Frugal Friday: nonstick cooking spray alternative

I recently bought a really cheap brand of nonstick cooking spray. It was $2-something at Smart and Final. That would have been a great find, except it didn’t work. It left gunky residue on my pans and it didn’t keep food from sticking. Ick!

I kept thinking there has to be a greener way… a more frugal way… to keep food from sticking. 

THEN. I bought a bottle of liquid lecithin at the local health-food store. I had to have one tablespoon for a recipe. (Don’t you hate it when you just have to have one tablespoon and have a whole bottle of whatever left? I’m just sayin’….)

But that jiggled my memory a bit. When I was a student at a boarding high school, we used some sort of lecithin-oil combination instead of nonstick cooking spray. We used to use wax paper to spread it around the deck pans for the food deck, etc. and I figured that wouldn’t be too green. 

What else could I use to spread around a liquid solution? I thought of using a spray-bottle, but then I would have to find a food-grade spray bottle. It would likely be plastic. And I’d rather not use plastic. I googled around, and found a stainless food-grade spray can, but the reviews were mixed. In the reviews, however, I read that “real chefs” use brushes to brush oil. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

I already had a pastry brush. I decided to use an old applesauce jar to store the lecithin solution. But what is the recipe for this nonstick liquid?

One part liquid lecithin + one part liquid oil = nonstick liquid

(I don’t know what else to call it… nonstick liquid sounds boring, to be sure, but that’s what it is.)

Oh, and I used canola oil in case you’re wondering.

Directions: You just dip your brush into this liquid and brush it onto your casserole dish, baking dish, etc. I don’t use very much. I just get it nice and greasy-looking, but not so there are puddles of liquid. Spread it evenly. 

I have been using this for a few days now and it works very well on everything that I have tried it on. I can’t vouch for it on all surfaces, but I’ve even tried it in my breadmaker and it works like a charm. (The bread used to stick to the bottom of the machine.) 

Nonstick cooking 101

For more Frugal Friday tips from everyone else, visit Fish Mama’s website.

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Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What is lecithin? I’ve seen it on ingredient lists before, but I’ve never known what it was.

  2. The lecithin I buy is made from soy and is all-natural. Here is an article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lecithin
    Lecithin comes in granules or liquid. I use it in baking products like bread or pie crust. Tammy, from Tammy’s Recipes, uses lecithin in one of her bread recipes. Since then I started putting lecithin in my bread. I like the result. It is lighter.

  3. Just wondering why you bothered to do this. Wouldn’t the oil alone have given you the non-stick effect that you were looking for? Was there an advantage do mixing in the lecithin? Thanks.

  4. Thanks for the question. Many of the online recipes I found for nonstick cooking spray included liquid lecithin. I have tried using straight oil before using a Pampered Chef spray bottle and it really did not work. Some of the other online recipes I have found used lecithin and stated that commercial cooking spray use lecithin as well for best results.


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