On the topic of peanut-butter texture, everybody has an opinion. But the stats don’t lie: Creamy peanut butter far outsells its crunchy counterpart. Even within the creamy category, though, a range of tastes and textures abound. Because natural peanut butter lacks the hydrogenated vegetable oils found in conventional products, it’s less smooth—not exactly grainy, yet not quite “buttery,” either. Regardless, all peanut butter keeps a long time in the pantry, so you don’t have to choose just one. If you were, however, trying to narrow it down to three, here are picks for the best creamy peanut butter.
JIF has been partnering with jelly and bread for almost 70 years. Amazon
A popular pantry staple since the 1950s, this classic creamy peanut butter gets its smooth texture from a combination of hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean). The kid-friendly flavor may come from plain old sugar, but the addition of molasses and salt makes it a universal palate-pleaser.
A super-smooth peanut butter cooks and bakers love. Amazon
Three hydrogenated vegetable oils (cottonseed, soybean, and rapeseed) make Skippy super-smooth, and thus easy to blend into batters and sauces. With a sweet, but not too sweet, flavor, it’s also sandwich- and spoon-worthy.
Oil separation is the sure sign of an all-natural peanut butter. Amazon
Made with only one ingredient—dry-roasted peanuts—this one’s as smooth as it gets in the natural category, and surprisingly flavorful without added sugars and salt. Just don’t be turned off by the oil on top when you first open the jar. It’s the price one pays to cut out hydrogenated vegetable oils. And fixing the problem is merely a matter of a (really) good stir.