How to open a jar with a tight lid (15 genius hacks!)
Learn some genius hacks on how to open a jar with a tight lid without a jar opener.
Need to open that jar of Marinara sauce for your Chicken Pepperoni dish sizzling on the frying pan but the stubborn jar lid just will not budge?
We have all been there.
Sometimes we don’t have a jar opener, sometimes the jar opener we own is not much help either.
So, what do we do?
Is there hope to put dinner on the table tonight?
No fear! Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂
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How to open a stuck jar
You can attempt to open a tight lid by using any of the listed methods:
- weakening the seal by tapping
- improving grip on the lid
- expanding a metal lid with heat
- breaking the seal between lid and jar by inserting different objects under the lip of the lid.
Something will work out, for sure! 👍
First, take a look at the picture below to see some of the common household items to have on hand that will help you open a stuck jar lid. I bet you can find a majority of them at home.
But even if you don’t, do not despair.
Some of the hacks will not require any items at all.
A note before we proceed.
This article will concentrate on how to open vacuum sealed jars with a tight lid (the ones filled with preserved goods that you usually buy from the grocery store).
In case you need to open a stubborn lid on a jar with food preserved at home, then read my other article How to Open a Stuck Lid on a Mason Jar.
Let’s dive in!
Try to break a jar’s vacuum seal by applying “brute force” 🙂
There are a few ways to do it.
1) While holding a jar horizontally, bang the sides of the lid on the counter. Then proceed with unscrewing the lid.
2) Turn the jar upside down and tap it on the counter until the safety button in the lid pops.
3) Take a butter knife and bang on the sides of the lid with the knife handle.
In my experience. this method works the best for opening jars with tight wide-lipped lids (after the screw and a hammer method, of course).
4) While holding the jar at an angle pointing downward, hit the bottom of the jar a few times with the palm of the other hand.
Qpening a jar is easier when you have a good grip on the lid.
You can improve grip by using:
1) wide rubber band
Next time you bring a bunch of celery from the grocery store do not throw away that wide rubber band.
When you need to open a tight jar lid, slip a rubber band around it and proceed with unscrewing the lid.
2) plastic wrap
Tear a piece of cling plastic wrap and wrap it around the sides of the lid to improve grip. Unscrew the lid.
3) kitchen towel
Firmly hold the lid with a kitchen towel while opening a jar.
4) silicone oven mitt
Unscrew the lid while wearing a silicone oven mitt.
5) paper towel
Cover the lid with a paper towel and try to unscrew it in the usual manner.
To make your life in the kitchen easier – get yourself a handy set of practical, yet not expensive jar grips.
1) hot water
Hold the jar at an angle upside down and run a stream of hot water to expand the metal lid.
This method works especially well on a previously opened jar when the lid was closed by your husband😄 and stored in the fridge for some time.
2) hair dryer
Apply heat around metal lid.
Unscrew the lid.
Loosen a lid by wedging objects between lid and jar
For this task you can use:
1) a spoon
Push the spoon tip between a jar and a lid. While holding the jar with one hand, try to lift the wedged spoon up.
Go around the jar and do this in few places.
This should loosen the sides of the lid and break the seal.
It is better to use an old spoon for this process, because the spoon might get damaged.
2) a butter knife
Follow the same instructions as with a spoon.
Be aware that this might bend the knife blade though.
3) a screwdriver
Follow the same instructions as with a spoon.
4) a can opener that has a built in bottle opener
If the side of a lid is not wide, then opening the jar using the bottle opener on your can opener is a breeze, because the handles of the can opener provide good leverage.
Just wedge the little claw of the bottle opener under the lid and go around the jar lifting the sides of the lid in an up motion.
This is the easiest way to open jars with tight narrow-lipped lids.
If everything fails,
calm down and order Chinese food for dinner. 🍜
While waiting for food delivery, log onto your Amazon account and get a jar opener that opens jars each time with no fail.
Opening a jar with EZ Off jar opener works like a charm. It leaves marks on the side of the lid, though.
If you want to avoid a scratched lid, then get yourself:
1) metal Brix JarKey for opening jars with narrow-lipped lids
2) JarKey Maxi – specially designed for jar lids with thick lips (between .5 and .75 inches thick).
Yes, you will need both to be able to open any lid you need. But your jar opening task will become frustration free forever!
And then you will obtain peace and serenity in your kitchen. 🙂
Final thoughts on opening jars without a jar opener
To open a stuck jar lid without a jar opener is not easy, yet possible if you use some hacks based on physics, and common household items.
You can open a jar with a tight lid
- by applying force
- by improving grip
- by using heat
- by wedging an object under a lid.
In my experience, breaking a vacuum seal by punching a hole in the lid is a no -fail way to open a stuck jar lid.
If you are not a fan of having a hole in the lid, then firmly tapping the sides of the lid with a butter knife handle works the best for opening a jar with a tight lid.
The next best method is wedging a spoon or screwdriver between the lid and jar in order to break the seal.
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