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lcdm

Jar Opening

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How do you open jars that are hard to open? I used to have a can/bottle opener you know the .25 cent kind and put the bottle opener end under the lip of the jar to pry it open and let some air in.

OK so I could not find the can/bottle opener (my husband calls it a church key), and I try my alternative methods tap the back of a butter knife on the rim of the lid (usually works, but did not this time), used the free bank rubber round grip thing (did not work), brut strength (hah ha ha face turning red) and my final resort is asking my husband (which usually works) but he was working. So in the end I made something else for dinner because I could not open a jar.

So do you have any fool proof jar opening techniques to share?

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Sometimes directing some hot water on the lid only works. The theory is that you get some thermal expansion of the lid. Note that I said sometimes. I usually use the churchkey approach and then the rubber thingy. I also usually try banging it on the floor lid side down.

Then you could invest in this gadget. :laugh:

I don't know why but this thing cracks me up. I wanted to nominate it for stupidest appliance of 2003. But, I guess if you have arthritis or weakness in your hands it might be a good thing.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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My never-fail opener is a 6'2" fireman. Seriously, I had one of those monster sauerkraut jars from Costco, and it took all three: the butterknife handle rimrap, followed by hot water for about 3 minutes, followed by the solid lidsmack on the counter. Took two cycles of them, but the bugger finally gave it up. :smile:

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I have these pot holders that are made of a plastic that can be heated up to a high temp and won't melt. They have these grips on them and they are excellent for opening jars and what not. I got them at crate and barrel, but they have them at lots of other stores.


Edited by ErinB (log)

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I have one of those "jaws of jars" - a v-shaped serrated-toothed contraption that is screwed into the underside of one of my kitchen cabinets out of sight - all recalcitrant jar lids bow down in fear.

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The HARD smack on a flat surface usually works for me. You have to make sure that the lid is absolutely flat when you bang it.

Also, using a wide elastic band, wrapped around the lid helps, as the elastic holds firm, as compared to your palm ----- which moves. The elastic works even better than a wet cloth.

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And with the availability of small propane handtorches, as a last resort you could cut it off (PLEASE NO, JUST KIDDING)

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I use hot water plus this great thing I have called the grip wrench. It's a thick but flexible piece of rubber about 16 inches long that loops to any size. You wrap it around the jar lid, feed it into the plastic holder, tighten, the pull with the handle, that works almost every time. I've used it for jars, pipes and even nail polish bottles. I bought mine at Target, I think.

here's a picture on the internet:

http://www.youcansave.com/grip.asp

SML


"When I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University!" --Ralph Wiggum

"I don't support the black arts: magic, fortune telling and oriental cookery." --Flanders

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Oh yeah, I like that jaw and the flexible wrench. Good to have around for way more than jars, too. Oh, boy, I got something I can go shopping for.Happy dance, happy dance.

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grab the jar and give it a good whack on a hard surface on the side of the lid. Most times this works,though I have to admit to breaking the odd one. :blink: Sometimes just putting on a rubber glove for more grip will do the trick.


Edited by cjs (log)

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Then you could invest in this gadget. 

I don't know why but this thing cracks me up. I wanted to nominate it for stupidest appliance of 2003. But, I guess if you have arthritis or weakness in your hands it might be a good thing.

It does seem a bit much, though - especially at the price. There used to be a marvelous gadget called a Gilhoolie - hard to describe, but it had a double handle and adjustable jaws which you could clamp sort of like a vise-grip - worked brilliantly. Torque, don't you know. Don't think they've been made for, oh 40 years or so, but every now and then I spot one selling for a couple of bucks on eBay; over the past couple of years this has resulted in unusual house-presents for several of my friends.

I have another marvelous old mechanical jar-opener, which actually I like even better; again, adjustable jaws, and a T-shaped handle above that makes for a really solid grip. That and a good wide rubber band around the jar itself - I always find with the reallyseriously stuck ones that the worst of the job is gripping the jar so it doesn't turn with the top.

Not that either of these would be any use with those huge Costco jars.... For those I too use a 6' tall photographer (and former wrestling coach, which is probably the real critical factor).

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All the methods above can work, though some of the best, like wrench, aren't usually easily at hand.

I most often use the back of a chef's knife. You whack it on the right side away from you trying to dislodge the lid counter-clockwise. Usually takes a couple whacks, but this consistently works, especially in combination with running under tepid water. It will leave dents in the jar lid.

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I get these tender hands, so the strength ones usually require thought beforehand. It's not arthritis, but something to do with screwed up nerve ends.A Gilhoolie, lordy, I ain't even thought of those in years. That's what my mom used to call the family pack of sprouts...oops...nope, that was hooligans :biggrin: I think I'll check it out.

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All the methods above can work, though some of the best, like wrench, aren't usually easily at hand.

I most often use the back of a chef's knife. You whack it on the right side away from you trying to dislodge the lid counter-clockwise. Usually takes a couple whacks, but this consistently works, especially in combination with running under tepid water. It will leave dents in the jar lid.

If you do it hard enough you can chip the rim of the jar, too.

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Whack a couple times around the rim on the floor or a counter, run hot water over it, or grip with something plastic--one or a combination of these things works for me. I recently lost my rubber grip thing so now i use a rubber dishwashing glove.

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I bang the jar against the cover. If that doesn't work, I have Blovie open it for me. If he's not home, I've been known to bring the jar down to the doorman, make "pretty eyes" and ask him to open if for me.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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The big problem is with the jumbo-sized jars that would be so good to store things in, like the ones that come with olives or artichokes in them. They seem to have a much stronger seal than smaller jars, while simultaneously having such a large diameter lid that only a giant could grip them properly.

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A Gilhoolie, lordy, I ain't even thought of those in years. That's what my mom used to call the family pack of sprouts...oops...nope, that was hooligans :biggrin: I think I'll check it out.

Just looked on eBay. A couple of bucks, did I say? Sheesh - there's one going for over $22. There's another, though - *not* labeled Gilhoolie but clearly the same thing, at $1.99. Oh, and I also spotted a couple of the other kind, the one I prefer: turns out it's made by Edlund, and at least two listings that I saw indicate same in the title. Going rate seems to be 5 bucks or so - well worth it, I think.

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Automotive oil filter pliers with the slip-joint for those big jars. Buy two. One for the garage and one for the kitchen.

PJ

Edit: Wrenchs are not pliers.


Edited by pjs (log)

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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I have one of those "jaws of jars" - a v-shaped serrated-toothed contraption that is screwed into the underside of one of my kitchen cabinets out of sight - all recalcitrant jar lids bow down in fear.

i have that too but it tends to cut up the lids as well


Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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All the methods above can work, though some of the best, like wrench, aren't usually easily at hand.

I most often use the back of a chef's knife.  You whack it on the right side away from you trying to dislodge the lid counter-clockwise.  Usually takes a couple whacks, but this consistently works, especially in combination with running under tepid water.  It will leave dents in the jar lid.

If you do it hard enough you can chip the rim of the jar, too.

I've never had it happen, though, and I've been using this method since I was probably 8 since my mom taught me the method.

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Okay, I'll tell my dumb people trick here, then put it on the other thread later. I was having a barbeque at my shop, and my smoker was built to order in the shop, so this was the first time we were using it. There were maybe 15 of the employees, their wives and kids. So I'd gotten a monster can of black olives, and one of the big ole food service jars of green olives. We were getting the trays of stuff for the kids to stay occupied with. The fire was getting just right, and I had the lid up, fixing to start laying on ribs and steaks and hot dogs and sausages. But I couldn't get the jar of olives to open, so I left to do something else, and left the jar sitting on the ledge. I came back, flipped the jar over to tump it down on the ledge, and about 1 1/2 feet above the ledge, hello, it comes spewing open, and olives and brine went everywhere, but mostly on my perfectly banked down wood fire. One of my guys had opened it for me. Fire set there just kind of bubbling . Green olives everywhere. Trip to town for some chunk charcoal. I seem to remember getting drunk that day.

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The big problem is with the jumbo-sized jars that would be so good to store things in, like the ones that come with olives or artichokes in them. They seem to have a much stronger seal than smaller jars, while simultaneously having such a large diameter lid that only a giant could grip them properly.

Then again, my most stubborn jar ever was a jar of nature's best blueberry and pear baby food.

It became a party trick at our house. Which burly man could open the jar? Which technique would do the job? We tried everything short of a blow torch and I finally threw the damn thing out. It was just not meant to be.

I have girly girl hands. I face this battle all the time. The combo of the rubberband off the asparagus, hot water and kinfe bashing works in all but the most extreme cases.


What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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I take a butter knife (or pen or whatever) and tap the bottom of the jar twenty or thirty times with the butt end. I can't remember where I learned that trick, but it's always worked...


Todd McGillivray

"I still throw a few back, talk a little smack, when I'm feelin' bulletproof..."

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