Is your cooking missing something?
Do you ever wonder if the distinct taste of a dish is due to not using non-stick cooking spray?
Non-stick cooking sprays are products specifically designed and engineered to help facilitate an effortless cooking experience.
Most importantly it gives your dishes a rich flavor without making any recipe overly complicated.
But, sometimes it’s hard to find or you simply want a substitute for it.
Fortunately, there are several options that will help you attain the same desired result when it comes to cooking with non-stick spray substitutes – from oil to butter and even alternatives like vegetable shortening each one offers unique health benefits and particular tastes that can make any meal extraordinary.
Let’s dive into how each can be used effectively and the five best substitutes for non-stick cooking spray.
What is Non-Stick Cooking Spray?
Non-stick cooking sprays are aerosol products designed to reduce sticking and simplify the cook’s tasks.
Spray a non-stick product on cookware before cooking, and the food won’t stick.
It can also be used to lubricate pans for delicate doughs like croissants, as well as for greasing bundt and tube pans for baking.
In addition, it can be sprayed into baking tins lined with pastry to facilitate turning out of moist cakes or sticky desserts like American-style cheesecakes.
Moreover, you can also use it to coat measuring cups and spoons when measuring honey and molasses so that they come out easily.
Non-stick cooking spray is made up of oils or fats (used in rehydrated form) mixed with emulsifiers that help keep the oil mixed until applied while helping it dry on contact with air, leaving a dry coating behind.
While simple olive or vegetable oil can often fulfill the same task, you may find that using a non-stick spray is more convenient since it is sprayed directly onto a surface, making it easier and less messier than brushing the surface with a brush or cloth dampened with oil.
It should be noted that some non-stick sprays contain up to 20% propellants (usually propane/butane), so if you plan on using them often make sure to look at the ingredients label before buying One important thing to note before using non-stick spray; make sure to shake it well before use as leaving clumps will result in an uneven coating of your cookware which will lead to sticking after all.
Although necessary in some applications like baking cakes and muffins or preventing food from sticking onto surfaces such broiling pans, there have been negative health concerns associated with them due partially due to their release of chemicals triggered by heat application from ovens or stovetops as well as releasing these chemicals into your food when used incorrectly by spraying large amounts when not necessary.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Non-Stick Cooking Spray
Unfortunately, if you’re running low on cooking spray or simply want to switch up your pantry products, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one product.
Here are five of the best non-stick cooking spray substitutes you can use in place of a regular cooking spray.
1 – Butter
Butter is an excellent substitute and can help to create a layer of non-stick protection to ensure that your food doesn’t stick while it cooks.
However, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of when you’re substituting butter.
First, butter has a much lower smoke point than many non-stick cooking sprays do, which means that it will burn more easily – so be sure to keep an eye on your food or risk overcooking it.
Additionally, butter is high in saturated fat – so for those looking for a healthier alternative to cooking sprays, consider opting for a lower fat or vegan option such as coconut oil.
Finally, because butter is solid at room temperature, you will need to measure out your desired amount and melt it before use.
This will add more time to the cooking process and can make it difficult to get even coverage while cooking.
2 – Lard
Lard has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest and most popular non-stick cooking spray substitutes.
It is derived from the rendered fat of pork, and is often used for sautéing or roasting meats or vegetables.
Like butter, lard adds flavor to dishes, provides a small amount of nourishment and is a source of vitamins as well.
However, it can sometimes add a greasy taste to certain dishes if it’s not used in moderation.
To prevent that from happening, make sure to use a high quality lard made from pure pork fat and avoid using any with extra additives like preservatives or coloring agents.
Some people also opt for vegetable-based lards made from palm or coconut oils for a healthier alternative.
3 – Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great substitution for non-stick cooking spray if you’re trying to get away from the added chemicals.
It’s incredibly healthy and provides plenty of flavor as you cook.
It has a lower smoke point, but it is more than capable of handling medium-high heat without burning.
It also contains healthy fats, (such as omega 3 fatty acids), that can help provide essential nutrients and energy for our bodies.
For each tablespoon of olive oil used in a dish, there’s about 120 calories and 13 grams of fat.
In terms of health benefits, studies have indicated that those who consume regular amounts actually reap lower levels of cholesterol in their body overall.
So not only is olive oil tasty and healthier than non-stick cooking spray alternatives, it can improve our starting health levels too.
4 – Vegetable Shortening
For a longer-lasting substitute to non-stick cooking spray, vegetable shortening is a great alternative.
Though it may be more difficult to evenly spread on certain surfaces, it can help almost any recipe achieve the right amount of texture, browning and crispiness.
Be sure to avoid hydrogenated vegetable shortening if possible as these tend to release free radicals when heated.
When looking for a replacement for non-stick cooking spray, it’s also important to consider how much oil or grease is necessary to produce the desired result in each recipe or application.
Too much oil could lead to some dishes having an unacceptably slick texture and taste.
Additionally, too little oil may mean that meals won’t cook properly or evenly and that baked goods won’t have enough moisture content resulting in dry and tasteless desserts.
Vegetable shortening’s texture often helps recipes reach desired textures without adding too much fat.
5 – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may not have the same no-stick convenience as cooking sprays, but it is a great substitute for all sorts of purposes.
One advantage this natural fat source has over its artificial counterpart is that it gives you all of the health benefits associated with coconut, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and K, lauric acid and other compounds.
The melting point of coconut oil is around 76 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 25℃), so if you are using it in place of non-stick spray for baking applications, make sure you measure the temperature of your oven before cooking.
To use it as a non-stick alternative, preheat your pan first (and make sure you don’t get it too hot).
Fully coat the surface in coconut oil using a brush or paper towel and heat it at low or medium temperature until hot.
Make sure you spread the coconut oil evenly over the entire surface of your pan before adding food.
You should also periodically check that your pan’s surface remains covered in coconut oil while cooking to prevent sticking and burning.
Going for healthy, non-toxic cooking doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite recipes.
With the right substitutes, you can make healthier versions of nearly any dish using natural, healthful ingredients.
No matter which alternative you choose, remember that it is important to read product labels and research ingredients thoroughly.
Look for natural items that are free of chemicals and preservatives as well as unhealthy trans fats.
Doing this ensures a healthier version of your favorite recipes while keeping that same delicious flavor.