Caviar newcomers often run into a roadblock when their first tin of caviar arrives at their door: how in the world are you supposed to open this tin?
Believe us; we’ve all been there before. Caviar tins are not intuitive to open, and there are not usually instructions on the package like you might see on other grocery store items.
It’s not unlike opening a bottle of wine — you need to learn how to open caviar the right way if you want to do so elegantly and not break a nail in the process.
Let’s walk you through exactly how to open a tin of caviar in a quick, efficient manner while impressing your guests at the tasting party in the process.
Why Are Caviar Tins Hard to Open?
It’s something we’ve all wondered... Why are these caviar tins so difficult to get open in the first place? It’s actually for a pretty good reason.
Here are the three reasons why:
Caviar is an exclusive, expensive, high-quality ingredient that requires a huge degree of planning and labor to produce.
Since wild-caught sturgeon are rarely used anymore for caviar, high-tech aquaculture operations are now needed to raise fish, obtain the roe, and prepare it properly.
In other words, caviar is definitely worth the price, and those who take pride in making it are sure to secure it in vacuum-sealed containers that offer maximum protection.
Air-tight containers prevent air exposure and ensure that no external bits of dust or debris can negatively impact the caviar itself.
Keep in mind that caviar is best enjoyed on the very day it’s filtered and cured. From there, the freshness of the caviar decreases over time, especially in malossol (low-salt) variations.
You want your caviar to be unmatched in terms of freshness, so dealing with a tricky sealed tin is a totally acceptable tradeoff.
The history of caviar is long and rich, spanning thousands of years and nearly every continent on the planet. Given the prestigious reputation of the ingredient, it’s no surprise that we still use the same utensils, accouterments, and storage methods that were mapped out centuries ago.
When it comes to a legendary product like caviar, tradition is simply part of the experience!
That’s why we treat each tin with such care and encourage customers to enjoy certain beverage pairings, garnishes, stainless-steel serving sets, and other aspects of the caviar tradition.
How to Open Your Caviar Tin
Whether you’ve got some premium Ossetra caviar, a Kaluga River hybrid, or any other variation of authentic caviar, we’ll show you how to get that tin open ASAP.
Here are three methods you can try and master over the course of your caviar career:
If you find yourself in a situation scrambling to open up a caviar tin on the fly, you can go into MacGyver mode and use some household items to get the job done.
The easiest, most common tool at your disposal is a (clean) coin from your pocket change. Just wedge that coin in between the lip and the lid, apply some horizontal pressure, and pry for a few seconds until the seal is popped open.
If you’re already in the kitchen, it may be easier to grab a butter knife from the drawer to accomplish the same thing or use a church-key bottle opener if one is available.
Yes, you can find specially-made caviar keys that are designed for this exact situation.
In fact, many trusted caviar distributors will include caviar keys in their shipments to customers as a small token of appreciation, so be sure to hold onto these items when your caviar arrives.
Presentation and consistency are a big part of the caviar experience, so trust us when we say that using a dedicated caviar key is far better than a dirty coin or a bottle opener for your beer!
Slip Tins and Other Types
Not all caviar tins are built the same way, so you may run into trouble when dealing with containers of larger quantities with unique shapes.
In some cases, caviar tins will pop open with a simple twist of the wrist, while other versions like slip tins require several minutes of ongoing pressure and release air in a careful manner.
This calls for lightly tapping the tin to shift the internal pressure while prying two parts open with steady effort.
It may be a job for you and a friend, and using gloves or towels can certainly help.
Caviar Opening Pitfalls To Avoid
You may feel inclined to bash your caviar tin or run it under warm water to accelerate the opening process. Avoid these methods at all costs.
Your best bet is to let the caviar come up to temperature on the counter (avoid any unnatural heating) and use our tips to get the tin open.
It may take slightly longer to open the tin properly, but you’ll be glad you did it the right way when you have beautiful caviar ready to enjoy.
Other Tips and Tricks
Keep in mind the following few tips and tricks to open caviar the right way and enjoy every bite.
Only Open Caviar When You’re Ready To Eat
Caviar should only be opened when you’re 100% certain it’s time to eat.
The freshness of the caviar diminishes rapidly once opened, so be sure to enjoy most of it when the tin is opened for the first time.
Be Sure To Store Opened Caviar Properly
If you don’t manage to finish all your caviar in one go, do your best to re-seal the tin (rubber bands can help). Then, store it once again in a near-freezing area in your fridge.
Finish Your Caviar Tin Sooner Rather Than Later
Don’t let your caviar sit for any longer than 48 hours after the seal is broken. After that time, the flavors and textures will simply not be up to par, and the experience is not worthwhile.
Enjoy the Best that Caviar Has to Offer
It takes a few tries to open caviar tins quickly and properly, but you have plenty of time to practice! Check out our selection of quality caviars and have them delivered to your door for your next celebration.