The Clever Trick To Open Canned Sardines Without The Oily Mess

Sardines in a bowl with salt
Sardines in a bowl with salt - Civil/Shutterstock

Are you a militantly clean cook? Does the thought of opening a can of sardines fill you with dread because of the fear of oily splatters and smelly odors penetrating your kitchen counters? Fortunately, we've got a clever trick to allay your anxieties — simply peel back the ring pull on the lid while pushing the can back inside the carton it came in. This nifty hack, which comes courtesy of essencebbqlab's TikTok video, eliminates oily messes by containing them inside the box.

While it's possible to wipe oily residues off most treated worktops with a simple spray of detergent, it's a messy job that can trap offensive smells in cleaning cloths. Opening your can of sardines neatly also spares your fingers from becoming oily and absorbing that unwelcome fishy odor. This smell can often linger on the skin (and in the kitchen) even after you've washed your hands with soap and water. Luckily, a spritz of fresh lemon juice can neutralize fishy odors, but bypassing the need to use the citrus in the first place is a better move.

Keeping as much oil as possible inside the can also has a hidden benefit — you can use it in recipes (particularly if it's a good quality olive oil that's been infused with aromatics, like garlic and dried herbs). A drizzle of this flavorful oil is delicious when combined with sardines and used an as an avocado toast topper.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Use The Sardine Carton To Your Advantage

open can of sardines
open can of sardines - Jackf/Getty Images

To make use of this trick, start by opening the flaps at one end of your box of sardines. You need to do this neatly without ripping the cardboard because you'll be sliding the can back inside the original carton. Push the flaps inside the box so they sit flush against the sides. Then open the can very slightly by pulling back on the ring pull as normal. Be mindful that you need to do this only until the edge of the tin lifts up and not any further. This is where you're going to slide the top edge of the open box underneath the lifted edge of the tin while the border of the base sits inside the carton. Next, continue to pull back on the ring pull while simultaneously sliding the can back inside the box by pushing it in with your fingers.

Once the majority of the can is in the carton, wiggle the rest of the lid off by slowly moving it from side to side. Now you can glide the open can out of the carton, leaving you with a tin of sardines that's immaculately clean and a countertop that's free from oily splatters and greasy spillages. With so many tasty uses for canned sardines, you'll soon be employing this mess-free hack on the regular.

Read the original article on Tasting Table