The growth in the popularity of peanut butter in the United States has been phenomenal. Machines that could produce peanut butter didn’t become a thing until 1903 and the smooth peanut butter we know and love didn’t hit the market until decades later. Thanks in part to World War II, it has become increasingly popular and it’s now a dietary staple for many people across the country.
Today, unless you have a peanut allergy, there’s a very good chance that you grew up eating peanut butter on a consistent basis. It’s estimated that nine in 10 American households consume peanut butter and that the average American child will eat over 1,000 peanut butter sandwiches by the time they reach adulthood.
From peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to peanut butter and scrambled eggs, the only limit to the ways you can use peanut butter is your imagination. If you are in the market for the best peanut butter, this ranking will help you figure out which brands you should turn to and which brands you should shun.
20. Great Value Peanut Butter
If you’re looking for the most inexpensive peanut butter, the Great Value brand will almost always win that race. But despite the attractive price tag, you should never, ever purchase this atrocity. It looks like peanut butter and it smells like peanut butter but the taste is somewhere between disgusting and revolting.
When Great Value peanut butter first enters your mouth, you won’t gag right away. For a fleeting second or two, the flavor is completely palatable. But when the aftertaste strikes, you will regret going the cheap route on your peanut butter purchase. The aftertaste of this trash is akin to licking charcoal and then chasing it with a burnt toast flavored milkshake. No amount of jelly can mask the putrid flavor. All you can do is try to wash your mouth out and throw away the rest of the jar.
Even if you are feeding a large group of people you couldn’t care less about, don’t be so cruel as to purchase peanut butter by Great Value. This garbage is so bad that you should think twice before feeding it to your worst enemy.
Walmart sells nearly over $27 billion dollars worth of Great Value products and some of those products are well worth the money. Great Value peanut butter, though, wouldn’t be worth it if Walmart paid you to take it home.
19. Peter Pan Peanut Butter
Although the Peter Pan brand has been in the peanut butter business since 1928, why so many people still buy their peanut butter is a mystery. Maybe it’s the memorable name or the recognizable logo. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s a bad habit that people need to break.
If all you’ve ever known is Peter Pan peanut butter, you’re missing out. While it isn’t as terrible as what you’ll find in a jar of Great Value, it’s not a whole lot better. The main issue with peanut butter by Peter Pan is that it’s way too sweet. To make matters worse, it’s not a pleasurable level of sweetness. Instead, it’s an artificial sweetness that overpowers all the peanut flavor.
While this peanut butter spreads easily and will get your sweet tooth’s attention, Peter Pan is far and away the most overrated brand. Switch to any of the forthcoming brands on this list and you will be pleasantly surprised. Once you switch, you’ll never again make the mistake of going back to Peter Pan.
18. Member’s Mark Peanut Butter
While you can purchase name brand peanut butter in bulk at Sam’s Club, they also have their own brand of peanut butter on the shelves. Member’s Mark Natural No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter Spread may be a couple dollars cheaper but you won’t be pleased with your decision if you decide to go with this store brand. It’s not a terrible peanut butter but it is just underwhelming enough that you will wish you would have just splurged for a better brand.
The main issue with Member’s Mark Natural No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter Spread is the fact that the peanuts taste a little bit bitter. The ingredients insist that there is cane sugar in the jar but there’s simply not enough sweetness to mask the bitter peanuts. With that in mind, load up your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with an extra scoop of jelly to compensate and hide the bitterness. Better yet, don’t purchase Sam’s Club’s peanut butter.
17. Justin’s Peanut Butter
The Justin’s brand makes a variety of tasty nut butters including maple cashew butter and cinnamon almond butter. If you’ve tried one of those Justin’s nut butters, you’d expect their peanut butter to be excellent. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Although Justin’s peanut butter tastes decent, the texture is so poor that it ruins the entire experience. Instead of being creamy, their peanut butter is thin and runny. No amount of stirring helps. If you try to add it to bread, you’ll just be left with a slimy mess. More of the peanut butter will slide off your sandwich than will enter your mouth.
Justin’s has a honey peanut butter that tastes pretty good, but tragically, it is doomed by the same unacceptable texture. In fact, the texture is even worse because it’s not only thin and runny, it’s also sticky.
Go with Justin’s if you like almond butter or cashew butter. But when it comes to peanut butter, stay away.
16. 365 Everyday Value Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
Although the store brand of peanut butter from Whole Foods is satisfactory, its elevated price tag makes it a poor choice. Unless Whole Foods is the only store you’re headed to and you’re in desperate need of peanut butter, there’s really no reason to buy it. There’s no question that the quality and consistency of 365 Everyday Value Organic Creamy Peanut Butter is better than average — especially if you’re looking for a peanut butter without any added sugar or salt — but the cost is impossible to ignore.
If you’re open to spending money at Whole Foods, a worthwhile selection is their almond butter. While it’s definitely expensive, you can feel better about loosening your purse strings because almond butter tends to be rather pricey anywhere you shop. In fact, you may actually save money by purchasing your almond butter at Whole Foods. Don’t be surprised if you become addicted to almond butter and jelly sandwiches.
15. Reese’s Peanut Butter
When you see peanut butter made by Reese’s at your local grocery store, you may be tempted to buy it because you think it will taste like the glorious goodness found in the middle of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Don’t make that error. While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are legitimately amazing and arguably the best candy bar ever invented, peanut butter sold by Reese’s is nothing to write home about.
The letdown you will feel when you first taste this stuff will be immense. Instead of being nectar from the candy gods, it’s just overpriced peanut butter that tastes completely forgettable. Although it’s not as sweet as Peter Pan peanut butter, Reese’s peanut butter is also needlessly sweet. The sweetness will make it difficult for you to eat more than a little bit in one sitting.
If you want the peanut butter that can be found hiding within Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, there’s no shortcut available. You’ll have to buy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and do your own excavating. Sure, that won’t be easy — but your taste buds won’t complain.
14. Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter
Trader Joe’s has a lot of different types of peanut butter on their shelves. Unfortunately, despite the impressive selection, there’s just not anything too special about Trader Joe’s brand of peanut butter. The best of the bunch is the variety they make from unblanched peanuts. It has a strong flavor, which may be due to the fact that Trader Joe’s keeps the skin on the peanuts while they are dry roasted and then ground into butter.
If you’re at Trader Joe’s, instead of opting for one of their peanut butters, go with their cookie butter instead. It’s basically gingerbread cookies that are smashed and made into a thick, rich butter. While it may sound odd, it’s spectacular. You can use it as a peanut butter substitute and not skip a beat. Alternatively, Trader Joe’s has a stupendous pumpkin butter that you should try at least once in your life. Make a pumpkin butter sandwich and you may never go back to peanut butter again.
13. Brad’s Organic Peanut Butter
Brad’s Organic makes flavorful peanut butter even though the only listed ingredient on the label is organic peanuts. That in itself is impressive, as usually you will find at least salt added to just about every brand of peanut butter. Sadly, though, this brand can’t be recommended due to being way too oily. Even if you use a hand mixer to stir it, Brad’s Organic remains overly oily. While the flavor will impress you, its greasiness will coat your mouth to the point that you’ll be grossed out after a few bites of your peanut butter sandwich. If a couple glasses of milk fail to sufficiently wash it down, you’ll have to actually go brush your teeth to get rid of the last remnants of this oily peanut butter.
If you are going to buy peanut butter made by Brad’s Organic, go with their crunchy peanut butter. It’s still really oily but it’s less oily than the smooth variety.
12. Smucker’s Goober Peanut Butter
When you’re in the peanut butter aisle at the supermarket, your natural urge to seek the most convenient solution to all your problems may lead you to reach out for a jar of Goober PB & J by Smucker’s. You know that Smucker’s makes yummy jelly, so why not just get peanut butter and jelly in one jar? It sounds logical. In theory, it shortens the amount of time you’ll need to prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In reality, it’s a massive failure. The peanut butter is soggy and the jelly loses its consistency after one scoop. In the end, you will be left with a jar of disappointment if you go with Smucker’s Goober concoction.
A much better idea is to just buy a jar of Smucker’s peanut butter and a jar of Smucker’s jelly and do the heavy lifting yourself. Peanut butter made by Smucker’s is fine. It’s not amazing but it’s good enough. Just don’t be a goober and go with a jar of Goober, no matter how lazy you are and how much you enjoy taking shortcuts in life.
11. Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter
Crazy Richard’s is a brand known primarily for their peanut butter. When it comes to taste, their high-quality peanut butter deserves to be near the head of the class. It’s obvious that they use peanuts packed with flavor and take great care in making their product.
Unfortunately, Crazy Richard’s has a fatal flaw that stops them from climbing higher in this ranking. The texture of their peanut butter just isn’t dependable from jar to jar. Sometimes it’s too watery. Other times the peanut butter is too hard. It’s also a pain to stir and the result of the stirring is far from guaranteed. Even if you follow the advice they posted on their blog on how to stir Crazy Richard’s peanut butter like an expert, there’s a chance that you will be left with chunks that are too hard and other sections that are too liquidy.
Let’s hope that one day Crazy Richard’s is able to perfect the texture of their peanut butter. If that happens, they will quickly rise to the upper echelon of this ranking due to the impressive flavor apparent in each spoonful.
10. Planters Peanut Butter
When you want to snack on a bag of peanuts, the Planters brand is always a safe choice. Whether you prefer your peanuts dry roasted, honey roasted, or blessed with chili and lime, Planters has some of the best peanuts money can buy. While it’s not always easy to find, they also sell peanut butter with the iconic Mr. Peanut on the label.
Don’t get your hopes up too high, though. While Planters peanut butter isn’t bad, it’s not especially great, either. Their peanut butter is average to slightly above average. Considering Planters has a history with peanuts dating back to 1906, you’d think they would rank higher — but that’s simply not the case.
To take advantage of the nut expertise of Planters, go with the crunchy version of their peanut butter if you’re dead set on trying this brand. Even their crunchy version is only slightly above average but it comes closer to living up to the hype generated by Mr. Peanut’s presence.
9. Aldi’s Peanut Delight Creamy Peanut Butter
You won’t be surprised to learn that Aldi has cheap peanut butter options — but are they any good? At Aldi, you will typically find two different brands of peanut butter: Peanut Delight and Simply Nature. While Simply Nature is organic, it’s extremely runny. It’s so runny that it is difficult to keep between two slices of bread, which makes it a poor choice for a sandwich. It’s only possible use is as a topping for ice cream. Unless you are using it for ice cream purposes, go ahead and forget about it.
By comparison, their Peanut Delight Creamy Peanut Butter is a tastier, creamier choice. It’s not the healthiest option on our peanut butter list because it contains not just peanuts and salt, but it also has sugar and vegetable oil in it. If you love creamy peanut butter and you’re on a budget, then you should try out this inexpensive peanut butter from Aldi. It’s not an elite peanut butter, but it’s good enough to justify the cost.
8. Teddie Peanut Butter
You’ll either love Teddie peanut butter or you’ll hate it. There’s no middle ground when it comes to this brand. What will decide which side of the fence you fall on is what you think of the grittiness of this peanut butter. Even if you go with Teddie’s smooth peanut butter, it’s still a lot grittier than every other brand. Some people think the gritty attribute adds to the peanut buttery goodness. Others see the grittiness as an annoyance that becomes an obstacle in the path to enjoyment.
If you end up falling in love with Teddie’s gritty nature, the next step you should take is trying their super chunky peanut butter. This stuff is even grittier and, as the name suggests, it’s so chunky that it’s more peanut than butter. While the super chunky version can be a chore to eat, it may be a chore that you look forward to on a daily basis, as this stuff can get highly addicting.
Everyone should try Teddie peanut butter once in their lifetime. There’s a chance that you won’t be pleased with what you taste. However, there’s also a chance that you’ll discover your favorite peanut butter brand of them all.
7. Smart Balance Peanut Butter
Smart Balance does a lot right when it comes to their peanut butter. The texture is fantastic. It’s not only easy to spread, it sticks to anything you put it on. For example, if you want peanut butter coated apple slices, Smart Balance is the brand to turn to. Their peanut butter with flaxseed oil is the best of the best when it comes to texture and spreadability.
When it comes to flavor, Smart Balance isn’t nearly as impressive. It lacks the deep, rich taste that other peanut butters provide. This is most obvious when eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with Smart Balance peanut butter. Even if you put only a little bit of jelly, the sweetness of the jelly will almost completely hide the flavor of the peanut butter. That said, if sandwiches aren’t your thing and you just want a peanut butter with optimal texture that will stick to anything you put it on, Smart Balance is a smart purchase.
6. Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter from Costco
If you are looking for a delicious organic peanut butter, head to Costco. Their Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter is all-natural and USDA-certified organic. It’s made from two simple ingredients: dry roasted organic peanuts and sea salt. You won’t find any sugar, palm oil, preservatives, or any other additives that are added to many other brands.
Due to the fact that this peanut butter is all-natural, it’s a bit runny — even when stirred. So if you are looking for a thick, creamy peanut butter, Costco’s peanut butter isn’t for you. However, if you like the simple combination of spreadable peanuts and salt at an affordable price tag, then this peanut butter should be on your shopping list the next time you head to Costco.
If it’s going to take you some time to get through the jar, it’s a good idea to keep this natural peanut butter in the refrigerator to thicken it up and avoid any chance of it going rancid.
5. Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter
It’s obvious that the Peanut Butter & Co. brand is very serious about peanut butter. If the name of their brand isn’t convincing enough, the fact that the company’s website domain name is ILovePeanutButter.com should clue you in. Launched in 1998, this brand has gone the extra mile to put great peanut butter on the market.
Despite the efforts by Peanut Butter & Co. to achieve greatness in the peanut butter industry, they still have some work to do. Specifically, they need to improve the consistency of their product. Sometimes, you’ll get a jar of their peanut butter and believe you’ve found the holy grail of nut butters. But other times, you’ll get a jar of their peanut butter and be completely let down. There’s no rhyme or reason to whether or not you’ll get a lemon.
If you’re a gambling person, go ahead and trust Peanut Butter & Co. If you get a good jar, you’ll feel like a hero. But be warned that there’s a chance that you will end up a villain if you bring home a bad jar. Beyond standard crunchy and smooth peanut butters, they also offer interesting varieties such as Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Dark Chocolate Dreams, which combine peanut butter with other yummy flavors.
4. MaraNatha Peanut Butter
When it comes to organic peanut butter, MaraNatha reigns supreme. Every other organic peanut butter on the market has some sort of flaw but MaraNatha manages to be virtually perfect. They have an organic version with no salt or sugar added that will leave you amazed. With only two ingredients (organic peanuts and organic palm oil), MaraNatha blows away the competition.
In addition to being the masters of organic peanut butter, MaraNatha has a unique banana peanut butter that is unlike anything else you can find. While mixing banana with peanut butter isn’t exactly a novel idea, their execution is spectacular. Though other peanut butter gimmicks like Smucker’s Goober should be avoided, you need to get your hands on this banana peanut butter. It’s awesome.
As good as MaraNatha is when it comes to their organic peanut butter and their banana peanut butter, stay away from their regular creamy peanut butter. Though it’s safely above average, you can get a better bang for your buck elsewhere in the peanut butter world.
3. Skippy Peanut Butter
You can’t go wrong with a jar of Skippy peanut butter. Every jar of Skippy has the same great taste and impeccable texture. You won’t be surprised to learn that Skippy is the product of a chemist named Joseph Rosefield who dedicated his life to peanut butter and that the brand has been around for more than 85 years. Rosefield started Skippy after he figured out how to make peanut butter less sticky and the smoothness and creaminess of this brand’s peanut butter seemingly gets better and better as the years go on.
The only thing Skippy lacks compared to the top two brands on this list is a rich peanut flavor. There’s nothing wrong with their peanut butter, mind you, but if you enjoy a deep nutty taste, you won’t be completely thrilled with Skippy. Don’t worry, though, you’ll still want to eat the entire jar.
Since being exceptionally smooth is the hallmark of Skippy peanut butter, you should avoid their crunchy variety. Instead, go with the jar that says creamy on the label.
2. Adams Peanut Butter
It may sound easy but delivering tasty natural peanut butter is extremely difficult. Many of the aforementioned brands attempt to do that but something is always amiss. If you want natural peanut butter, Adams is the brand to turn to. This stuff is wonderful.
Adams has a 100% natural peanut butter that only has peanuts and a tiny amount of salt. That’s it. When you taste it for the first time, you’ll be awestruck at how great it tastes. The salt level is perfect and brings out a powerfully nutty flavor profile. And though this version needs to be stirred before you eat it, the stirring process is easy and the result is a consistently creamy peanut butter that makes it well worth the extra effort.
Adams has a no-stir version but it’s not as good as the version that you need to stir. Even if you usually avoid peanut butters that need to be stirred, you’ll be disappointed if you go the lazy route. Roll up your sleeves and get to stirring. Your taste buds will thank you.
1. Jif Peanut Butter
Jif leads the way in terms of peanut butter sales. And that’s no mistake. When it comes to the best tasting peanut butters, Jif is easily the cream of the crop. While Skippy is creamier and Adams is more natural, Jif is the tastiest and has the most flavor. When it comes down to it, that’s what matters most. You don’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the texture, you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the taste.
What’s Jif’s secret to creating the best peanut butter on the planet? The answer can be found on the label. Jif adds molasses to their peanut butter. While the result is a sweeter than average peanut butter, the sweetness from the molasses doesn’t overwhelm the flavor from the peanuts. Instead, it helps elevate the peanut flavor to a whole new level that their competitors can’t reach.
Jif has many different peanut butter products to select from, starting with the creamy variety with the red lid. But don’t stop there, as all their other peanut butter options are fantastic. For example, Jif’s honey crunchy peanut butter is so good that you should just eat it out of the jar. Adding anything, even jelly, to the masterpiece would be a mistake.
When it comes to peanut butter brands, Jif is king and will remain king for the foreseeable future.