So, apparently, we’ve all been using handheld can openers wrong this whole time ... or have we?!
A Reddit video post from August that's been picking up steam in the past few weeks supposedly showcases the “correct way” to use a can opener — a kitchen gadget that thousands (if not millions) of cooks use almost daily. In the video, the user places the handle that is used to turn the already-cut lid on the top of the can instead of on the side, as is traditionally done by many.
Then, the person magically lifts the lid off of the can without it falling inside!
The video has been viewed more than 2 million times, and the Reddit post has nearly 600 comments now. Of course, in classic Reddit style, many posters are angrily arguing about which method is right.
To see if this top-down way is actually best, TODAY Food asked the experts at America’s Test Kitchen, who just finished testing various can openers, to weigh in.
Lisa McManus, executive tasting and testing editor for America’s Test Kitchen, explained that there are two types of can openers: traditional and safety.
The one in the Reddit video is a traditional can opener, and she told TODAY Food it’s fine to use it either way. “The traditional (vertical) way is fine; you'll just have sharper edges on the lid, and the lid may sink into the can a bit,” McManus said via email. “People have been opening cans like this for decades and decades.”
“The tricky bit is if you reach into the can to retrieve the lid," she said, so, "instead, use a fork or spoon to lift it up and grab it carefully, away from its edge."
Some folks on Reddit and the social media sphere beyond are saying that it’s also unsafe to use it with the handle at the top instead of to the side, because it leaves the top edge of the can sharp. McManus said in her experience it isn’t super sharp and she advises simply handling it with care.
“Don't reach into the can," she advised. "Turn it over and dump out the contents into a bowl or pan, and scrape out anything left using a silicone spatula with a longer handle,” she said. Whatever you do, just "don't stick your hand in there.”
The second type of can opener is called a safety can opener, which is the style by Fissler that America’s Test Kitchen selected as their winner. This style of can opener is already designed to open the can like you see in the Reddit video which, according to America's Test Kitchen, has several advantages.
First, the lid, along with any dirt and dust, doesn’t fall into the can or its contents and the edges are not left as sharp, McManus said.
The trouble, she said, is that many cooks, even professionals in their kitchen, often have a difficult time figuring out how to place safety-style can openers correctly on the can in the first place.
Not sure if your kitchen skills are quite up to par? Here are 25 more common cooking mistakes.