'No Need To Stir' Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Requires Stirring, Or A Straw

As any convenience-seeking American knows, the bane of natural peanut butter is its tendency to separate into an unspreadable sludge of crushed peanut and an eager-to-spill pond of oil. You have to stir the two together to get back to the peanut butter texture you’ve come to expect from the hybridized brands. Skippy says they’ve solved the problem, but based on the two jars one customer bought, they’re plain nuts (wocka wocka!).

Rick points out that on their website, they also claim “no oily mess,” which we’d like to contrast with this photo Rick sent in:

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  1. newlywed says:

    personally i love this about natural peanut butter. i always pour out the oil and feel better about my absurdly giant pb consumption, ’cause half the oil is out. :)

  2. ChipMcDougal says:

    Since I’m allergic to peanut butter I couldn’t be happier

  3. kable2 says:

    seriously, this is a non-issue.

    • The_Atomic_Pod says:

      @kable2: You’re a non-issue.

      It’s a product that does not live up to it’s package description. If that’s not a consumer awareness issue, I don’t know what is.

  4. Nighthawke says:

    Chris, not hybridized, hydrogenated. The current peanut butter products use hydrogenated oils to keep the oil and peanut solids from separating.

    The “natural” products don’t use any of the hydroginated oils, so they do separate. They also taste differently, and they are better for you since they do not contain the bad oils.

    So hey, get to stirring folks! It’s just a little more work to get the yummy .

    • @Nighthawke: Ha ha, I know. I used “hybridized” on purpose to draw a clearer distinction between natural pb and most of the commercial (hydrogenated) types that mix in other oils–hence the “hybrid” aspect, because it’s no longer just pure peanuts.

      My love of peanut butter is being exposed too much…

  5. BrianDaBrain says:

    Um, yeah. Stir it. Of course, they prolly charge $2 extra for the convenience of not having to stir it. Sigh.

  6. MadameX says:

    Stir it up and stick it in the fridge… no more separation!

    But yeah, it’s bad advertising in Skippy’s part.

  7. randomd00d says:

    The difference is that the Skippy probably takes a long long time to seperate, whereas the normal stuff separates within a week or so. (i have owned several dozens of these over the last year or so with no seperation issues)

    Stirring is NOT trivial. The oil rises to the top leaving the bottom really really hardened. You need some serious muscle to stir a greatly seperated peanut butter jar. The jar shape doesnt exactly help this endeavor.

    I have had good results with the Skippy natural, although it did get hit with the shrink ray… (16.5 to 15 oz)

    • ludwigk says:

      @randomd00d: After the initial opening and stirring of your peanut butter, store the jar upside down in the fridge. Oils will naturally rise to the tough part on the bottom. Problem solved!

  8. mbz32190 says:

    I’ve seen this with a particular store brand of “no-stir” natural peanut butter as well. (Probably made by Skippy/Unilever). Not a big deal, but it shouldn’t be advertised as such.

  9. danep says:

    I love this peanut butter and have only ever noticed the slightest film of oil on top. Not nearly as bad as most “natural” peanut butters. And no, I never stir it. So for me, the label is absolutely correct. *shrug*

  10. Parapraxis says:

    let me be the first to say that for the truly lazy among you, who don’t want to have to stir the peanut butter, get a box of croutons, throw in, and stir.

    That way, the croutons soak up all that tasty oil for you. No need for messy bread or clunky crumbs everywhere.

    In fact, you could eat it straight out of the jar with spoon.

    I do it, and I’m still ali-OH MY HEART!!!!!!!!!

    asdfasdfasdfdfsafasdfasdfsdf1

  11. bilge says:

    If you don’t like stirring, store the jar upside down in your fridge.

  12. Grabraham says:

    I have also used the Skippy ‘No Stir’ as advertised. Is it possible that the jar or batch at the supermarket was improperly stored or handled between the Skippy Grind-O-Matic and the super market shelf?

  13. BeeBoo says:

    I never stir peanut butter and I never buy peanut oil, I just use what’s in my peanut butter jar instead.

    And peanuts are legumes, not nuts.

  14. spazztastic says:

    Despite my argument, my wife continues to buy ‘health-food’ peanut butter, which contains mo0re chemical names than my old favorite Skippy.

    My personal fave now is store-brand natural peanut butter. Just peanuts and salt, TYVM.

  15. Antediluvian says:

    I was going to suggest putting the jar upside down in the fridge after stirring it initially (which is how I store it), but to those folks who are concerned about cold peanut butter tearing your bread, you can just store it upside down in the pantry.

  16. Finine says:

    I still buy natural peanut butter (Smucker’s) and if you flip the jar every couple of days it allows the oil to mix through it thoroughly. That makes the first initial “stir” much easier, especially if you open it after it’s been stored upside down a couple days!

  17. lingum says:

    The only use for peanut butter is to have it wrapped in chocolateish goodness and shaped into a puck called a Reeses. Well that and it makes good mouse bait.

  18. MyPetFly says:

    My world has been shattered by this important story. On a positive note, stirring it is exercise.

  19. sir_eccles says:

    Buy a peanut butter stirrer!

    [www.amazon.com]

    • timsgm1418 says:

      @sir_eccles: did you look at the stuff “people who buy this product have also bought” section…scissors, pineapple cutter, and the book “how to do everything on the internet faster” an odd assortment

  20. I have never seen this “natural” variety of Skippy before but I still end up having to stir the Super Chunk® which has no such promise of a stir-free peanut butter experience.

    “Fuel the fun!”
    The fun being all the stirring action.

  21. aikoto says:

    Here’s a trick: remove the oil and peanut butter from the jar and put them in a stove-top pan. Heat them on low and then stir. Put it back in the jar.

    Not only does this make it far easier to stir in the first place, but it doesn’t tend to separate again after that.

  22. processfive says:

    To be fair, this should be read as “no need to stir nearly as much as other natural peanut butter products”, but that’s rather a mouthful.

    Honestly, the amount of oil separation shown in the photos is *nothing*. I’ve even had that sort of oil separation happen in jars of just about every brand of *non*-natural peanut butter I’ve ever purchased. Jif does it. Jiffy does it. Peter Pan does it. Store brands do it.

    I think the idea with the “no need to stir” is to win converts from “traditional” non-all-natural peanut butter, for whom the idea of having to stir peanut butter with an inch of oil on top seems like a pain (because it is). If you can’t deal with stirring your peanut butter even lightly, even once a week, just to get rid of a tablespoon worth of oil (at most), you might as well stop buying peanut butter completely.

    • camille_javal says:

      @processfive: all true – someone didn’t believe me when I said even Jif separates, but things like heat (hello, summer) and transport make a difference.

      Skippy Natural stirs very easily, has a little bit of oil sometimes, and can be stored in the pantry. The more-natural stuff has a lot of oil, is a bitch to stir (I have to put something underneath for the bit of oil that will inevitably get out as I’m digging up the bottom), and has to be stored in the refrigerator.

      I hate to say it, but this may be one of the top-5 whiniest things I’ve ever seen on Consumerist.

      • MeOhMy says:

        @camille_javal:

        The more-natural stuff has a lot of oil, is a bitch to stir (I have to put something underneath for the bit of oil that will inevitably get out as I’m digging up the bottom), and has to be stored in the refrigerator.

        None of the truly natural peanut butters I’ve ever used require refrigeration. Here’s Crazy Richard’s take: [crazyrichards.com]

        I do think a big part of the separation and how hard it is to stir is storage/transport. There is a peanut roasting facility in the next town over from me and I find this PB rarely needs stirring while the Crazy Richard in the supermarket usually has 1/2″ of oil on top. Both list “Ingredients: Peanuts.” The only difference is the local stuff has been in the jar a week tops. The local PB seems to separate more slowly also.

        I have had the “natural” Skippy and never had to stir it.

        @fuzzymuffins:

        we can only hope that ron popeil will come to our rescue with a “inside the peanut butter jar peanut butter mixer”.

        Just use your Awesome Augur.

  23. goodywitch says:

    I have to ask how old the product was sitting on the shelf before the oil came out. I’ve noticed that with normal use, things work fine. However, poo hits the fan when you let it sit and then expect things to work. I’d imagine the no-stir applies to peanut butter that was transported properly, and used consistently.

    And I’ve always wondered, if it’s natural, then what did they do to make this no-stir?

  24. GMFish says:

    seriously, this is a non-issue.

    Yep, a corporation intentionally and blatantly lying on its packaging is no big deal at all.

    • Mfalconieri says:

      @GMFish: Agreed about the lying, but all these post are currently about peanut butter. Some posts are so off the subject, others are explaining ways to not have a pool of oil.

  25. yourbffjill says:

    I don’t get why there is such a demand for no-stir peanut butter. It’s not really that hard to stir it. In fact once I made the switch from corn syrupy JIF to natural peanut butter, it made my stomach turn to think of what I must have been eating before. It’s not “natural” for peanut butter to hold together like that. Natural peanut butter tastes like peanuts (not sugar), behaves like peanuts (that’s what crushed up peanuts will do, the oil will separate!), and the only ingredients in it should be peanuts (IMO).

    My roommate has Skippy Natural peanut butter, and I checked out the ingredients, wondering what was holding her peanut butter together. So yeah, it has sugar and palm oil in it. No thank you.

    • Juliekins says:

      @yourbffjill: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I bought this peanut butter once and thought it had a nasty-ass mouthfeel. Turn over the jar and like you said–palm oil. As it turns out, the production of palm oil is kind of bad for orangutans, among other things.

      I like the natural Smucker’s peanut butter, or if I’m shopping at Target the Market Pantry (Target house brand) natural creamy peanut butter is good too. I usually stick it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to make it easier to stir and spread. Once you’ve done that a couple of times, it barely separates at all.

    • Narockstar says:

      @yourbffjill: Ugh, sugar and palm oil? No, and no. I’m firmly in the camp that thinks pb should have two ingredients: peanuts and salt.

      I also store it upside down in the pantry to make the stirring easier.

      • katylostherart says:

        @Narockstar: if you like it creamy though adding some sort of oil isn’t bad. flaxseed oil is pretty mild if you can’t find peanut oil. although now with the big ‘ethnic’ food influx that’s getting a lot easier to find near thai ingredients.

  26. crashfrog says:

    And I’ve always wondered, if it’s natural, then what did they do to make this no-stir?

    They may simply have ground the peanut solids so fine that they stay in suspension a lot longer.

    Settling time is related to particle size, you see.

  27. Kitteridge says:

    God, now I really want some peanut butter.

  28. hewhoroams says:

    Honestly I buy this peanut butter all the time (about 25 jars in 2 years). I’ve had 2 jars have the oil, the rest are perfect

  29. proficiovera says:

    I buy Skippy Natural all the time. The only time I have seen it separate was when it was close to the sell by date.

  30. dwarf74 says:

    You know, I’ve had both the Skippy Natural and the … well, standard natural, for lack of a better term.

    That little film of oil? That’s nothing. Stirring the crap out of other natural peanut butters got to be a real chore… To top it off, you need to refrigerate other natural peanut butters, and that makes stirring even more fun.

    I’ll take the Skippy variety any day of the week. It’s not perfect, but it’s a huge improvement.

  31. ekthesy says:

    What they really need to do is make those jars a bit wider so I can get my hand in there to reach the peanut butter at the bottom of the jar.

  32. katylostherart says:

    but it builds muscle stirring.

  33. fuzzymuffins says:

    we can only hope that ron popeil will come to our rescue with a “inside the peanut butter jar peanut butter mixer”.

    [www.seenontv.com]

  34. RonDiaz says:

    If you keep it cooler it doesn’t separate. I’ve only seen my Skippy natural require a stir at 80F plus. And even then the separation is minimal. I buy other natural brands as well and they clearly require a stir at room temp. What I do is stir it well once, then store it in the fridge. I take it out 15 minutes before I want to use it, then it softens enough to spread easily without separating back out. Either way none of my arch nemesis hydrogenated oil.

  35. gmss0205 says:

    WOW!! This is huge news! Thanks for posting!

  36. Invective says:

    A really great fairly recent invention was a little stick like device that you can put in foods to stir them and blend them together. (It may also come with some massage attachments as well, but I’m not sure.) Mine is cordless, but when you put that puppy in peanut butter, it makes a smooth and creamy butter. Then it *could* be possible to sip it through a straw, which may, or may not cause a happy convulsion.
    IF you pour out the ‘hydrogenated’ oil and collect it for use in a diesel engine, would that make the ‘hydrogenated’ oil a biofuel? If it is a biofuel, would that give your diesel engine cholesterol and a heart attack? But I digress…

  37. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’ve only eaten natural peanut butter for the last decade and I reckon that I’ve tried just about every brand out there. I’ve never been a big fan of Skippy to begin with.

    For me the best natural peanut butters are the Trader Joe’s salted variety . . . both smoothy and chunky. No idea who makes it for them but it’s delicious and peanut-y with (usually) just the right amount of oil.

  38. HClay says:

    How old is the jar of PB? Is it near or past expiration? You have to wonder just how old a jar of non-separating peanut butter really is, if it’s separating.

    It’s a problem if they’re advertising something that isn’t true. That said, I get natty PB on purpose, because it’s healthier and, as people have stated before, you can pour off some of that oil and reduce the fat and increase the protein in your breakfast (I’m saving the peanut oil for cooking. Will use it at appropriate times, in place of flavourless oil).

  39. PinkBox says:

    I like to get freshly ground peanut butter from Whole Foods. Nice and easy to spread!

    The only problem is that I don’t think it lasts nearly as long as the prepackaged varieties. I’m kind of scared to eat it after a week.

    I don’t really mind stirring peanut butter just to mix in the oil. What I don’t like is stirring it just to make it have a more spreadable consistency in general, so the bread doesn’t tear.

  40. Who was the wacko who decided stirring is such an inconvenience they had to lie about it?

  41. shepd says:

    Is is separating in the fridge, or on your shelf? For proper shelf-life (ha ha) peanut butter should be kept in the fridge. Most of the name brands are rated for about 3 – 6 months shelf storage (once opened), vs. 2 years in the fridge. YMMV, this was data from Jif.

    I always keep it in the fridge, since I only put peanut butter on toast and related heated items.

  42. casianoa says:

    I have eaten this PB since it came out and I have never had a problem with oil separation. My only problem is that I eat a 16oz jar even 2-3 days.

  43. exconsumer9 says:

    In Skippy’s defense, it looks a lot less separated than most natural peanut butters. By the looks of it, a few stirs and you’d be in business. With the PB I get, the stirring is an event all by itself, sometimes dumping the whole ting into a bowl just to get it thoroughly mixed . . . and the outside of the jar inevitably becomes an oily mess.

  44. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    I get Teddy peanut butter and it is really good. If it doesn’t separate then I question its naturalness. It should be peanuts and salt. Big deal, you stir upon the first opening and then its usually good for the rest of the jar.

  45. orlo says:

    While this stuff does contain natural ingredients, “natural peanut butter” conventionally means ground peanuts+salt, or sometimes just ground peanuts. Adding palm oil and sugar is in itself somewhat disingenuous. But occasional separation isn’t outrageous, as I’ve seen normal hydrogenated PB separate. BTW I recommend pure PB–just ground peanuts–instead of what should be labeled “Peanut Spread: 90% Peanut Butter With 10% Unhealthy Additives That Strangely Enough Make It Taste Worse”.

  46. SabreDC says:

    Please tell me that I’m not the only person here that makes Peanut Butter & Nutella sandwiches? Having grown up right outside of Hershey, I’ve had quite a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in my lifetime. PB&N sandwiches take me back to my childhood.

    • Gopher bond says:

      @SabreDC: I do, but my kids like the Fluffernutterella, which is includes Fluff as well, occasionally I add a banana and Hershey’s chocolate sauce and you get the Choconanafluffernutterella sandwich.

    • no.no.notorious says:

      natural peanut butter NEEDS to be stored in the fridge, because the oils could go bad. but yes, some people have mentioned that storing it upside down will erase the need to stir.

      @SabreDC: and love PB & N. I had a discussion about this at work today and basically got the response “who the f*** eats nutella over here?!”

    • INTPLibrarian says:

      @SabreDC: The only plus, as far as I can tell, of having been in French Club in high school was the discovery of Nutella. Just seemed natural to add it to PB sandwiches! But those are only for special occasions, i.e. I need some indulgence.

  47. BytheSea says:

    If you want healthy peanut butter, skip the Skippy. The real natural brands have the following ingredients: Peanuts, salt. Skippy “natural” peanut butter still has chemicals and HFCS.

  48. cbellamy says:

    My local grocery chain (Ukrop’s) has an electric grinder with a hopper full of roasted, salted peanuts on top. Only 30 seconds to a tub of the freshest peanut butter goodness ever! Since I get it into the fridge before it has a chance to separate, I never have to stir it. It tastes even better than Smuckers.

  49. ClickClickThud says:

    I eat Smart Balance. I occasionally need to store it upside down, but it’s orders of magnitude better than just about any other brand of natural peanut butter that I’ve tried.

  50. INTPLibrarian says:

    I’d bought the crunchy no-stir a few weeks ago and, yes, had to stir it before putting it in the fridge. (“Natural” PB is a pain to stir when cold. Easier when warm.)

    I just realized, though, that I put the creamy no-stir I bought yesterday in the fridge immediately. Didn’t even think about it. So, I just went and looked (ok, ok, AND grabbed a spoonful to eat) and it didn’t need any stirring at all.

    Not very scientific since one was crunchy, one was creamy, and I have no idea if the creamy would have had the oil on top if I’d opened it before refrigerating it. But, there ya go. Maybe if the OP had put it in the refrigerator for a while no stirring would be needed?

    Damn, I love PB.

  51. mike says:

    Natural PB is the BEST! A friend turned me onto it and haven’t looked back. I love the ingredients: Peanuts, Salt.

    That’s it! Look at the ingredients of your processed peanut “butter” and you’ll notice a huge difference. (Little known fact: most peanut “butter” is really peanut “paste” due to the USDA definition of peanut butter.) Source (PDF)

  52. Dear Rick:

    If your biggest gripe in this world is having a little oil on top of your PB, I want your life, dude.

    I can’t believe it’s come to this level of whining. Next, you’ll be complaining that when you poop, you have to wipe your ass.

  53. randomd00d says:

    The bottom line is that you either stir, or they have to add some crap in the PB to prevent separation.

    In most PBs, that means a goodly portion of hydrogenated badness and a bunch of other junk.

    For skippy that means a minimal amount of palm oil. Id rather have peanuts,salt in my PB but you can’t have it all.

    Skippy seems to have the best compromise between having to stir and adding a bunch of crap into the PB.

  54. audiochick says:

    The Tillamook yogurt that I had for lunch also says that it’s pre-stirred, but I still stirred it when I opened it. There’s always a little bit of separation, but I figure a few seconds worth of stirring is worth it for a smooth result.

  55. LightLeigh says:

    I bought the Skippy’s natural PB once. It didn’t separate too much, but the consistency was so sloppy that the PB would drip out of the sandwich while I was eating it – ICK! I threw out the jar half full.

    My local grocery store (Publix) usually has fresh ground peanut butter in small tubs – ingredients = peanuts & salt. I have considered getting food processor so I can make it at home.