So THAT's What The Annoying Pull Tab On Cooking Oil Bottles Is Actually For

No, you shouldn't just throw it away.
Javier Zayas Photography via Getty Images

It’s, err, interesting learning that so much about the way I cook is wrong. First came the news that you’re meant to cool your spuds fully after parboiling to ensure perfect roasties; then, it turned out I’m not even using my colander right.

And now, I discover that I don’t even understand how a bottle of cooking oil works.

If you’ve ever opened a bottle of oil, you’ll know that once you’ve cracked the top open, there’s a ring pull which allows you to peel off a seal.

This tab always ends up in my bin, because it seems like it just gets in the way of my pour ― but it turns out that not only should we all be keeping it in, but that delay is actually the point of the ring.


Yep! Turns out we could all be using the tabs to help make our food prep that little bit smoother.

In a video shared by Cookist on Instagram, it turns out that lifting the tab off the top of your oil, flipping it onto its back, and then placing it back inside the oil bottle’s lid can help to provide a steadier pour.

The ring pull on top of the cover clings to the blunted “tooth” of the cap, providing a smaller, more even opening for your oil to escape ― meaning you won’t have to deal with those unexpected glugs of oil when you’re only after a little dash.

People were pretty excited to spot the hack

One commenter said that knowing this hack “would have been helpful from the beginning” (having accidentally spilled about half a bottle of sunflower oil onto my roast potatoes this Christmas, I have to agree with them).

Some other commenters said that the tab fell out when they tried to use this method; having tried it myself, I can see the risk, but sliding the tab’s ring onto the “teeth” below, angling it about 45 degrees above your pan, and squeezing the bottle while pouring gently helps.

Of course, you can nab yourself an oil pourer if this method doesn’t work for you ― but if you’re in a pinch, I agree with the commenter who said the method is “genius”.

You can watch the video here: