Skip Navigation

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

When you're at home and craving that chili in the cupboard but can't find the can opener, don't fret. Before giving in and ordering a pizza, there are a few different methods you can use to open most canned foods. Remember to use extreme caution for each of these methods as any rough cuts in the metal can be very sharp. 


Chef's knife

 

This method can be unsafe if done incorrectly, but works the same way as an old-fashioned can opener. Take the pointed corner of the blade near the handle and puncture holes all around the top of the can. This can take some effort, but once you make your way around the lid, you'll be able to lift it easily.

 

alt

Spoon

This method will take a little more arm strength. Make sure to wrap the spoon in a towel or wear gloves as to avoid injury from the spoon digging into your hand. Rub the edge of a spoon along the inside seam between the lid and the edge of the can. You should feel the metal thinning as you rub a small section. Eventually, you'll be able to force the spoon through the metal. From there, you can move the spoon around the top to open the can fully.

alt

Concrete and knife

This method is a last ditch effort to try at home or to be used when you're camping. Flip the can upside down and rub it against rough concrete or a flat-surfaced rock. You may be able to perforate the seam enough for you to slip a knife under the lid. When you notice moisture on the concrete or rock, flip the can over and use a knife to pop open the lid.

alt