How to Make Peanut Butter at Home
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Have you ever wanted to learn how to make peanut butter or how to make any kind of nut or seed butter at home? It’s really a very simple process and you will be able to enjoy the freshest nut or seed butter that you’ve ever tasted!
How to Make Peanut Butter Nut Butter or Seed Butter
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most satisfaction.
Peanut butter, nut butter, or seed 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, then I probably don’t want to eat it.
Homemade peanut butter and homemade nut and seed butters are in a category all their 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 nuts or seeds, 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 and learn how to make peanut butter today!
Homemade Peanut Butter, Nut Butter, or Seed Butter
Makes about 2 ½ cups
What You Need:
- 1 lb raw shelled Peanuts (Where to Buy) (Or other raw nuts or seeds!)
- 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)
Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large saucepan or soup pot with water and bring to a boil.
Step Two: If you have pre-blanched peanuts or are using a different kind of nuts or seeds you can skip the boiling step and go right to roasting.
Step Three: Add the raw nuts to the water and boil for 1 minute. Strain the nuts and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet.
Step Four: Place the nuts or seeds in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. The nuts should be browned but not burned. If you are roasting seeds, they may not take this long.
Step Five: Take the nuts out of the oven and let cool completely.
Step Six: If you are using peanuts, 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). If your family goes through a lot of peanut butter, buying them still in the shell or skins is much cheaper.
Step Seven: Place the roasted, skinless peanuts in the bowl of your food processor (The Ninja works well for this) 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.
Step Eight: 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 nut or seed butter to the velvety consistency of a store-bought jar, and that’s okay with me.) Taste your 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. If you have trouble with the oil separating from the butter you might want to pick up one of these simple Peanut Butter Stirrers to attach to the top of your jar. Natural peanut butter, nut butters, or seed butters tend to separate since it does not contain any extra binding products so this little tool works great!
Looking for more fun DIY projects and recipes that you can make quickly and easily? My book, Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self Sufficient Life has over 130 recipes just like this one!
Need some yummy recipes to make with your homemade nut or seed butter? Here are some that we enjoy!
- Easy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
- How to Make Peanut Butter Pie
- Oatmeal Bites
Have you ever tried to make your own peanut butter? Would you like to learn how to make peanut butter? Have you ever made your own homemade nut butter of any kind?
This blog post on how to make Peanut Butter was originally posted on Little House Living in February 2013. It has been updated as of December 2018.
If you get the pre blanched peanuts, would you just skip the boiling water and put them right into the oven?
Yes. Thanks for pointing that out, I will fix it in the recipe now!
Thanks! Just ordered some peanuts and will be making it this week end! I LOVE your blog!!
Awesome! And thank you. 🙂
your article is very good. I can’t wait to try it at home with my family. thank you for sharing the recipe with me. I’m waiting for your next article.
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!
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.
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!!:)
How long will this peanut butter last in the fridge?
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.
Homemade will last 3-6 months.
for oil i would use palm, coconut or grapeseed oil
But palm oil is so naughty! http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php
My hubby luvs chunky pb…would you just noy process as long or add additional nuts? Thx!
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.
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.
This brings back memories! I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mid eighties. We made peanut butter in the blender this way. The motor would always over-heat and we would have to stop and let it sit a while. I hated blowing off the skins though.
Why are you adding the oil. I make this often but never add extra oil.
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.
Does the peanut butter separate like ‘natural’ peanut butters at the store? Or does the oil keep it together?
The oil separates after it sits for a long time. Gives you an idea of how fresh the store-bought stuff is.
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…
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But Jiffy is such crap by comparison – the oil has been commercially treated and is so bad for you (hydrogenated
Thank you Amanda.
Have you or any readers tried it with the skin/peel on as that has fibre & nutrition too?
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.
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.
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…
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!!
Hi…maybe I missed this but what temp do you set your oven for?
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!!
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.
You don’t need any added oil to make peanut buter. The longer you process it the thinner and oilier it gets.
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.
Why is it necessary to refrigerate? If you do that, it’s hard to spread!
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?
Does anyone know if it is possible to can the finished peanut butter for longer term storage?
If you cool the peanuts on a kitchen towel, you can rub them in the towel to remove the skins….much easier and faster.
I actually make peanut butter by just putting plain unshelled peanuts in my food processor and letting it go. I stumbled upon it quite a few years ago when I got a phone call and forgot about the peanuts in the processor…when I got off the phone it was peanut butter….mmmmmmm….real as it can get:)
You can use coffee grinder instead to make it more smoother.
You only need peanuts. I make it all the time and they contain enough oil for a super creamy spread. Same goes for almond butter. Don’t boil them or anything. Just into the food processor and wait for them to turn to butter!
The reason the oil does not separate out is not because of any extra ingredients added, but rather that the peanut butter is homogenized to keep the mixture from separating.
One of the great marketing scams is that peanut butter that separates is somehow healthier. It’s just a bit less processed that’s all
HFCS is no worse than any other kind of sugar. The problem is that it’s easily added to EVERYTHING (which is one of the major reasons for the increase in diabetes and obesity). There’s no harm in trying to avoid it, just as you should any sugar, but your “if it isn’t found in nature and/or is created in a laboratory, than I don’t want to eat it” statement is just silly.
Gonna turn your nose up to life-saving medicine that isn’t from some Chinese plant root?
That said, fresh ground peanut butter tastes much better. My local store has peanuts in a grinder and it’s only $2/lb, so it’s as cheap as most shelf brands, but far tastier.
If people are going to “go natural”, at least be for rational reasons, not for being ignorantly fearful.
We also have made peanut butter at the Peanut Patch in Yuma AZ.
We used only peanuts ground in their grinder, with nothing else added. It was the best peanut butter we have ever tasted.
Re: The “clean” large garbage bag….most of these bags are treated with insecticides etc….might want to choose a different technique.
Can this be put in jars with a hot bath to seal the lids in order to give it a long shelf life?
I’m not sure if this question was already asked, but if I bought roasted peanuts could I skip most of the steps and just go right to blending them with the oil & salt? I know it would cost more, but I assume it would still be less than buying jars of peanut butter? Especially if I plan to buy the peanuts in bulk.
Would you be able to just use peanuts that are in the shell, are these
better, or not.
Instead of using other ingrediants, would be able to just use
only peanuts, because they have their own oils?
There’s a lot that can be done if one can afford a food processor. Any ideas on how to make nut/seed butters without one?
Do you have a blender? It’s possible to be able to make this in one, you may just need to add a bit more oil to keep it moving.