Ditch the Cooking Spray

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Ditch the cooking spray for good and use these alternatives instead. You'll save money at the store AND get rid of sticky residue!

I don’t know about you, but I am SO tired of the way cooking spray ruins my cookie sheets and pans by leaving behind an unsightly residue. So why on earth do I keep using it?

The answer is simple. It’s convenient. Any time a recipe calls for a greased pan, all I have to do is pull out my handy spray, and in seconds, I have a nicely coated non-stick pan. That is, until later when I vigorously try to scrub it all off!

I decided something drastic was in order and stopped using cooking spray completely, and for the last 3 months, I haven’t bought a can of spray at the grocery store, at all. You know what? I haven’t missed it one bit.

Going spray-less takes some getting used to for sure, but I’ll never go back to a $3 can that causes me nothing but trouble. Instead, I prefer to grab a small piece of wax paper, dab a little bit of butter or shortening on it {depending on what I’m making}, and rub it into my pots and pans whenever I need it. I’ll use olive oil sometimes too.

No more vigorous scrubbing, and no extra ingredients taking up space in my pantry or a precious spot on my grocery receipt!

If you’re not ready to give up cooking spray for good, you can always try and make your own with a simple misting bottle, oil, and water, but the point of this post is convenience. How much do we really need these products taking up space in our kitchen cabinets and hallway closets?

I challenge you to start thinking about one product or ingredient that you buy just for convenience sake, then reevaluate it’s actual usefulness.

These questions will help:

  • Do you really need this product?
  • Can you get by without it?
  • Can you substitute it with something else that is cheaper?

If the answer is no, then don’t feel guilty about it and work on saving money in another area of your life. Sometimes, convenience is a good thing, as time is money. But in this case, I’m happy to leave my cooking spray behind!

Have you ever ditched a convenience product?


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Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I stopped using PAM because of the chemicals in it; I’ve just been spreading canola oil in my pans but it doesn’t seem to keep homemade buns from sticking (I think it’s because the buns go in the pan for the last rise and the dough soaks up the oil). Has anyone else experienced this, and what do you find works in this case?

  2. Hey, I just wanted to let everyone know that I seen an alternative to cooking spray on woodland bakery blog and tried it. No more wasting paper towels or buying the expensive cooking spray.
    The recipe is:
    1 cup of crisco,
    1 cup of flour.
    1 cup of vegetable oil
    With a hand mixer blend the crisco and flour. Then add the oil until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 months.
    To use: Use a small paint brush (not the silicone kind) to “paint” your pan.
    I had a lot of pans that had basically been rendered useless until I found this. Nothing sticks to it!!

  3. If you are looking for an excellent alternative for the “greasing and flouring” spray, mix up this. I works great!
    I keep it on hand in a glass jar in my pantry or fridge, and spread it on my pans when needed with a pastry brush or plastic baggie. Cakes pop right out! I found it on food.com

    1/2 cup shortening
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup flour



  4. For baking I purchased a silpat. I’ve been sing the same one for about 16 years now, so it has more than paid for itself. Pans stay nice and clean. You really don’t even need to wash it afterwards; just the silpat.

    1. Great idea! I tried a silicone mat before, but it didn’t seem to work very well…however, it was also an off brand that collected grease in all the ridges and was hard to clean. I have seen those silpats though and they look like they would work so much better. I’m anxious to try one!

  5. If you do have that yucky residue on your nice pans I have found a way to clean it off, use Mr. Clean sponges, they take some elbow grease but it does work. And now that we have learned other ways to grease the pans once they are clean we won’t have to do it ever again.

  6. I remember growing up there was ALWAYS a piece of waxed paper in the Crisco can. Mom would just scoops little out, grease the pan and toss it back in. So though I keep spray oil in the kitchen, I usually only use it to spray my cast iron after washing. But I like the challenge of finding other convenience items to give up.

  7. I have stopped using cooking spray. I save my butter wrappers in a bag in the freezer. Just grab it and use the buttery side to grease the pan. Or I use my fingers for oil.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing when I read this post. I have a zipper closed baggie in my freezer full of butter wrappers. So easy * convenient to use. Plus I feel better having used them before tossing in the trash.

  8. I recently gave up ready roll pastry sheets. Sometimes I use a block and roll it out, sometimes I make my own shortcrust in the mixer, but my family have done nothing but rave about how much nicer the pastry has tasted of late, and I’ve saved money!

  9. {Melinda} I only buy cooking spray when it’s BOGO at Publix! Most of the time, I just drizzle a little olive oil on the pan, put my hand in a ziploc baggie and then spread it around. It doesn’t seem to leave that residue and it’s cheaper! πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to getting to know you better and digging into your blog more … I can definitely use your savings expertise! πŸ™‚

    1. Try to be eco friendly too and use your clean fingers to spread oil on pans and not
      use plastic baggies.
      Read lots of great tips!

  10. This is good -since the pump I bought to make my own clogged up and no longer works! Yes I ditched parchment paper last year and have never missed it once!

  11. I make my own. I actually never liked the smell or taste of the spray stuff, but liked the convenience so I have a bottle of vegetable oil spray and one of olive oil spray. They hang on the wire shelves in front of the other oils so not really in the way!

  12. I gave up on cooking spray last year. I never really thought about the cost savings and I just dab a bit of olive oil on a clean rag I’ve designated for cooking (I ditched paper towels a little over a year ago) and spread it around the pan or just pour a dab in the ban and smear it around with my clean hands. It softens my hands while I cook.

    1. I always think about how nice it would be to NOT buy paper towels anymore. I’m slowly working my way towards less usage at least! I love that you mention how the oil softens your hands while you work. Who needs expensive lotions anyway, right? πŸ™‚

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