This post is brought to you by our first Test Kitchen Entry Question from Annie J.
Annie, from Chicago asked,
"I buy Natural Peanut Butter all the time, but hate stirring it. I want the full benefit of Natural Peanut Butter without the all the added stuff that comes with pre-stirred. I normally turn my jars upside down and continue to turn them to loosen things up, but I still have the messy part of stirring it later. Any suggestions?"
As part of our test kitchen, here at Saltbox House, we took the challenge and went out to find a better way to stir Natural Peanut Butter. First, we went out and purchased a few jars of all natural peanut butter in various brands. We found that the larger jars where not only a better value for your dollar, but easier to work with when testing out stirring methods.
If you are not sure, this type of peanut butter we are testing only contains peanuts and sometimes a small amount of salt. The separation of oil with the peanuts is a big giveaway that no Palm or Hydrogenated oils (to name a few) have been added to it to keep it from separating. Don't be confused just because it says All Natural . Always look at ingredients. Not all brands are the same, however as far as brands that carry peanut butter with those 1-2 ingredients, they did not make a difference in the stirring factor.
The first two attempts were to test the traditional methods. The traditional stirring methods of natural peanut butter consisted of sticking your butter knife or long spoon into the jar and making your best effort to stir it. These both ended with the same results:
The third attempt was with an immersion blender. This didn't seem like a bad idea for a larger jar and it cut the traditional time almost in half. However, the heavier layer on the bottom of the jar, did not mix together with the rest, so we ended up having to stir it by hand after all.
So, after those three attempts, we opened our last jar, dumped it into a mixing bowl. In this way, ALL of the peanut butter came out of the jar with ease. Use that butter knife or rubber spatula and that heavy layer at the bottom comes out completely in 1-2 scoops.
Next, we took an electric hand mixer (I am sure a stand mixer would would fine) and blended it together in less than a minute.
Then, we guided it back into the same jar with a rubber spatula.
It turned out to be perfectly smooth stirred peanut butter.
- Mixed within 2 Minutes
- Perfectly Stirred
- Less Messy
An Added bonus: We found that because we whipped this peanut butter, it stayed soft and spreadable even after refrigeration. It never got heavy or hard to spread on anything and lasted this way until we used up the entire jar.
We did have to wash one mixing bowl, one rubber spatula, and two mixing beaters.
Thank you for your Test Kitchen Entry Annie!
If anyone else has an idea of a way to stir natural peanut butter, please share with us in a comment.