Eco-Saturday: Ditch the cooking spray

Maybe the best 15 bucks I've ever spent.
A mister will cost you $10 to $20 upfront, but you’ll recoup the investment.

Let’s be honest: Cooking spray is one of the most convenient kitchen tools ever invented. Yeah, it’s laced with weird chemicals. Yeah, sometimes you can sort of taste them if you use too much of it. And yeah, using something that comes in a can you can’t recycle easily is a pretty lousy thing to do to the environment. But greasing a cookie sheet or baking dish by hand is a giant, messy pain in the arse, and cooking spray just wasn’t on my list of sacrifices I was willing to make for the environment.

Enter the cooking-oil mister. I’d forgotten these things existed until I saw one on an endcap at Target the other day and remembered my sister talking about one she’d gotten a few years ago. I think hers was a Misto; the one I picked up at Target was a Prepara that cost about $15.

Oil misters come with a big cap that you put over the top and pump up and down about 10 or 15 times. This pumps air into the bottle and creates enough pressure to aerosolize the oil.

If you’re trying to grease a very big pan, you may have to stop and pump a time or two while you’re using the mister, but that extra 10 to 20 seconds will save you calories and money by dramatically reducing the amount of oil you need to keep things from sticking without adding extra trash to the landfill or weird chemicals to your kitchen.

To give you an idea of the savings: I typically use two to three tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan when I saute onions and peppers. With the mister, I used maybe a quarter-teaspoon. In other words: I use 24 to 36 times as much oil without the mister.

At $12 a liter and 120 calories a tablespoon, that’s a helluva lot of money and fat — and just look at all those cans I’m keeping out of the landfill.

Oil misters. Getchu one.

Emily

 

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