Christmas is coming up, and I generally help by opening the cranberry sauce:

Tin of sauce

I generally open the can on one end -- the bottom, which is not raised -- with a can opener. When I flip the can over, it doesn't slide out because of the vacuum created.

I have tried going around the edge with a knife, from the open side, but then I cut into the cylinder of cranberry sauce, which is not neat. I've also considered opening the top as well, but because of its convex lip, there is no safe way to do so with a can opener.

What is a better way to break the vacuum?


4 Answers 4


Use a straw or coffee stirrer to break the seal.

enter image description here

Insert the straw or stirrer along the side of the can until it reaches the bottom. The pull back on the straw or stirrer just enough so that the bottom of the can does not form a seal. Your cranberry sauce should slide right out.


This is a product designed for the purpose, but I believe uncommon enough to many people that I can add it as an answer:

It's called a Church-Key can opener, and it looks like this:

enter image description here

It is usually used for draining liquids from a can, but I use it also on cranberry jelly jars, to let in some air. It will break the surface of the jelly unless you're careful, usually after some practice.

You hook the pointy end to the lip of the can, and pull up, prying against the can lip until the point goes through the can, relieving the vacuum.

Another method you can try is using a pencil to slide up the inside of the can, to let the air in, without piercing the opposite end. Usually a little shaking (lightly) can bring it from the can in one unscarred piece.


Do exactly what you did (cut around the bottom), but then make a hole in the top of it - a screwdriver or similar should be enough to break the vacuum.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I really don't want to be jabbing a screwdriver into a metal can...
    – Mooseman
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 22:11
  • That's fair enough. I don't know then, I'm afraid.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 22:12
  • You can use the sharp bottom of a bottle opener instead.
    – michaelpri
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 22:14

If it is not already mashed up in the can:

  • cut the formed cranberries into slices neatly

  • mash it up to make it look as if it were not from the can

  • 2
    Hello! Welcome to Life Hacks Stack Exchange and Thank You for your contribution :) This post seems like a possibly helpful comment, but not exactly a answer :( If you could arrange this post so that it answers the question better that would be awesome! If you can't find a better way to fix this post, then answering or asking another post would be greatly appreciated :) If you need any help go to Meta or Chat and I or somebody else would be more than happy to help you :) I hope to see you around Life Hacks Stack Exchange in the future ;)
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 23:28

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