine free, including sea salt & I can’t seem to find any pb that doesn’t have some kind of salt. I read a lot of the comments that stated you don’t even need to add any salt. I will have to try this when I go on the low iodine diet this year. That & my homemade bread sounds really good.

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38 April October 12, 2014 at 7:19 am

Why is it necessary to refrigerate? If you do that, it’s hard to spread!

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39 tim anderson November 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Hey, i was wondering what would happen if you used a mix of nuts and not just peanuts, something like cashews, almonds and peanuts? would it still blend well and turn out good?

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