If you love to cook, you may find yourself needing cooking spray for greasing pans and baking dishes.
The first concern of many people is that cooking spray contains chemicals.
“Pam Cooking Spray” started off as a new non-stick alternative to tried and tested oiling methods for baking dishes.
The main ingredient of Pam is canola oil which you would use anyway if you had chosen to grease your pans with butter or oil.
When you cook with Pam, you use less fat than if you oil the pans with butter or oil.
If you are concerned about chemicals, note that there are no chemicals in cooking spray; it’s actually made up of organic compounds like water and oils.
Hence, cooking spray isn’t as harmful to you as people say it is.
However, if you still want to avoid chemicals and parabens in your food, this article will help you find five alternatives to Pam cooking spray.
What is Pam Cooking Spray?
Pam is a brand of a cooking spray designed to prevent food from sticking to pans during the cooking process.
The spray is made of fat and flour and is non-toxic to people.
It does not contain any chemicals or fuels that can be harmful to cookware or the environment.
Pam can be used on various cooking surfaces, such as trays, baking sheets, and pans.
The spray coats the surface with a thin layer of oil, which prevents the food from sticking.
The spray is ideal for baking and helps save cooking time, which can be beneficial both at home and in professional kitchens.
The spray is easy to use and does not leave behind any residue once baked onto the surface.
Most cooking sprays are vegetable oil-based; however, recently, there has been a shift towards plant-based cooking sprays.
The main ingredient for these sprays is canola oil, which has a lower saturated fat content than other oils.
There are also zero cholesterol spray cans available on the market.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Pam Cooking Spray
When Pam Cooking Spray is unavailable, there are several alternatives you can use in your kitchen.
1 – Tallow
Tallow is a type of animal fat that comes from the rendering process.
It’s primarily used as a cooking oil used in traditional cultures for centuries.
Tallow can be made out of both pork and beef.
Furthermore, the tallow does not have much flavor, so it could add heat to your meal if you opt for the beef tallow.
Unlike the other types of Fats, tallow is solid at room temperature.
It can be used in almost any recipe that calls for oil or shortening.
This includes baking, deep-frying, cooking, and sauteing.
Tallow tastes great on its own, but it also mixes well with other flavors like pepper or garlic.
Tallow often has a very high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking on higher heat and searing meats.
It’s also worth mentioning that tallow does not absorb flavors easily and is typically used with other ingredients in terms of flavoring or seasoning.
2 – Palm Oil
Palm oil is another type of animal fat used to make cooking oil.
It’s derived from the African palm tree and contains more saturated fats than tallow or butter.
Palm oil has a very high smoke point, like tallow, ideal for searing meats.
Palm oil’s high smoke point causes it to have a light, nutty taste that pairs well with different flavors.
It has a soft color and does not have much of an odor.
This makes it perfect for cooking seafood, vegetables, or frying eggs.
Furthermore, palm oil doesn’t clog up drains if you dispose of the liquid.
3 – Butter or Margarine
Butter is another type of fat that can be used when cooking.
This is because it contains animal fats, solid at room temperature.
This makes it easier to control when sauteing meats in a pan.
Butter has an aroma and flavor that most people enjoy.
It holds flavors well and can be used in many recipes.
However, butter has saturated fats that are not good for your heart.
It also tends to burn at higher temperatures than other oils, which leads to extra residual buildup.
This means more scrubbing is required after cooking with it.
Similarly, margarine is another option you can try if you’re looking for a substitute.
Its made up of vegetable oil, water, and milk proteins.
This gives it a rich taste similar to butter without the dairy.
Margarine is very versatile and can be used in most recipes and on all types of dishes.
However, like butter, margarine has high saturated fats, which you avoid in a healthy diet.
You also have to be careful when storing margarine since it can’t go in the freezer, and it doesn’t have a long shelf life.
4 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is another type of fat you can use in your cooking.
This is because it’s made from pressing the fruit instead of distilling it.
This gives extra virgin olive oil its distinct flavor and aroma.
Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavor that’s great for cooking semi-strong foods.
This includes vegetables, meat, and seafood.
The high-quality fat in this oil helps to improve the taste of your meal while avoiding harmful fats found in other types of cooking oils.
However, note that extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, so it’s not good for cooking on high heat.
Instead, you can use it as a dip with bread or as a finishing oil to drizzle over your dish right before enjoying it.
5 – Canola Oil
Canola oil is another type of fat used in your cooking.
This is because it’s made from pressing the seeds of a plant related to cabbage.
Canola oil has more monounsaturated fats than polyunsaturated fats, making it healthier for you.
This makes canola oil a good choice for cooking or frying on high heat.
It can be used to make various foods and typically has a light taste that does not overpower other ingredients in recipes.
However, keep in mind that canola oil is relatively new on the market and might not have been approved for mass consumption yet.
Therefore, you should check with your nutritionist before using it instead of alternatives like extra virgin olive oil.
Pam cooking spray is popular with many home cooks because it makes cooking much easier.
However, not everyone wants to eat the chemicals found in these sprays.
Luckily, there are several alternatives you can use instead.
The best substitutes for Pam cooking spray are animal fat, butter, margarine, extra virgin olive oil, and canola oil.
Each substitute has its own distinct flavor and benefits depending on what you’re cooking.