Two opened cans of beans using two methods of opening the can
Cooking Tips

The Can Opener Method- Setting the Record Straight

Two unopened can of Trader Joe's brand black beans

For those of you who have been seeing those silly videos and bits about how “we’ve been using a can opener wrong this whole time!!! OMG!!!”, I’m here to set the record straight. There is more than one way to open a can using a can opener.

Okay, you already knew that. But know that there are good reasons to open it either way.

This brings back fond memories of my sandwich artist days in high school. Thwacking down that commercial can opener into the lid of a #10 can of tuna at full force then turning the handle like you’re taking a city bus on a U-turn brought a feeling of empowerment. I still wonder if the rumor about the guy, we shall call him, Christy Radford, was true. It was said that he did the same thing to the tuna as he did to the spray bottles when sentenced to cleaning desks in detention. We’ll never know.

Commercial Can Opener

Back to the can opener.

I was going to do a bunch of research and trace back when the first person decided that the handle should be placed on the side and not the top, or if that was even the case, when the first electric can opener was invented, and who the first genius was to come up with this “genius hack”.

But, that’s not important. What’s important is that you now know how to open a can two ways and after reading this, you’ll know which method you want to use for which cans!

Two opened cans of beans using two methods of opening the can

Side Method

Use the side method when you want to strain things that you don’t want to rinse, like water-packed tuna. Use this method if you like to clean the tops of your cans before opening too. It’s difficult to clean under the paper so you’d have to take it off and no one needs extra steps in their lives. Also use this method if you want a sharp lid, not can.

Top Method

Use the top method if you simply feel like changing it up a bit. Also use this method if you want a sharp can, not lid. But, watch out for paper using this method!

That’s it! Glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for reading!



Jillian believes her passion for cooking stems from the fact that she was born and raised in Southern California. The best climate conditions for growing the finest produce all year around and the diverse mix of cuisines have always been an inspiration to her. Her love and ability to make people happy by way of delicious food began at an early age and still grows today. She is the proud Chef and Owner of Jillian Fae Chef Services, a personal chef business specializing in private dinner parties, customized menus, and weekly meal preparation.

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