12 Jarred Peanut Butter Brands, Ranked

We bow to the five mother sauces of French gastronomy: hollandaise, Espagnole, tomato, veloute, and bechamel. But we often forget the classical, um, lady butters of America: There's ... cocoa butter, butter butter, the viral butter candle, and the finest of them all, peanut freakin' butter.

When you love it, you love it. (And boy do we love it.) That toasty roasted peanut flavor like it's straight out of the shell and still warm from a crackling fire, the smooth spreadability of the creamy kind, or the crunchy chunkiness of real peanuts. And just enough salt to coax the ultimate flavor out of every bite. Stop it right there. But don't. Sandwich it in a fat fluffernutter, bake it into homemade cookies, or eat it straight from the jar. Peanut butter is life.

We're obviously taking one for the team, here, guys. Just like the first responders over at the Häagen-Dazs ice cream tasting lab, and the heroes behind the doors at Ferrero Rocher chocolate. We're dutifully ranking these peanut butter varieties from worst to first; sampling them like professionals, and pitting them against each other based on texture, flavor, crunch, and hype. It's a tasty job, but somebody's gotta do it. Caution: These products may contain peanuts (wink-wink!).

12. Erewhon 100% organic peanut butter

This sh*t is bananas. Except it's peanuts — expensive, last-place-on-our-list peanuts. And they're all smooshed inside a glass "Erewhon"-printed jar, with a price tag befitting its hyped and scene-y grocery store of origin. A Los Angeles favorite chain for stars who pretend to buy their own groceries, Erewhon's 100 percent organic dry roasted peanut butter will cost you roughly $10 for 11 ounces. If that is how much product is actually in there — because we really don't know. (Wait, are we paying for vibes? Was a crystal ceremony performed near these peanuts?)

We eagerly sampled this A-lister. (It's nothing but peanuts. So pure and innocent!) Right away, a vacuum-sealed top pops off with a force that almost suctions all of the peanut butter out of the jar at the same time. Red flag. Peanut butter isn't typically thought of as a fluffy sort of product. And this seems like a springy mousse. After double checking the label to make sure we had the right thing, we wondered if the empty jar itself weighs 11 ounces?

Inside, the peanut butter is somehow wet looking, but also dry tasting. There's a clear roasted peanut essence, but it could use some salt. Crap. We were duped. It's the equivalent of eating kale straight from the bag — it tastes like it's good for you and it's a totally painful experience. This one is clearly a status buy. But you're gonna have to eat it out of the jar so people can be impressed (label facing out).

11. Trader Joe's creamy no stir peanut spread

If you're wandering the aisles at Trader Joe's and suddenly remember you're in the market for a jar of peanut butter, this is a perfectly fine choice. But if you are anywhere else and have the same thought, get a different one. It's a solid Trader Joe's option, but — no offense — you can totally do better.

Unlike some glass-jarred varieties (not to name names ... Erewhon), we're doing mostly plastic packaging from here on out. But in this case, we have what's called a peanut spread, so we wanted to clear something up. Peanut butter = minimum 90% peanut content, maximum 55% fat. Any inferior ratio of peanuts to fat = peanut spread.

This one's ready to rock right out of the jar. It's smooth, peanutty, and spreadable. But it also tastes very sweet. Like, too sweet — as if it's trying to be part of the cookie butter family. We checked the label to find that yes, there are 2 grams of added sugar thanks to a blend of cane sugar and cornstarch. While this one's totally serviceable, this is one peanut spread we won't be lovingly thinking about when it's not here.

10. 365 creamy peanut butter

Boppin' over to Whole Foods, we've got their 365 creamy peanut butter locked and loaded. Except excuse us while we stir the crap out of this in order to properly taste it. We reluctantly accept that some delicious peanut butter brands require a lil stir, but holy tendinitis. It took us several actual minutes to wrangle the peanut oil and the gloppy nut lumps, without accidentally spilling the whole thing.

If you have the patience of, say, Buddha, and are able to spend all that time stirring and not develop peanut butter rage, bless you child. After we Hulk'd out on blending this one, we discovered an even more disappointing quality. It's still a runny type of nut butter. Yes, even after you stir your little heart out. 

This one beats out Trader Joe's because of the fact that it tastes like peanut butter, not candy. Still, we felt it needed more flavor. A slight roasted quality? A little saltiness? A hot fudge ice cream sundae, and then we drizzle a little bit of this slimy stuff on top? Sigh. We're probably still just mad about the portion of life we lost while stirring.

9. Natural Way peanut butter with olive oil and honey

Warning: You're gonna have to put your back into this one. (Is there an anger management program for peanut butter-based fury?) Despite the oil slick, Natural Way peanut butter intrigued us based on its commitment to passing on the palm oil, the low amount of sodium, and the zero trans fat. What gives the peanut butter its smooth texture? Olive oil. (Secretly wondering whether this even qualifies as peanut butter right now ...)

Just a heads up, even before you've got this one fully blended — if ever, in this lifetime — the color is a little suspect. Kicking traditional peanut butter hue to the curb, this mix reads as more of a paler, wheat-like color — like a seed-based butter might look. Also, just for the record, despite the olive oil content, it doesn't taste like it at all. The main flavor — other than peanuts, allegedly — is honey. And there ain't nobody mad about honey around here.

Overall, it's unique tasting if you like a toasted seed-type honey-type deal, and you've given up palm oil. But if you're really hoping for that classic peanut butter taste, you're gonna want to skip out on this one.

8. GOOD GOOD creamy peanut butter

Low-key renaming this one MEH MEH creamy peanut butter. While we support the GOOD GOOD brand mission of bringing us pantry staples with zero added sugar, the ingredients here — while healthy — didn't quite marry successfully. (They're still living together, but the gossip is they're getting a divorce.)

We have Jell-O T-Rex arms from all the previous stirring of butters, so this one felt like concrete right out of the gate. It's the stiffest of all the textures we tasted, but gosh darn, was it nice to just be able to dig right in. This variety also boasts about its low carb content, but at 5%, it's just a difference of a few grams compared to a usual jar of peanut butter. Still, it's keto friendly if you like to party like that.

The unusual ingredient here is the natural prebiotic fiber from chicory root. (What now?) Chicory root adds fiber content, which in turn helps your gut digest. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the flavor that first hits our taste buds is a toasted one, but seemingly not from peanuts. It tastes sesame seed-y, which is then followed by a whisper of a bitter aftertaste. A second sampling smoothed that out a bit. But we're still probably not gonna keep in touch with this peanut butter.

7. Skippy creamy peanut butter

Depending on which of the two pop culture-dominating peanut butter brands you may have grown up with, Skippy is either Number 1, or Number 2. But, either way, there's no denying the "peanut butter next door" energy from Skippy creamy peanut butter. We've been eating tons of it since 1933.

Its easy universal appeal lands this brand in the mid-range of our ranking. It checks all the boxes, with its flawlessly smooth and velvety texture. After pulling back the safety seal, it almost looked too beautiful to eat. Psyche! We have no problem going to town on some Skippy.

But here, we're once again tasting a lot of sugar. And it was definitely one of the sweetest of the bunch. The second ingredient is, in fact, sugar — with 3 total grams of the stuff. There aren't even any roasted flavor notes, and there isn't a realistic peanut taste. Wait. Are the peanuts just a vehicle for sweetness? No wonder kids love Skippy. (Okay, okay, we do too.)

6. Jif natural creamy peanut butter with honey

You know it's natural when the packaging is semi brown. Taking it back a million years to the Jif ads where the butter knife magically turned roasted peanuts into perfect swirls of peanut butter on a slice of white bread, we served ourselves a heaping spoonful of Jif natural creamy peanut butter with honey. And we do not regret it.

If you're someone who mixes honey with your peanut butter, this one was made for you. It tastes kind of like a small child dumped a buttload of honey into the mixture and then the factory just went with it. It's one of the sweetest on our list, and deliciously creamy. It's almost as if they've had this peanut butter making system down pat since 1958, or something.

The best part is that Jif natural honey is low sodium, but doesn't taste like they skimped on the good stuff. (It features 85 milligrams of sodium per serving, compared to the jar of Skippy which has 150 milligrams per serving.) It makes us wonder why Jif doesn't always make their product low sodium, since it appears to be missing nothing in the flavor department.

5. Justin's classic peanut butter spread

We had high hopes for Justin's. But as soon as we opened the jar and discovered that it needed to be stirred, Justin's classic peanut butter lost its grip on a victory. (Just barely. It's still peanut butter, after all.)

Once we had completed a perfectly reasonable amount of stirring, Justin's gave us pure peanut flavor, with no salt, and no added sugar. At first, we thought we detected just a hint of bitterness, but that quickly mellowed out with a second sampling. This one would be best buddies with something that adds a little sweetness or saltiness — like a smooth raspberry jam, or, y'know, a sprinkle of actual salt.

But, of course we had one tiny, little issue. The texture is ... odd. It's neither fully creamy, nor is it chunky — at least, not as far as we're concerned. So instead of falling into either camp, it ends up feeling grainy on our tongue. We don't know which way to go; let it melt in the mouth, or chew it? Justin's! Why!

4. Adams 100% natural crunchy peanut butter

You. Guys. This stuff is awesome. No, the packaging isn't cute, yes we had to stir it (ugh, we don't wanna talk about it), but wow, does this taste like straight up roasted peanuts. Adams 100 percent natural crunchy peanut butter, you have our sticky little heart!

The crunch is real. And the peanuts taste wonderfully fresh and roasted to perfection. Honestly, we would have been perfectly content to die right there with our spoon stuck in a jar of peanut butter.

Adams features so little sodium (95 milligrams) that we're left wondering how the heck they get all this flavor out of some measly peanuts and a pinch of salt. (Justin's? Erewhon? You taking notes?) Are they naturally salty peanuts? Peanuts of the sea? Fun fact, back in the early days of the Adams brand (1919-ish) customers could buy Adams Hot Peanut Butter — and it was actually still warm because it was so fresh off the line. Sigh. We're just going to keep taste-testing spoonfuls as we ponder the nuttiest mysteries of the universe.

3. Teddie all-natural super chunky peanut butter

Speaking of packaging that's totally misleading, Teddie all natural super chunky peanut butter is coming in hot for our Top Three, with a seductive teddy bear mascot on its label. Why is he posed like that? No idea. But this super chunky peanut butter lives up to its name. (And its happy and charitable brand personality.)

How could 2,500 Amazon reviews be wrong? With an average 4.5-star rating, it's official: Teddie's flippin' delicious! Even with zero added sugar — and just peanuts and salt — this stuff tastes ultra rich and peanut-tastic. Like you're poppin' off roasted peanut hulls by the dozen. Plus, it's also hella chunky. You might even need a knife and fork.

Full disclosure, we did have to stir the oil into the butter part. But it was a minimally invasive mixing process, and we were able to continue on our merry way (to the eating part) almost immediately. As for how we feel about returning to this brand in the future, we're Team Teddie all the way.

2. Earth Balance creamy peanut + flaxseed spread

This one is a bit of a shocker. We were already familiar with the Earth Balance brand as far as their plant-based "butter" spread goes (it's a blend of oils, instead of dairy). But we were a teensy bit skeptical of their take on our favorite food group. (Flaxseed? Do we owe you money, Earth Balance?) What a surprise when we tasted an all-around delicious peanut butter — we mean, spread.

The texture is very sticky and much thicker than some of the other brands on our list. But it's still ultra smooth, and definitely won't dribble off your peanut butter toast. The rich peanut flavor is spot on, and since there's some added sugar, it's just a little sweet. (Pay no attention to the reviews on their website that complain that agave sweetener has been replaced by what's listed as "sugar" in the formula. While it's often branded as a healthier sweetener, agave is as processed as table sugar — and sometimes more caloric.)

Backin' up to that flaxseed though, that's where we get a unique boost of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) Omega 3. They're the fatty acids found in flaxseed and other plants that contribute to better health; reduction of inflammation, lower risk of heart disease, brain function, prevention of other chronic diseases ... like we need another reason to eat peanut butter. The best part is the seeds are fully blended into the mix. You won't see 'em or taste 'em, but your plant-based peanut butter heart will thank you.

1. MaraNatha organic no stir creamy peanut butter

Now, in the center ring, dominator of 11 previous peanut butters (totally saying this like a WWE announcer, in case you hadn't guessed), and current world champion of all time ... the one, the only ... MaraNathaaaaaaaaa peanut butterrrrrrrrr spreaaaaaaaad! [The crowd goes wild ... the MaraNatha jar enters the arena to the song "Peanut Butter Jelly Time."]

Man, we love peanut butter. And MaraNatha organic no stir peanut butter spread topped our list as the greatest all-around brand variety we tasted. It is stupidly smooth and creamy thanks to the brand's signature peanut double-grind system which skyrockets the roasted peanut flavor into the stratosphere, with a velvety finish that lingers in your mouth. Not too sweet, not too salty, perfectly balanced in every bite.

Oh, hey, did we mention it's no stir? (Is there a first-first place?) While organic unrefined cane sugar plays a part in rounding out the sweetness, it clocks in as just 1 gram of added sugar. The palm oil is sustainably harvested, it's an organic, non-GMO product, and we just realized we ate half the jar without even thinking twice about it. Treat yourself to the peanutsperience of a lifetime and dip a spoon into a jar of this stuff. Eat, and repeat.