No Can Opener? Open Your Can With A Spoon Instead

From helping you upgrade a dry chicken dish to providing a flavorful and filling meal without any other ingredients, canned goods are just about the most convenient culinary experience you're likely to get — especially at their price. However, canned food is only able to transform into a quick and easy meal if you can breach the protective tin shell. Otherwise, your collection of canned pantry staples become nothing more than paper weights. Most people keep a can opener handy in order to avoid this issue, but when the tool goes missing, the millimeters of metal separating you from your meal can feel like miles. Fortunately, there's a simple way to open a can without a can opener. All you need is a spoon and a little elbow grease.


Start by grabbing your sturdiest spoon — plastic cutlery won't do for this hack. Firmly grasp the head of the spoon as you would a pole so that the handle sticks out past your thumb and a small sliver of the other end can also be seen. Press this edge of the spoon into the outer groove of the can in question. While applying pressure, saw the spoon back and forth until it breaks through the can. From there you should be able to use the spoon to break and pry open the lid until you can access whatever's inside.

Spoons are the safest way to break open a can

It's best to try this method with a spoon since it doesn't have any sharp edges that could cut you in the process. Still, be cautious with this method, as the edge of the can will be quite sharp. If you somehow find yourself in a situation with a can but no spoon, you can use tools like screwdrivers and pocket knives for a similar result. You could also use something like a chef knife. Just be sure to hold the knife properly as you usually would, and use the rear end of the blade to give yourself more control. Be extra careful not to cut yourself.


On the off-chance that you find yourself in some sort of survival scenario, it's even possible to open a can using nothing more than your bare hands. Vigorously grate the top of the can against a coarse surface like concrete. Eventually, this will break the seal and allow you to pry the lid open; you can also squeeze the can a bit to help release it. Of course, while it's extremely annoying to not be able to find the tool you need to open something (just look at all the ways people have come up with to open a bottle without a corkscrew), this method should be saved for emergency, apocalyptic scenarios. In the meantime, just keep a spoon around until you can get a new can opener.