Best Substitutes For Nonstick Cooking Spray

nonstick pan spray

Ever since it was invented, the nonstick cooking spray remains to be one of the unavoidable kitchen helpers. It serves a variety of tasks in the kitchen and outside of it as well. It is a spray form of an oil or lubricant applied to fry pans and other cookware to prevent food from sticking during the preparation.

Many of the cooking sprays available on the market today have less food energy per serving than other available choices; therefore it does remain the most popular and widely used nonstick emulsifier during the food preparation.

Cooking spray sounds like a perfect solution during your cooking process keeping your food from sticking, while at the same time keeping the calories low, since, unlike other forms, it is sprayed over the pan in a very thin layer.

If, during your magic culinary performances in the kitchen you find yourself in a bit awkward situation such as running out of the cooking spray, do not panic, there are numerous excellent substitute solutions.

What can be used as a substitute for nonstick cooking spray?

Possibilities are endless and there are many different, just as good working solutions to replace nonstick cooking spray. Putting it simply, anything greasy will just do the work and bring you desired results. Resort to various tricks so that your biscuits, pastries, and other dishes do not stick to the bottom of the pan and in the end come out perfectly.

You may try the most common replacement, the parchment paper, or other substitutes such as olive oil, butter, margarine, regular oil, and even the combination of these ingredients with flour.

Most stores sell cooking sprays which contain much more than just oil. The oil in a container is very often thinned with water, containing also other chemicals and ingredients such as lecithin or emulsifier, diethyl silicone which is an anti-foaming agent, and butane or propane which helps to get it out of the can.

If you wish to avoid these added chemicals and ingredients, or you simply do not want to use the cooking spray for health, money, or environmental reasons, then try using some of our recommended excellent substitutes for nonstick cooking spray: the parchment paper as the most common choice, butter or lard, regular cooking oil, olive oil, or give a try our little trick with the flour dusting.

1. Parchment paper

Nowadays, the use of baking or parchment paper in the kitchens became more widespread than anything else. Amazingly enough, in the past, before the parchment paper alone was invented, housewives in some parts of the world even used the newspapers (very much undesirable today).

Parchment paper is not an expensive kitchen assistant and if you just consider the price of oil as a replacement, it is definitely more than a helpful and useful household helper. Thanks to a thin layer of wax-coated on both sides, the parchment paper is definitely the healthiest substitute as it doesn’t need any additional oiling.

2. Butter (and/or lard)


Both of these are excellent and well-working alternatives to the cooking spray. When melted a bit, it is easily spread either with your fingers, silicone kitchen brush, or a piece of kitchen towel.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind when using butter as a substitute for the cooking spray is to use it in such a way that the thinnest possible layer is applied. The reason for this is in its flavor; if applied too much, it can significantly change the flavor of your dish or cake.

To ease the usage, it is recommended to use butter for baked goods while lard will work perfectly for roasted meat and vegetables.

3. Regular oil or olive oil

Another great substitute for the cooking spray is just plain, high temperature, and healthy cooking oil. It can be sunflower oil, avocado oil, or just about any other you have in your kitchen.

A simple piece of kitchen towel will do great work when applying the thin layer of oil onto the frying pan or baking tray to make sure you avoid the extra fat in your recipe. Again, be careful with the dosage, especially if you are using olive oil; it can significantly change the flavor of the meal if it is over-applied.

On the other side, if you use it for the preparation of vegetables and especially fish dishes, a few drops more will actually do the miracle for the flavor and your end result.

4. Dusting with flour!

dusting flour

Do not be surprised by this suggestion! If you have ever seen this method in any recipe, belief, it is excellent and does great work for your dish without the danger of flavor changing. There are two ways to use this great substitute.

The first one is to simply apply a thin layer of oil, butter, olive oil, or any other “greaser”, depending on your recipe. Add about a handful of flour and shake the pan or tray until the flour is spread evenly, and then toast away the rest.

This is a fantastic way to prevent you from having bunt cakes, muffins, or any other pastry from sticking to the bottom. Additionally, you can prepare this fantastic spreadable mixture in advance, store it, and simply use it whenever needing a handy, fast, and simple substitute for cooking spray.

5. Homemade non-stick cooking spray

One of the easiest and probably the cheapest substitutes you can use comes in the form of homemade nonstick cooking spray. All you will need is a plant mister bottle or refillable spray bottle. You can use about two tablespoons of canola oil mixed with 1 cup less two tablespoons of water.

This homemade recipe can be also done with regular cooking oil or olive oil too, however, keep in mind that it is not recommended to keep it standing for too long as it may become rancid. This option would serve the best as the one-time solution.

Make sure you shake the bottle before each use and simply use these homemade sprays the same way you would use and other commercial non-stick cooking sprays.

Taking the time to properly lubricate your frying pans or baking trays is really worth the time invested. Doing this as the very first step in your recipe will ensure that your hard work, time, and ingredients are not wasted and that the perfect dish ends on your table.

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