Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
lcdm

Jar Opening

Recommended Posts

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.

Have you opened glass gallon jugs of olives, like the ones Mabelline is talking about?

But then, you being male, have larger hands than me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best inexpensive gadget I've found so far looks like an oversized beer opener, just that is made of plastic. It just pops the vacuumed lid - after that it's child's play to open it.


The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an OXO jar opener that sometimes works, and sometimes I bang the lid with the heel of a butter knife.

But this brings up something I've always wondered about. It seems some people can open jars and some can't. It's not just a male/female thing; I've known men who can't open jars and women who can. Where are the muscles that cause the distinction? Can you train to be an opener if you're currently a non-opener, or would you butt up against a genetic glass ceiling?

Just wondering.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband is a big guy, 6'8", hence he has big hands and he has a real hard time opening those big bottles of pop. He just can't seem to make his hand small enough. Does that make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's some kind of cosmic test. I just can't get the point. But really, I did not used to have trouble very often, but then you don't ever know which one is going to act up; witness the baby food jar. reverendtmac, that's the way one of my two grams would open up jars. Sometimes a thump with the heel of your hand on the bottom works, but I've always feared rapping it with a breadknife handle, because I'm leary of the quality of glass bottles. And cjs, you sure do have a big guy; if he's like mine he's pretty happy you found a food forum :) I have trouble with plastic milk containers. Those rings do not want to separate for nothing! I usually resort to sawing through with a paring knife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But this brings up something I've always wondered about. It seems some people can open jars and some can't. It's not just a male/female thing; I've known men who can't open jars and women who can. Where are the muscles that cause the distinction? Can you train to be an opener if you're currently a non-opener, or would you butt up against a genetic glass ceiling?

Play a lot of golf. You'll develop strength in your wrists and forearms as you play, and as far as I can tell, those are the muscles you use to open up a lid...


Todd McGillivray

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local banks & political parties give away those textured rubber/plastic (whatever they are made from) jar openers at my town's annual Labor Day street fair - flat circular or rectangular things that simply help you grip the jar lid. I have a drawer full of 'em now.

They work like a charm.

I just saw a tip on America's Test Kitchen the other night that, thanks to that textured surface, they also make excellent garlic clove peelers - you just fold the rubber thingie over the clove & roll. I'm gonna be trying that real soon.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm on the petite side and have small hands, but I have yet to meet a jar that I can't open without any tools. Like a couple of others in this thread, I hold the jar upside down and bang it down on a hard solid surface (usually my linoleum floor, not recommended on tile for obvious reasons). I've never had a jar break or chip. If I had to rely on a man, I would never get anything done ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

I've managed to break several jars this way :blink: . To give you an idea of how small my hands are, my ring finger is a size 3 3/4 - 4. I can never get my hand around most jars to get a good grip. If my husband is not home, I make something else now :biggrin: . Although my son is of an age where he always says "Let me try Mom". Sometimes he even gets it open :rolleyes:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But this brings up something I've always wondered about. It seems some people can open jars and some can't. It's not just a male/female thing; I've known men who can't open jars and women who can. Where are the muscles that cause the distinction? Can you train to be an opener if you're currently a non-opener, or would you butt up against a genetic glass ceiling?

Play a lot of golf. You'll develop strength in your wrists and forearms as you play, and as far as I can tell, those are the muscles you use to open up a lid...

I play a lot of golf, it doesn't help me :biggrin: . Of course, maybe you have to play golf well to build up those muscles :biggrin: .

You can however, use wrist weights (they're sringy things), to develop wrist and finger strength which may help in opening said jar.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think powerlifting is what you need to build up your overall strength.

People bring me jars to open.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think powerlifting is what you need to build up your overall strength.

People bring me jars to open.

I power lift, and I still can't open jars :biggrin:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Running the lid under hot water often works. Something about the metal lid expanding? Then wrap the jar in a kitchen towel and give the lid a few firm whacks to loosen things up.

Alternatively, loosen things up with a stiff gin-and-tonic and toss the stupid jar back into the cupboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

any knife stuck between jar and lid and turn the tip either left or right. breaks the seal everytime especially on those jar lids that overlap the top of the jar. Sometimes you need a really thin steak knife to get between the lid and jar but works everytime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The key is not to crank down on it too hard. If you apply slow but steady pressure, using something that gives you good grip, eventually it will give without giving yourself an aneurysm. If your arms are shaking or you get little floating things in your vision, you are working too hard.

If that don't do it, beat the tar out of it. But don't try to snap the top off. Think of it as unscrewing the top really slowly...


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use something similar to this gadget and I have never since had a problem opening a jar. I can always find a size of the jaws to fit any jar (though I haven't tried those Costco monster jars), and then opening it is just child play (squeeze the handles and turn the jar). The little jaws at the end can be used for things like the 2 litre Coke bottles.

B00004RHRD.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

The only issue now is that I can't open jars without my little gadget, so if I'm at somebody's house I have to ask for help :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
any knife stuck between jar and lid and turn the tip either left or right. breaks the seal everytime especially on those jar lids that overlap the top of the jar. Sometimes you need a really thin steak knife to get between the lid and jar but works everytime.

My SO's father has an amusing collection of thin steak knives with bits of their ends broken off in subtly varying patterns. :wink:


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that bangs jars upside down on the floor to pop the seal. Maybe I'm not as weird as I thought. It does work though.


Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...