There are three methods described in "How to Open Cans Without a Can Opener."
What's the last time something like this occurred to you? Maybe you're making one of these canned tuna recipes, and you're at some weird Airbnb where there isn't a can opener and nobody brought their Swiss Army knife. What to do The alternative is to give up and look into your area's takeout options. However, please You're not the type to give up easily. What would you do if you needed to open a can immediately and didn't have access to a can opener?
Cans can be opened in a variety of ways, and most of them only require everyday items. Keep in mind that the can's lid is just a thin sheet of metal that was designed to be pried open. Knives, spoons, and even forks are generally stronger and thicker, and it only takes a slightly stronger object to pierce the surface.
If you have some time on your hands, we recommend wearing down the lid's edges until it breaks, as this is the simplest (and safest) way to open a can without a can opener. Following the steps below, you can accomplish this by rubbing it with a metal spoon. If that doesn't do the trick, or if you just want to save some time, try prying the can open with the heel of your hand instead of the point. (Like the edge of a chef's knife,
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But imagine you're completely unprepared: you're making dinner over a campfire, but you only brought along the barest essentials for cooking. The smooth side of a rock can be useful in that situation. All three approaches will be discussed in detail below.
Caution: even in the best of conditions, the edges of a can are dangerous. Use extreme caution when employing nontraditional approaches; splinters, cuts, and other injuries could easily occur.
Method: A Spoon Is Your Best Bet
Using this technique requires only a few minutes and a spoon. Get a good hold on the bowl by i e hold a solid spoon (by the bowl, not the handle) in the palm of your hand, with your four fingers curled around it for a firm grip. It's best to rest your index finger near the joint of the bowl and the handle. Your pinky should rest inside the bowl's curve, where it will provide stability and make the tool easier to control. Your pinky finger should rest just above where the spoon's tip protrudes.
Applying heavy pressure, rub the spoon's tip back and forth along the crimped edge of the can, right where a can opener would normally make a hole. Don't stop scratching at the metal until it's worn down. After a few minutes, a hole will form. To open the can, insert the spoon into the hole and use the edge of the spoon to pry up and around the can's edge to break off the top. Working your way around the can's rim, widen the cut you've made until the lid can be pried off.
You can use a screw driver or another sharp metal object in place of a spoon if necessary. You can also try to poke a hole in the lid using a fork with a sharp enough tine. Beware, though; you might also end up breaking the fork.
Another Approach: the Chef's Knife
If you're in a hurry and/or feel comfortable with a knife, you can use the heel of a chef's knife (the part of the blade closest to the handle) as a makeshift can-opener. This is preferable to cutting with the point, which can slip (and even break), resulting in injury and the destruction of your knife. You'll want to look for a knife where the heel isn't covered by the bolster (the bolster is the bulky part that sits in front of the handle on some knives).
Grab the handle firmly and line up the heel of the blade with the inside edge of the can's rim. Carefully avoiding the blade, perforate the lid by pushing the heel corner down and digging in at an angle, much like an old-fashioned lever-type can opener. It is necessary to perform this procedure several times around the can's rim before the lid can be weakened enough to be pryed open.
It's also possible to try puncturing the can with the tip of a pocket knife or a small paring knife, provided the can is placed flat on a sturdy surface. Be careful A slip of the knife is possible if either the can or the knife is handled carelessly. Make a series of evenly spaced holes around the can's rim, and the lid will pop off.
As an Alternative, Try a Rougher Surface
Put this technique in your back pocket for the next time you're toolless. A large, relatively flat rock or slab of concrete will do, and a soft cloth can be used to wipe the lid down afterwards. You just have to find a rough surface, lay the can's top flat on it, and shake it. Finally, break the seal by sanding the can's rim against a hard surface. Clear away the metal bits, remove the lid, and proceed with cooking/consuming the contents. That's it
Although time-consuming, this method can be used to open a can in an emergency. We assume that you are in dire straits if you are trying to open a can without a knife or spoon. Tips: Occasionally squeeze to help separate the seal and rotate the can to evenly wear down the edge. A broken seal can be identified by the presence of moisture on the rock.
The YouTuber Mr. Hacker demonstrates these techniques and provides links to even more that can be tried.
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