Taste Test: The Best Peanut Butters

We taste-tested dozens of peanut butters from the grocery store and online to find our creamy, crunchy and even a bit quirky favorites.
peanut butter
panini

BEST CREAMY

Velvety smooth, this classic won over tasters with a "rich, buttery" consistency and "slight sweetness." No wonder Skippy sells almost 90 million jars of the stuff each year: As one judge put it, "This is peanut butter perfection." ($2.49 for 16.3 ounces, at grocery stores)

 
pitas chips

BEST HONEY

Nutty's Old Fashioned Peanut Butter, Honey Roasted Crunch

If brittle and peanut butter had a child, this "sweet, nutty" concoction would be it. With a "crystallized sugar" texture, Nutty's "tastes like honey-roasted peanuts." It would even "make a great candied topping for ice cream," one judge said. ($6.95 for 12 ounces, nuttyspeanutbutter.com)

 
sandwich

BEST CRUNCHY

Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

Chunky peanut butter fans couldn't contain themselves over this "thick and filling" peanut butter. "It's like having a big bag of peanuts," one taster said. Jif -- so named because the manufacturer wanted something easy to say, spell and remember -- also scored points for its "smoky, dark-roasted" flavor. ($2.60 for 18 ounces, at grocery stores)

 
cake

BEST NATURAL CREAMY

Koeze Cream-Nut Natural Peanut Butter

It doesn't get more natural than Koeze -- this old-school company makes its peanut butter strictly from Virginia peanuts and sea salt. Tasters were bowled over by its "salty kick" and "fresh peanut" flavor -- thanks in part to Koeze's vintage, small-batch roasters and grinders. ($6.29 for 17 ounces, koeze.com)

 
burritos

BEST NATURAL CRUNCHY

Smucker's Organic Chunky Peanut Butter

In 1897, Jerome Monroe Smucker started selling apple butter from the back of a horse-drawn wagon -- our tasters were thrilled that he made the switch to peanut butter. Judges loved this "lip-smacking" peanut butter's "salty" taste and "big chunks of nuts." One taster said, "It'd be great stirred into a Thai peanut sauce." ($4.70 for 16 ounces, at grocery stores)

 
appetizers

BEST ODDBALL

P.B.Loco Raspberry White Chocolate Peanut Butter

This peanut butter -- from a company started by three former lawyers -- is all natural, gluten-free and kosher. That doesn't mean it's low on flavor, though. Tasters found the berry-tinged spread "sweet and tangy." As one judge said: "It's like a fresh raspberry tart." ($6.95 for 16 ounces, pbloco.com)

 

Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in September 2008.

 

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