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Cooking Sprays - Yea or Nay

I can't use these (Pam, etal.). I hate the fumes, the residues, the taste. Sister is a big fan and uses it on all of her non-stick pans, baking sheets, etc.

How do you measure in? I never buy it, but I can see the benefits. Food doesn't stick but I can't get past the rest of what's noted above. I just really don't like any of them so far. A lot of recipes call for it, even going so far as to "spray the loaf with" instructions.

How do you get around this? Mostly, I use butter or olive oil, even putting those ingredients on a paper towel to wipe them on the cooking utensil or food product.

Where do other 'hounds weigh in on this "must have" product?

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  1. I love them; there are olive oil & butter flavored sprays on the market..do you have an aversion to those too?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Cherylptw - I have not tried the olive oil but I did try the butter and ugh - I only tried it a couple times and gave it away.

      I know I'm not a "super taster" but really, I could taste the product on the finished food. I'll check out the olive oil, maybe.

    2. Except for the possibility of adding flavor to the foods being prepared, I can't see any reason to use a cooking spray in a "non'stick" pan or baking sheet.
      I prefer olive oil or vegetable oil, sometimes butter, but I do use cooking sprays. I buy only those that are pure vegetable oil products, avoiding things that are flavored. In addition to it's primary use as a frying agent, I've used it for oiling breads prior to baking (where it's called for) and I haven't detected any "off" flavors for having used them. Except for the propellant, there shouldn't be anything in the vegetable oil formula to affect the taste.
      I haven't gone to the trouble yet, but a friend of mine has a small spray bottle (one of those you find at the dollar store) filled with olive oil and uses that when she needs to use a sprayed oil.

      2 Replies
      1. re: todao

        Todao - My sis swears that it prevents the food from sticking even on the non-stick and when the baking sheets call for "greased" she uses the food spray. I've witnessed that nothing sticks, I just didn't like the end result. I thot maybe I was missing the point.

        Thanks for the input. I'll try this again and check for the pure vegetable oil only.

        1. re: todao

          Although nobody likes the idea of propellants in the cooking sprays, I'd by equally concerned about using a cheap plastic spray bottle unless I knew it didn't have bisphenol A or other suspect chemical makeup.

          When making something with phyllo, I alternate melted butter and butter-flavored Pam between the layers. This cuts the total butter amount while preserving the flavor, and using the spray makes assembly neater and faster than brusking melted butter.

        2. I do use the olive oil or regular Pam for spraying pan before baking, or sometimes for cooking. Just easier than oiling/greasing the pan, for me. Not crazy about the fumes, but too lazy to care that much. I would not spray my food, I don't think.
          However, if I remember correctly, you are not supposed to spray non-stick surfaces with these kinds of sprays because of the potential for damaging the surface.

          1 Reply
          1. re: elfcook

            Elfcook - Thanks for the feedback. I'll try this again.
            I've seen recipes for bread, mostly, that say "spray before covering w/ plastic wrap, to rise". I've always used butter or oil, instead.

            Things seem to stick even on "non-stick" which is when she taught me to use it, and I gave it up years ago, not happy with the results.

          2. From Querencia (on another thread)

            I do oven-fried catfish filets at 450*, rolling them in crumbs and laying them on a foil-covered cookie sheet that I have sprayed with PAM. Works out fine. Original recipe I followed (that I think was in that book on low-fat cooking by Oprah Winfrey's cook) said to spray the fish with PAM too (before crumbing) but I don't do that. The edges of the fish do get nice and crispy. Make sure the oven is pre-heated to that temperature before you put the fish in. I do not think this would hold together on a rack.

            See! I really need to embrace / figure out the whole cooking spray thing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JerryMe

              JM,

              You can purchase an non-aerosol spray can/pump, fill it with your oil of choice and spray/mist whatever it is you want to coat.....a pan, a muffin tray or actual food like roasts or oven baked fried chicken.

              http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&...

            2. never noticed any fumes to any great extent. they have their useful applications.