The first time I bought peanut butter without all those stabilizers and icing sugar in it, I used a butter knife and then a spoon, to slowly try to mix the hardened material with the oil. It was a monotonous task.
I buy it when it goes on sale. It may be near expired, but really, the stuff lasts just about forever. I think it goes cheap because it separates to the point where it's hard to reincorporate the oil.
Now I use a whisk. First the jar goes into a bowl of warm water, where it sits for a while. Then I use the whisk in a straight up and down motion as you might with a potato masher. The thin wires slice through the meat of the nuts and allow the oil to penetrate.
After just a couple minutes of this, I stop and let it sit for a few minutes or half an hour or until the next day. It doesn't matter. By the time I come back to it, the oil has worked its way into the more solid material, and only a couple of minutes of light agitation, makes it all into a homogeneous nut butter. A butter knife may still be required just at the very bottom edge of the jar, where a rounded whisk does not fit.
Sometimes, a very old jar may have quite solid material in the bottom. In this case, it could be penetrated with a butter knife and the top of the knife swirled around in a circular motion, while the bottom remains quite stuck.
This can be done in half a dozen spots, and then let it sit overnight. The oil will do it's magic, and the whisk can be used.
I've tried an immersion blender with some success, but when you consider clean up time, this seems better.
Seems like a lot of words to describe a simple process. Hope it helps.
When I was a kid we used to buy organic peanut butter in five gallon buckets that had separated and was rock hard under the oil layer. Stirring it up was a chore, and without a larger container to work in, very messy.
My father got a very long spike and bent the head of it 90 degrees after heating it with a torch. Then he put the sharp end of the spike in the chuck of his electric drill. A few minutes of high speed drilling sorted that peanut butter right out.
On a smaller scale, I think a nice clean allen wrench (hexagonal bar stock with a ninety degree bend on the end) in a cordless drill would do the same trick.
This is life changing, Dale, thanks for sharing.
One thing that seems to help if there’s not a huge hard chunk on the bottom is storing it upside down for a few days before opening. This will at least reincorporate some of the oil, and when you open it to mix it, the oil won’t spill and grease up the jar.
Yes, I think if the stuff is stored, it's a good idea to turn it over every few weeks.
The Allen key thing could work, but you'd want to make sure that it's something food safe. Then there's the problem with the tick tick tick against the glass jar. The ultimate tool would be like a miniature drywall paddle, but they don't make those to fit a glass jar. I had a very small paddle that was the right size but too lightly built. I believe it was meant for soap making or paint stirring.
The main thing with this is to warm up the material if it's cold and just do a couple dozen push and pulls, so that oil gets everywhere. Everywhere inside the jar :-)
Then the best thing to do is wait, preferably for a few hours. It softens up on its own once the oil has been redistributed.
In another thread, Su Ba mentioned that she allows macadamia paste to settle out, because she wants to separate the oil.
A few times when someone else has stirred up the peanut butter, at the end I find that there is a bunch of really dry stuff , without any oil left to mix in. I have used that in soup.
Here's how cheap I am. I knew that there was a bit of peanut butter left on the sides of the old jar. Hot water with something abrasive can deal with that. So, I ground some coffee coarsely, poured in hot water, put the lid on and shook like hell. It made a very smooth cup of coffee with more protein than you'd expect from coffee. And the jar is nice and clean. Ultra frugality.
I loaded a cart with Adams, years back. The peanut crop had failed, and I happened to read about this, and yet peanut butter was still on special in the grocery store..
It more than doubled in price shortly, and it took me well over two years to get through it all.. definitely hard to mix after a year, but never had any spoilage!
A friend recently tried a blender on a jar of Adams. It worked great right up until it didn't... the video of the wreckage was hilarious.
That coffee idea sounds delicious. Wish I still drank the stuff..
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
Remember to turn over everything in your storage that can benefit from that. It will make blending that much easier.
The glass container for the 1 kg Adams peanut butter, is the perfect size to use as a canister later. I don't like to buy single use glass that gets tossed out. It uses about 30 times more energy than if it were in a milk carton type container. But for storing rice and beans and other things, it's hard to beat these glass jars with the metal lid.
Nova saw this and a glass milk jug that I bought last week. She wants me to put glass containers into the suitcase when I return to the Philippines. You just can't get good containers there, since everything is in disposable plastic. Many people eat off plastic dishes. Our kitchen table, the chairs and all of the doors in the house were made of plastic. The floor tiles that look like ceramic, are plastic. I didn't see one jar of jam or container of peanut butter in anything other than plastic.
Soft drinks and beer come in reusable glass bottles and the deposit is enough that everyone returns them, unless they use them for storage. The narrow neck really limits it to rice and sesame seeds. I've been handed home-brewed vinegar in a glass Coke bottle.
I was working in a very upscale neighbourhood the other day and one of the ladies who lives there, was scouring all of the blue bins that we use for recycling. She saw that I noticed her and said, "I'm not a pop bottle hound, it's hard to find good glass jars."