Does Almond Butter Need to Be Refrigerated?

Opened your first-ever jar of almond butter and not sure if you should place it in the fridge or not? Does almond butter need to be refrigerated?

The Short Answer

You don’t have to refrigerate almond butter, but doing so isn’t a bad idea. Storing almond butter in the fridge after opening prevents it from going rancid prematurely, and it’s worth considering if you need it to last for more than a few months.

That’s the lowdown on storing almond butter. Below, we cover the topic in more detail and discuss the following:

  • what to do about separated oil
  • fixing hardened almond butter
  • choosing between storing at room temperature or in the fridge

Sounds interesting? Read on.

Baked oatmeal topped with almond butter
Baked oatmeal topped with almond butter

Does Almond Butter Need to Be Refrigerated?

Refrigerating almond butter after opening isn’t a necessity, but it’s something worth considering if you need it to retain quality for more than a couple of months. The only downside is that almond butter hardens in the fridge.

In other words, you can store an open jar of almond butter either at room temperature or in the fridge, depending on your needs.

If you’re convinced that finishing the jar won’t take more than a couple of weeks, and certainly no longer than a few months, leaving it in the pantry or a kitchen cupboard is perfectly fine.

Related: Does almond butter go bad? How long does it last?

The only exception here is if you live in a warm climate and your oils tend to go rancid quickly. That’s when refrigerating almond butter is definitely the way to go.

Some manufacturers, like MaraNatha, generally suggest refrigeration because it helps prevent the nutty spread from going rancid and retain quality for longer. Others, like Classic Tales, make it clear that the choice is up to you.

The bottom line on whether or not you need to refrigerate almond butter is this:

  • if you live in a warm climate, refrigerate it
  • if you want the nut butter to last for months, keep it in the fridge
  • if you go through a single jar within a couple of months, you can leave it in the kitchen’s cabinet
Almond butter: oil separated
Almond butter: oil separated

One thing to note is that if you leave the butter at room temperature, and it’s one without palm oil or other stabilizers, the oil will separate.

Oil separation is natural and perfectly harmless. Its only downside is that you need to stir the butter before every use to bring it to its optimal consistency (the same works for fixing separated tahini).

Warning

Do not drain off the oil that separated. You will end up with dry almond butter that’s difficult to spread.

If you decide to refrigerate your almond butter, remember that it will harden and become more difficult to spread. To fix that, leave it on the counter for at least 10 minutes before it’s needed and stir prior to consumption.

Almond butter: oil incorporated after stirring
Almond butter: oil incorporated after stirring

How to Store Almond Butter?

Store almond butter in a cool place that’s away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat, and remember to seal the jar when not in use. Besides that, always use clean spoons when scooping or stirring the product so that you don’t contaminate it.

As long as the jar is unopened, it can sit in the pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen. Once you open it, you can either leave it at room temperature or move the jar to the fridge. As you already know, both options have their pros and cons.

Speaking of storage temperature, it’s best if it’s a bit lower than normal room temperature. For example, Justin’s Nut Butter recommend storing their products at temperatures under 65°F (18°C).

As you can tell, guidelines for storing both peanut butter and almond butter are pretty similar.

Now, let’s say you went the DIY way and made your own almond butter. How do you store homemade almond butter?

Homemade Almond Butter

You should store your homemade almond butter in a tightly sealed container and in the fridge, where it will last for at least a couple of weeks.

While store-bought almond butter doesn’t require refrigeration, it’s not necessarily the case for one that you whip at home.

That’s because when prepping it yourself, you’re quite likely to contaminate it, so it’s best to keep things safe by refrigerating the nut butter. Most recipes suggest doing that anyway.

Or you can freeze almond butter if you make a big batch that you can’t finish within a couple of weeks.

Last but not least, if you’re blending freshly roasted almonds, let the mixture cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.