The Oil Can

Pausing in my back-log of restaurant experiences and pseudo-reviews, I want to talk about a neat little thing I picked up for the kitchen not too long ago: an oil can.

No, not the poppa-poppa-sounding one they used to keep the Tin Man from freezing up, a cute little can to store and pour my olive oil when cooking. Vessels like this are not uncommon and I’ve seen a lot of ceramic or porcelain models painted prettily, but this one (found at my local Marshall’s for all of $2.99, this oil can from StainlessLUX is very similar) is stainless steel with a cute little handle, easy flip-up lid for refilling and long spout to pouring easy and mess-free (for the most part).

Like most households these days, we use olive oil (extra virgin, of course) almost every day when making dinner. Sure, pouring it straight from the bottle into the saute pan or stock pot is fine, but what about when you drizzle oil over steamed vegetables? Do you just let it glop on out of the bottle or do you put your fingers over the opening, trying to stem the flow a bit? Or do you try to hold the cap half-on, half -off to keep your fingers from getting oily (which never really works the way you want)? That’s when an oil can or cruet has a definite appeal.

From a practical side, it’s often cheaper to buy olive oil in larger bottles. But those bottles, even if they are molded to afford a slightly better grip, are still unwieldy when full and awkward when nearing empty. And I don’t know about you but I’m usually grabbing or stirring something while I drizzle, so having to maneuver the bottle with both hands isn’t ideal.

Aside from all that, it’s just plain fun to use! The night I brought it home was like Christmas morning playing with the new toy, swirling and swooping the oil can around. It’s almost balletic and you feel a little dainty, a little more elegant, a little more special for using a simple oil can instead of a bottle. Find one and try it and tell me if you don’t agree.