The best peanut butter is nutty, rich, and just as good straight off a spoon as it is in a sandwich or a recipe.Peanut butter is like a bag of cotton balls or a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap: It’s good for a lot of things. You can smush it between two pieces of bread with grape jelly (duh), slather it on crackers, and make a delicious sauce with it, too. But I need to be clear: Eating peanut butter directly off a spoon, all by itself, while you’re standing in the kitchen, is completely acceptable. The best peanut butter deserves to be eaten this way.
We recently returned to the tasting table with several jars of peanut butter we’d previously ranked and several we didn’t try in our first taste test. Now we’re even more confident we’ve found the best tasting peanut butter at the grocery store. What were we looking for in the best peanut butter? Spreadability, big, roasty peanut flavor, and the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. All the peanut butter on this list—from the best crunchy peanut butter to the best creamy peanut butter—tastes so, so good, and it definitely spreads a lot better than Dr. Bronner’s.
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- Great Value Honey Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter
Great Value Honey Roasted Creamy peanut butter is just such a damn treat. If you ever eat PB and you’re like, I wish this were dessertier, this is a great option without getting into Nutella territory. I’ll admit that this has 7 grams of sugar per serving versus the 3 (or so) grams you’ll find in most regular peanut butter. And listen, I know you could just combine any ol’ peanut butter with actual honey rather than buying honey-tinged peanut butter, but this is perfect for a one-ingredient sandwich—no futzing with that sticky plastic bear in your pantry. Give me a jar of this and a loaf of white bread and send me into the woods (no, please do—this whole “living in a society” thing is bogus).
Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart
- Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter
Some peanut butters are just begging to have apple slices dunked into them, and this is one. (Opt for honeycrisp—I consider myself an expert on apple cultivars, and they are the best in terms of texture and sweetness. I stand by this.) This PB has an oily, chunky consistency and reminded us of something you’d make with an old-timey gadget with a hand crank. “This one is sweeter than some of the more natural ones we’ve tried,” Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling said during our first taste test, praising the “nice chunks coming through it.” We also tried Santa Cruz’s light roast peanut butter and could barely tell the difference, but the slightly richer flavor of the dark roast edged out its counterpart, making it the best organic peanut butter. This would also be incredible as a base for peanut sauce.
Credit: Ryan Martin / Target
- Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter
Prior to our peanut butter taste test, the only Justin’s product I’d tried was their almond butter—and I am not a fan. It didn’t make our list of the best almond butters. But, somehow, the brand is doing something dramatically different and delicious with peanuts. A couple of our tasters thought it was a little on the bland side, but I loved its loose, grainy consistency. I’ve never had homemade peanut butter, but this is what I imagine it’s like. This might not blow kids away if they’re used to sugar-added PB, and it will probably create a mess if you try to eat it on celery sticks. But it would be incredible on a warm slice of toast with something naturally sweet, like bananas or honey or both, to bring out the peanutty flavor.
Credit: Ryan Martin / Target
- Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter
Once again, Great Value is coming in hot with a great product that is, in fact, a great value. “This is really smooth, man,” contributor Danny Palumbo said during our first taste test. He liked that it has a great nutty flavor and isn’t overly sweet, which is what we want from the best peanut butter. This is the best peanut butter to buy when you have to make a bunch of sandwiches for a kid’s field trip or some big hiking excursion. People will not be bummed to find this in their otherwise slightly sad sack lunch.
Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart
- Earth Balance Crunchy Peanut & Flaxseed Spread
This Earth Balance peanut butter is extremely good, but it’s pretty hard to find in stores, so we bumped it down a few spots (it was previously in the #2 spot). Also, I know, I know. It kind of looks like a health food, but I promise it’s among the best tasting peanut butter you can buy—simultaneously super creamy and filled with big, evenly distributed chunks of peanut. “This is perfect to me,” Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick said. “It’s sweet but not too sweet, it’s nutty—it’s so good.” We couldn’t say for sure whether the flaxseed contributed any flavor (like, seriously, what does a flaxseed taste like on its own?), but this peanut butter’s biggest flavor feat is its perfectly balanced sweetness-to-saltiness ratio.
Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart
- JIF Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
Crunchy peanut butter is anathema to people who like it smooth. And this extra crunchy peanut butter from JIF is aggressively chunky, so creamy peanut butter people need not apply. It’s like equal parts peanut butter and peanut, but it still smears nicely onto a warm piece of toast. If you want as much peanut as possible for your peanut butter-buying buck, get JIF Extra Crunchy, the best crunchy peanut butter we tried. Honestly, I probably would have put this in the top spot, but I think the sheer amount of crunch is too controversial for some people.
Credit: Liv Averett / Target
- Trader Joe’s Creamy No-Stir Peanut Butter Spread
Trader Joe’s peanut butter is excellent, but we weren’t as gaga for it as we were during our most recent taste test. The roastiness I initially loved so much came off as a little bitter this time around. That said, it’s still extremely good. It’s smooth, creamy, and has serious peanut flavor (oddly, some PB barely tastes like peanuts). Justine liked the nice, natural peanut flavor of its finish. “I want this in some ice cream,” she said. But it would also be the best peanut butter for toast. It has range.
Credit: Ryan Martin
- JIF Creamy Peanut Butter
During our first peanut butter taste test back in 2022, hand to god, I could not tell the difference between JIF peanut butter and Skippy peanut butter. This time around, not only was JIF the clear winner of that matchup (sorry if it was a bad batch, Skippy, but not my problem!), it was the best peanut butter we tasted overall. It has plenty of nutty flavor upon first bite, but I love how it evolves as it settles on your tongue—sweetness rears its head, along with just the right amount of saltiness. It also gets points for being affordable (fancy peanut butter gets pricey!) and available at pretty much every U.S. grocery store, no matter where you are. Truly, a peanut butter for the people.
Credit: Liv Averett / Target
Best No Sugar Added
Best Crunchy (Runner-Up)
Best of the Best
Other products we tried: Skippy Creamy, Skippy SuperChunk, Skippy No Sugar Added, JIF No Sugar Added, Skippy Protein Creamy, Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Smooth, Marantha No-Stir Creamy, Peter Pan Creamy, Happy Belly Crunchy, 365 Organic Crunchy, Peanut Butter & Co Old Fashioned Crunchy
Rhett & Link’s Pick
JIF Creamy Peanut Butter
During a Good Mythical Morning blind taste test, Rhett & Link declared JIF the official peanut butter of GMM, but even they had a tough time distinguishing JIF from Skippy. Link admitted to growing up in a Peter Pan household, but we won’t hold it agaist him.
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