How to Make Peanut Butter

by Merissa on February 20, 2013

in Featured, Recipes

Post image for How to Make Peanut Butter

Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most satisfaction.

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

  • 1 lb raw shelled peanuts
  • 1-2 tbl oil (melted coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, etc)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt

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.

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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{ 13 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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