Do you need to open a can without a can opener? With a little elbow grease and some common household tools, you can try these handy methods.
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In a pinch? Here’s how to open cans without a can opener
Picture this: You’re in the middle of making dinner when you open a can of something you absolutely need. The can opener breaks, and you’re nowhere near opening the can. With no can opener, how are you supposed to open a can?
We wondered the same thing. There are several kitchen hacks you can use to open a can without a can opener. You can also use these hacks if you don’t have a can opener while out camping. Find out what to do, and then bookmark these food container hacks you probably didn’t know existed.
Remember: Safety first
Children should not try these methods, and adults should proceed with caution. It’s possible to get injured when prying open metal cans if you aren’t careful. Just in case, you should also check your food after it’s been opened for metal scraps.
Method 1: Use a metal spoon
A metal spoon and determination are all you need to open a can without a can opener, says Dorothea Hudson, a kitchen safety expert with US Insurance Agents. There’s no doubt that it’s a handy kitchen shortcut to know. The steps she follows are as follows:
- The first step is to set the can on the counter.
- Grab the bowl of your sturdy metal spoon instead of the handle after picking it up.
- Rub the edge of the spoon vigorously back and forth along the edge of the can.
- In step 4, keep rubbing the metal until it thins and, as a result, a small hole is created.
- Step 5: Insert the spoon into the hole.
- Pry the top open by pulling up on the edges of the can with the spoon.
- Continue prying around the perimeter until you can fully peel back the top.
Method 2: Use a pair of pliers
Another method for opening a can without a can opener is provided by Ronald Smith. You’ll need pliers for this one. Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure you have a firm grip on the can with your thumb and forefinger.
- Pinch the pliers along the can’s edge.
- As you make your way around the can, tighten your grip on the pliers to decrease the risk of injury.
- Give the top of the can a good pull after you have gone 1/4 of the way around the can.
Method 3: Use a rock
The founder of CamperAdvise, Ted Mosby, says you can open a can without a can opener if you forget to pack it while camping.
- Place the can upside down on concrete or a rough rock.
- Scrub the can back and forth in a scrubbing motion; friction will eventually wear away the metal.
- In step 3, stop when you see moisture on the surface or lid; if you continue, the can will completely wear out and the food will spill out.
- With a pocket knife or anything hard and thin enough to fit between the lid and the can’s edge, pry the can open.
Need a can opener?
Although you can open a can without a can opener, you’ll need time and strength to accomplish the task. In case you don’t have a can opener, or if the one you have is old, consider getting a new one. I’m sure you’ll be grateful in the future!