There are some things in life you take for granted that anyone should be able to do in the kitchen: Boiling water, heating up frozen dinners, and opening cans. Apparently, though, there's some question about that last one.
A video on YouTube from Cast Iron Chaos is sparking lots of discussion on the right way how to use a can opener. In the video, which has over 700,000 views, you see someone use the gadget in a vertical position and then flip the simple kitchen tool up to a horizontal position with the turning handle on top of the can.
The comments on the video range from surprised to disbelief to warnings. The discussion on this "new" way to open tin cans with a can opener is less about if the method works than if it's a good idea.
Several commenters were shocked by the revelation. One user commented, "Better than breaking every manual can opener I've owned. Thank you!!" We've all been taught the old-fashioned way, so this so-called proper way might take a bit of practice. Muscle memory is no joke; it can be a weird feeling if you've never opened a can with the manual opener in the horizontal position. My mother has a Pampered Chef can opener that is designed to be used that way and, I swear, every time I visit her, I have to ask her how to use it because it doesn't feel right.
But know how is one thing. The safety of this method is another thing to consider. Cast Iron Chaos said, "It works. However, I spilled water all over everything. And what's more, this edge feels very sharp."
If you read the YouTube comments, you'll see similar opinions. Lily Eturnal said, "I just did it. It really does work and I also spilled water all over. Edges are sharp and dangerous." Kenbo Jones countered, "I think it all depends on the can and/or what the can is made of. I've seen some cans where the lip is too high to open it from the sides. I've also seen some cans that when opened, left a nice clean smooth edge with no protruding shavings."
For the record, based on a personal experiment, the method shown in the video does work. The manual can opener's cutting wheel bites into the can just below the lip of the can's lid, making it easy to lift the lid off without that awkward pulling the sharp lid back or it falling into the can. However, instead of sharp edges on the cut lid, you have to deal with sharp edges on the can itself. If you try this method, don't reach into the can for that last bit of food, as the cutting edge is dangerously sharp.
If you have an electric can opener, this will cut the lid off completely from the top, so you won't have to go through any steps for how to use it. However, since most of us equip our kitchens with classic hand-held can openers, the trick described above is amazingly useful! As long as you're careful with the sharp edge, this creative and unconventional method will revolutionize your can-opening experience. To try the trick for yourself, the OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Can Opener is the way to go.
This can opener is made for convenience and comfort, with large handles that allow you to grip it tightly with no pain or discomfort. Even when wet, the non-slip handles are easy to grasp. Plus, the knob is made to turn easily so that you can do as little work as possible when opening cans. With a cutting wheel made of stainless steel is sharp and made to last. This can opener is easy to buy on Amazon and will forever change how you open cans!
This post was originally published on August 14, 2018.
Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
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