Maybe you lost your can opener during a recent move, or maybe you’ve just temporarily misplaced it. No matter the circumstances, it seems we’ve all been without a can opener when we really need it at one point or another. Sure, you could drop whatever you’re working on and run to the store to grab a can opener, but chances are you are in the middle of prepping a meal that can’t be unattended. Good news! We have a few methods you can use if you get desperate.
A lot of can goods these days come with a pop tab that makes for easy opening without even needing a can opener. There are a few items, however, that still require opening the good old fashioned way – crushed tomatoes, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin puree, to name a few. The easiest solution requires another kitchen utensil, but it’s one you surely have on hand.
It might seem far-fetched, but you can actually use a spoon to open a can! Yes, it does require a bit of elbow grease, but it can be done. Simply position the spoon right at the seam of the can lid, and rub back and forth with some considerable force until the metal gives way and you wear an opening in the lid. The lid will be weakest around the lip where the can is sealed. Once you have the opening, simply leverage the spoon inside and pry the lid off.
There are several other ways to open a can without a can opener, but they will take considerably more effort. You can try the same spoon method listed above with other objects if for some reason you don’t have a spoon at your disposal. Try using a screwdriver, a knife, or even a fork. Another, more primitive method is to use a large, rough object such as a rock to “sand down” the lip of the can until it pops open. This method might be better suited for an apocalypse type situation, but it’s always good to know all of your options!