Audrey is a lover of all things DIY. The personal touch is so important and something we all can enjoy—both in creating and receiving.
How to Make Your Own Cooking Spray
I am a proponent of making everything I can from scratch. The reason that I'm so passionate about this is that I tend to believe that the additives and preservatives that we have in almost everything we consume have a negative impact on us. I think the increase in diseases like cancer indicates too many chemicals being added to the foods we eat. In an effort to keep the foods we ingest as simple as possible, I'm constantly on the lookout for homemade recipes for everything. These days, I truly think that less is more.
I've been using cooking sprays for years simply because they're a healthier choice in some aspects, like cutting calories and fat. It makes sense to use them instead of high-fat choices like butter, large amounts of oil or shortening. I use them to sear foods rather than fry them, and to do that, I've usually used Pam or an olive oil spray. I try to keep to organic sprays, but even those have additives.
I use the sprays for baking to avoid the extra fat and calories, but over the years, I've been a little displeased by the "gunk" that the sprays leave behind on my dishes and pans.
Recently, the recipe for do-it-yourself cooking spray caught my eye. I think the most important fact about it is that I can now make my own sprays with whatever oil I want to use and have no added fluorocarbons and no preservatives or additives in the sprays.
The homemade spray recipes claim that the telltale "gunk" will no longer be present on my dishes, and that's definitely an added bonus! Another benefit? It only takes about 5 minutes to make from start to finish!
What Do Cooking Sprays Have In Them?
Cooking sprays can contain the following ingredients:
- Lecithin (used as an emulsifier and not really a bad thing for you)
- Propellants (like alcohol, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide or propane—oh boy!)
- Some contain things like dimethyl silicone and artificial flavors
- They can contain GMOs or genetically modified ingredients (it's been found that GMOs contain markedly higher pesticide levels than regular crops)
- Soy is usually part of the spray (soy is added to millions of food products; studies being conducted on this overindulgence in soy are analyzing the increase in many diseases, including cancer, and the possibility that soy may be a culprit)
Let's not forget that sprays containing propellants aren't great for the environment in the first place. Many nutritionists feel that using cooking sprays in their processed form is actually doing us more harm than good. We think we're reducing calories and doing something healthy for our bodies by using these sprays when that may not be the truth.
Non-Stick Cooking Spray Recipe
- Mister spray bottle (has to be able to mist); should hold at least 1 cup and not be filled to the top because the spray needs air to mist
- Canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil or other healthy oil
- Liquid lecithin (this is optional, but it does help the cooking spray emulsify better)
- Measure out 2 tablespoons of oil. Put it into a small pourable measuring cup for ease of pouring into the bottle.
- Measure 1 cup of water into a measuring cup and remove 2 tablespoons. Discard.
- Pour oil into the mister bottle.
- Add the water.
- Add lecithin if using.
- Shake well.
- Label the mister bottles if you make more than one kind of cooking spray.
- Store in a cool dry place away from the light.
- Shake well before each use.
Rough proportions are 1 part oil to 5 parts of water. You can make as much as you'd like or make different kinds. Just be sure and leave "headroom" in the bottle for air, so don't fill it to the very top.
- Walnut oil spray is fantastic as a spray for muffin tins before spooning in the batter.
- Use your homemade spray to grease pans for anything.
- Crockpots clean up better if you spray on a bit of cooking spray.
- It is a great alternative to frying anything.
- Spray on a tiny bit of it before adding seasonings to help them stay put.
- Spray on a tad of it when food is under the broiler; it helps it brown better and quicker.
- Use cooking sprays on the BBQ grill for easier cleanup.
- Spray lightly inside food storage bags or freezer bags, and items will slide right out (like frozen pizza dough).
- Use it to lightly oil a measuring cup or measuring spoons when you have sticky substances like peanut butter—the ingredient will slide right out.
Watch the YouTube video on how to make your own baking spray, too!
Questions & Answers
Question: How long will a homemade cooking spray mixture be safe to use? Should I mix a small amount for each use?
Answer: You could do it either way. I made up a batch and just used it until it was gone. We use it for BBQing as well.
Question: Is liquid or powered lecithin for making cooking spray?
Answer: I would use liquid.
Question: How much lecithin should I use to make the homemade cooking spray?
Answer: I would start with 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon max.
Question: Does the homemade cooking spray need to be refrigerated or can I put it in the pantry?
Answer: I keep mine in the pantry.
Question: How many calories are in a single homemade cook spray?
Answer: There are about 2-3 calories in a single spray.
Question: How much lecithin should I use in homemade cooking spray? Has it ever gotten too thick when adding lecithin?
Answer: 1 tsp of lecithin would be fine. It does not thicken it.
Here is a similar article about making your own salad dressings with lecithin.
Question: Do you use just tap water when making your homemade cooking spray?
Answer: Yes - that is fine!