It really works
Heat it. Freeze it. Hit the lid with a spoon. Hit the bottom with a knife. Yell at it. There are countless methods for opening a stubborn jar, but odds are, you’re just running with the methods that you saw your parents use when you were growing up. But do you really know how effective your method is versus the other ones? Probably not, but fortunately, a resourceful foodie over at Food 52 went through the roster of methods and then mashed them up to find what she declares the best way to open a jar.
And luckily, it doesn’t involve employing or even learning 11 different tricks as this Hellman’s video suggests we do.
That said, the method presented doesn’t just hinge on one technique, but several techniques used in concert. Gaining advantages via gravity, expansion, and friction, writer Sarah Jampel offers up a solution that can be summed up (and thus remembered) in just a few words.
Turn the jar upside down, submerge it in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two, and then use a boosted-traction method to twist it open.
Inverting the jar is important because the culprit is normally dried or crystallized food on the inside of the lid’s threads. Turning the jar upside down to rest allows warm water to seep in and soften the dried substances. Hot water will also expand the metal lid much faster than glass, giving you another advantage. As for the “boosted traction,” a dishtowel or silicone pot holder works as well as anything.
If that doesn’t get the job done, there’s recourse. You’ll want to repeat the second step, perhaps using hotter water and a longer soak time. Also, it doesn’t hurt to give the lid of the jar a quick knock or two to help loosen any stubborn food inside the lid.
That should get even the most stubborn jars open. If not, maybe it’s time to question if you were really meant to eat those olives. Because potato chips would never do this to you.
If you’re able to open the jar, take a step to ensure that you don’t have to go through this ordeal again by simply covering the open jar with plastic wrap before screwing the lid back on. It’s a quick measure that, when taken, ensures you’ll never have to use any of the above tactics ever again.