photo by getty images

happy national peanut butter day!

learn the key to making the perfect pb&j.

by nylon

It all began simply when Liza, our Senior Web Editor, started eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she made herself for lunch. Then Steff, our Associate Web Editor, said, "I would give anything for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich right now!" which led Jackie, our Newsletter Editor, to find out when National Peanut Butter Day was, and--OHMIGOD--it's today!

So we snapped into action and did what any good peanut butter fans would do: called our friends at Peanut Butter and Co. got "the works." (That would be nine jars of their best stuff, two of their specialty PB&J sandwiches, and some apples, bananas, and carrots for good measure.) And then we feasted. 

Since we know you'll want to get in on the peanut butter fun, we decided to share our best recipes for making the ultimate sandwich. Because just like coffee, everyone has a specific technique for making the perfect PB&J. So grab some PB and read our recipes in the slideshow. We'll be waiting to hear yours on Twitter and Facebook

The Chef: Rebecca Willa Davis, Executive Web Editor

Type of Peanut Butter: If I say almond butter, will that make people roll their eyes at me?!

Smooth or Crunchy? Crunchy on sandwiches, smooth on everything else.

Type of Jelly: My friend's homemade earl gray jam.

Type of Bread: Ezekiel toasted!

Preparation Technique: The key to making a perfect PB&J sandwich is spreading peanut butter on each slice of bread, and then adding in a layer of jelly--otherwise the bread gets too soggy. (For the record, I believed in this method before ever watching this video.)

The Chef: Jackie Yaeger, Newsletter Editor

Type of Peanut Butter: Skippy

Smooth or Crunchy? Smooth

Type of Jelly: Welch's Grape

Type of Bread: 5-Grain Whole Wheat

Preparation Technique: It's not PB&J unless it's cut into a triangle. Pro-tip: The back of a spoon is way better for scooping peanut butter than a knife, and if you're shameless when it comes to dipping your tools into both the PB and J containers like I am, then you'll find that a spoon is also really good for jelly.

The Chef: Steff Yotka, Associate Web Editor

Type of Peanut Butter: The kind you grind yourself at Whole Foods

Smooth or Crunchy? Both!

Type of Jelly: Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves

Type of Bread: Ezekiel Sesame Bread

Preparation Technique: When it comes to a PB&J, more is more. I glob on as much PB as possible and then as much jam, with one condition: no chunks of fruit. I scoop around the preserved fruit in the jar, leaving the chunks for my boyfriend to eat. He loves the preserved fruits... that's why we date. 

The Chef: Liz Riccardi, Digital Design Director

Type of Peanut Butter: ALL. For real, I like every kind.

Smooth or Crunchy? Depends on my mood

Type of Jelly: Smucker's Low Sugar Red Raspberry Preserves

Type of Bread: Depends on my prep technique and mood

Preparation Technique: For an everyday PB&J I like white bread with smooth PB, chilled in the fridge with potato chips on the side. When I want to mix it up, I'll do toasted wheat bread with crunchy, natural PB and banana or bacon... or BOTH. I also secretly like those jars of Goober. 

The Chef: Christian Lavery, Associate Web Editor, NYLON Guys

Type of Peanut Butter: Skippy

Smooth or Crunchy?  Super Chunk

Type of Jelly: Welch's Grape Jelly

Type of Bread: White Bread

Prep Tech:  No tricks, it's a pretty standard procedure. Peanut butter on one slice, jelly on the other, and put 'em together. Just don't pull any amateur maneuvers and try to spread the peanut butter too thin causing the bread to tear.  

The Chef: Liza Darwin, Senior Web Editor

Type of Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter and Co. 

Smooth or Crunchy? Smooth

Type of Jelly:  Stonewall Kitchen Seedless Raspberry Jam

Type of Bread: Seven Grain

Preparation Technique: OK, so the best PB&J combo I've found actually comes from swapping out jam for bananas and honey. I like to put Peanut Butter & Co's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl on one slice of seven grain bread, squeeze some honey on the other, and top it all off with a sliced banana. 

The Chef: Josh Madden, Men's Content and Marketing Director

Type of Peanut Butter: Justin's Honey Almond Butter

Smooth or Crunchy? N/A

Type of Jelly: Smucker's Organic Strawberry Jelly

Type of Bread: Ezekiel 100-Percent Whole Grain

Preparation Technique: Pretty classic. Utz Toasted Sesame Pretzels are a must, or cool ranch Doritos if you're getting turnt.

The Chef: Blair Waters, NYLON TV Producer and former award-winning panini maker

Type of Peanut Butter: Jif

Smooth or Crunchy? Crunchy, always!

Type of Jelly: None

Type of Bread: Baguette

Preparation Technique: First, you're going to want to lightly butter a baguette with salted butter. Then lightly rub the peanut butter on top of the butter. Make sure they mix for a minute. Set a skillet on low. Melt some butter and cinnamon in the pan until it's sizzling. Slice the apple and let it fry in the pan, until golden. Arrange the brie on top of the peanut butter and butter and then place the apples in a cascading shape going from large to small. Gently press the top slice of bread on top, and then cut along a diagonal. Arrange on a plate with a sprig of parsley. Bonus: Drizzle honey around the side of the plate.