“I don’t think anything should get in the way of you opening a jar,” says Julia Turshen. The author of Feed the Resistance and Now & Again recently launched a new podcast called Keep Calm and Cook On — a handy sentiment for anyone who’s ever experienced the extreme frustration of trying and failing to open a jar.
Turshen’s preferred solution for quick and frustration-free jar access is the Swing-A-Way jar opener. This stainless steel and rubber tool, which looks a little bit like a demented hair clip, clamps onto a jar lid so you can twist it open.
The manufacturers cite “leveraged twisting” and “spring-loaded power,” which sounds like some complex physics or dark magic. But really, the tool adjusts to grip the outside of any lid or bottle cap, and the ergonomic, easy-on-your-wrists handle lets you get a good grip. The tool is light and compact, unlike many bulky can openers — about nine inches long and four inches wide — so it easily slots into a utensil drawer. Plus, you can throw it in the dishwasher when it gets grimy.
Amazon reviewers praise this tool as a godsend, particularly for people with arthritis or injuries that make opening things difficult or painful. But it’s nothing newfangled: Turshen learned about the Swing-A-Way from her grandmother, after seeing it in her kitchen “probably decades ago.” She says that other jar-opening methods — like putting a rubber band around the lid, running it under hot water, or using rubber gloves for extra grip — all pale in comparison to the Swing-A-Way.
“I find this just to be really easy,” she says. “It works every time.”
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