Tricks of the Trade — Jars
If you cook, or know someone that does, you’ve seen it. The face contortions, the grunting, the jar pressed against the stomach in an effort to muster that last bit of torque. I’m of course talking about stubborn jars that just won’t twist open. It happened tonight as Gansie was preparing dinner. Sitting in the living room, it of course was my duty to help out with jar opening. After getting past the inevitable whining that she has to ask a guy to help, she handed me the roasted red peppers. With a wry, knowing smile, I took the jar to show my masculinity. Two minutes later, all that was left of me was a throbbing arm. My dignity had long since departed.
I had to recover. Over the mocking comments from Gansie, I went for the rubber hot pad. This would give much more grip, I reasoned. Try as I might, nothing.
Next up, desperation. The synapses in my brain fired, at most, three times and decided that if I popped a hole in the top of the lid, it would break the suction. After much hammering with a fork and then knife, I was left with a dented aluminum top, but no peppers.
Then it hit me. I remembered what my mom used to do when I was young: slam the side of the lid on the floor. So after a couple of hits on a granite tile, an amazing thing happened. The freaking thing opened up like Tom Cruise on Oprah.
Here’s a pic of the damage to the lid:
I suppose the dent accomplished what I was trying to do with the knife and fork, release the suction.
If you are still reading this (no offense if you checked your email instead), what other tricks of the trade are out there? I’ve also heard that running a jar under hot water works. But I am sure there are tons of tricks that people know of. Comment away…
The hot water works, but if you’re a clutz like I am, you inevitably get water in the stupid jar, which is pretty disgusting depending on what you’re opening. My mom and sister swear by this doohickey thing that pops the lid from the side… I don’t recall what it’s called, but I’ve used it a few times and it works. But your lid can’t be bigger than or smaller than a certain size.
I prefer the grunt, swear, pause for a minute, then try again; my first grunt has inevitably loosened the lid. I think?
PS with that first pic, I thought you were going to give us some amazing trick using our mouse cord. Haha
One’s ability to open a jar has more to do with hand size than with strength. Gripping ability does come into play, but to a much lesser extent, which is why the rubber pad thing is rarely of any help.
I have very small hands, so unless it’s a jar of capers, I usually need some trick to get the jar open. Since I will probably go the rest of my life living without a man, I’ve made it a priority to master the techniques.
Whacking the jar against the counter is by far the most effective strategy, but another one that I’ve had success with is wedging a spoon under the lid to release the suction. 99% of the time one of these methods will do it.
CAROLINE, I AGREE THE SIDE OF THE COUNTER TOP OR AS I REMEMBER CAREFULLY TAKING THE WOOD HANDLE OF A KNIFE, ECT AND TAPPING THE LID USUALLY WORKS TOO GOOD LUCK
PS. GANSIE CAN BE TOUGH AT TIMES; WHATEVER WE STILL LOVE HER A BUNCH, ( NOT SURE WHAT OF THOUGH?? YOU CAN FILL THAT IN YOURSELF)
Wrapping a rubber band around the lid of the jar usually does the trick for me. A method my mom uses is to loosen the lid by slipping the pointy edge of a knife and applying a little bit of pressure under the lid at 4 or 5 different places.
Get a butter knife, slide it under the edge of the lid until it wedges between the thingy that keeps the lid on (thread?) and the lid itself. Tilt the knife up and voila….seal broken. It sounds really complicated written down but its not I swear.