Why You Shouldn't Throw Away That Oil Pull Tab

If your cooking oil of choice is olive oil, you can probably picture the bottle that's currently sitting on your counter or in the depths of your kitchen cabinet. It's dark and opaque, likely made of plastic (especially if you got it at the supermarket or Costco), with some kind of olive imagery on the label and a screw-top lid. You reach for it often and know this bottle well — at least you think you do.

But there may be more to that plastic bottle of olive oil than you may have realized. It's designed with intention. You know that little plastic pull tab that you removed from the opening and immediately threw away? It turns out that piece is there for a reason, and thanks to discerning home cooks on social media, we're all in on the secret now. The pull tab is not just there to seal the bottle. This plastic ring can be actually be repurposed to allow for ideal oil flow.

How to actually use the pull tab in your olive oil

If you've ever tried to drizzle some olive oil out of its bottle, you know that pouring it can be hard to control — and the larger the bottle, the more difficult it is. Sometimes the oil just glug-glug-glugs its way out, seemingly taking on a life of its own, and before you even realize what's happening, you've got a huge puddle of oil drowning your dish. The trusty plastic pull tab that comes with your bottle can help you avoid all of that. 

If you simply flip the piece of plastic, it'll help prevent any olive oil mishaps while you cook — like an unwanted mess or excess oil that ruins a recipe — making your life in the kitchen that much easier. So how do you put it to use? Remove the tab like you normally would, then turn it upside down and push it back into the opening of the bottle. It may look like it's blocking the opening, but it's all in the design. There's just enough empty space around the plastic ring for the olive oil to pour out in a controlled, steady stream. 

Does this hack work for all bottles of oil?

Obviously this is a great hack for plastic olive oil bottles that come with that removable plastic ring inside. But what about glass bottles of olive oil, or other types of cooking oil? It all comes down to the specific bottle itself, and not all bottles are created equal.

This hack will only work with certain plastic oil bottles that were designed to be poured this way. If you buy your oil in a glass bottle, you most likely won't find this reversible tab inside. And while many other plastic bottles (whether they're olive oil, vegetable oil, or something else) do come with a removable tab — oftentimes you'll find that the piece of plastic is actually meant to be thrown away, because the bottles already have spouts that are shaped to help you pour. Look for a fully round opening on your bottle, and sometimes little petals around the edge that will hold the pull tab in place. And it's also worth noting that the bigger the bottle, the more likely that it is designed with that specific plastic tab, so go for those large containers of oil if you're looking to put this hack to the test.