How To Grease A Pan Without Spray: All The Alternatives That WORK

Published Categorized as Journal

Whether baking or cooking, it can be hard to figure out how to grease a pan without spray – especially if you’re used to the stuff. There are so many different types of pan, how is anyone to know if there’s some universal solution to all of them?

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Luckily, that’s what’s just we’re going to be exploring here at this blog post today!

Table of Contents

Pan ready for greasing beside dough and white rolling pin

What Can You Grease A Pan With?

Common Fats Used To Grease Pans With:

  1. Can I grease a pan with butter?
    • Butter is – in most cases – an excellent way to grease your pan. Its my go to for baking and is often present in my cooking too! The fat in it makes a great non-stick surface for your food to cook on. However, I would not recommend using butter if you need to fry something for an extended period of time. As butter has a low smoke point, it’s easy to burn when frying. In this case, I think its best to use a olive oil butter substitute, or add a little olive oil before putting your butter into the pan. Be especially careful when greasing a cast iron pan with butter. You could also use ghee or another alternative instead as it has a higher smoke point than butter.
  2. Can I grease a pan with oil?
    • Decided to flip the switch and grease your pan with olive oil vs butter, but don’t know how to grease a pan with oil? The good thing is that its easy! Just do the same as you would with butter, with the added benefit of not having to melt it. If you use too much, tip some out the side of the pan after coating it. That way, you can save it in a bowl to use for cooking later! The only rule to keep in mind when baking is to not use a very strong flavored oil – so no extra virgin, virgin, or even pure olive oil. You’re better off with pomace or refined. The same goes for sesame oil and such – unless you want that flavor in your treats. And of course, be sure to use the right type of olive oil – or any oil, for that matter – when you’re frying or cooking.
  3. Can I grease a pan with coconut oil?
    • The good news is that you can grease a pan with coconut oil – not just in cooking, but baking too! Follow the same instructions as you would for butter to grease it, but be aware that it will likely leave you baked goods with a subtle coconut taste.
  4. Can you use mayo to grease a pan?
How To Grease A Pan Without Spray: All The Alternatives That WORK

Tips And Tricks For Greasing With These Fats

To get in all the nooks and crannies of your pan, either use a culinary brush or a cut and folded square of baking paper.

If you choose to use butter or coconut oil, this works best when they’re melted so it’s a good idea to put them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds before greasing. These methods are especially important to ensure a good separation when using decorative pans with complex designs.

If you’re making a sweet cake, I’d recommend greasing your pan with melted butter and a brush (especially if its a decorative one) and setting it with sugar instead of flour. The caster sugar crystals will leave your cake just slightly caramelized and that slight bit sweeter. The added bonus? Flour doesn’t last as long as sugar in the pantry!

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So, What Is The Best Way To Grease A Cake Pan?

Non-Stick Sprays: FAQs

What can you use if you don’t have non stick spray?

You’re in luck as their are plenty of excellent non-stick alternatives! Some of the best for cooking, in my opinion, are pure olive oil, butter or ghee, vegetable oil, or coconut oil. You can also use lard, vegetable shortening, bacon grease, or even a touch of water!

Can you use vegetable oil as non stick?

Vegetable oil works great for providing a non-stick surface. If you’re worried about using too much or not getting a thin, even coat like you would with spray, simply brush the oil on thinly. Remove any excess oil by tilting the pan.

How do you make homemade oil spray?

It’s easy to make a homemade non-stick spray – and the best part about doing so is that you can customize it to fit your needs perfectly! To learn more about how it can be done, check under the ’How Do You Make Non-Stick Spray’ section.

Non-stick spray alternative for baking?

In my experience, I’ve found butter to be a perfect non-stick spray alternative for baking. It doesn’t impact your cake too much and keeps the outside as nice and fluffy as the inside. It also holds flour and sugar well.

How do you spray oil without a sprayer?

If your problem with non-stick spray alternatives are that they don’t leave that same ’spray on’ sheen, it’s an easy one to fix. Simply pour your oil into a well cleaned, unclogged spray bottle. To make things work a little more smoothly, you can try and thin your oil with water or heat!

How Do You Make Non-Stick Spray?

You Will Need:

  • Cooking oil (or oils!) of your choice
  • Water
  • A well-cleaned spray or misting bottle, preferably with a wide straw
  • A funnel (optional)
  • Distilled water for cleaning and diluting


Making a Homemade Non Stick Spray

Choose oil

After choosing and cleaning your bottle, its time to choose your oil! You can mix certain oils, like vegetable oil and peanut oil, canola oil, and olive oil. If you’re worried about any other oils, be sure to test out the taste and heat-reaction of the final oil. It’s important to keep smoke point, solidity at room temperature, and viscosity in mind. You’re also better off avoiding anything potentially solid like coconut oil or butter. Its important to choose a good quality oil with as little oxygenation as possible, as this can make your oil rancid faster. To do this, avoid any oils with little air bubbles.

Pur oil

After choosing your oil, pour it up to about ¾ of the way into the bottle. Before doing so, double check to ensure that your bottle is clean and, if necessary, safely sanitized.

Put water

Once you have filled your bottle ¾ of the way up, fill it the rest of the way up with some water. Avoid using tap water where possible – distilled water will allow your cooking spray to last longer.

There you have it! Thats all there is to it. Just screw on the cap and keep it somewhere cool, dry, and shady until you’re ready to use!

Necessary Precautions And Warnings for Greasing Your Pan

While this is a great chance to recycle, refrain from using any bottles that previously held cleaning products as these are definitely NOT food safe. The same goes for any bottles previously filled with chemical plant fertilizer or pest preventatives/killers.

If nothing like this is available to you, check out some bottles here:

Olive Oil Sprayer for Cooking - 380ml Oil Dispenser Bottle Spray Mister - Refillable Food Grade Oil Vinegar Spritzer Sprayer Bottles for Kitchen, Air Fryer, Salad, Baking, Grilling, Frying… (Black)
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The good thing about buying a bottle specifically for cooking purposes is that it will have the viscosity of oil in mind, and might also come with things like measurements and funnels, etc.

Now that that’s all over and done with, lets get into some FAQ’s!

Cake baking in an oven that has been How to grease a pan without spray

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make sure my cake doesn’t stick to the pan?

There’s basically two tricks to this – the first is to grease your pan well, and the second is to be careful when removing your cake. For greasing, I like to melt some butter and spread it generously across the WHOLE pan, using a pastry brush to get in all the nooks and crannies. When it comes out from the oven, carefully run a butter knife along the sides and wait for it to cool sufficiently. Once cold, run the knife along the sides again and quickly flip it onto plate to remove.

How to grease a muffin pan without spray

Melt some butter and pour it into all of the holes in your muffin pan. Then, brush the butter thoroughly in each hole (including around the border). If you’re worried about excess or pooling butter, flip your tray upside down for a few minutes before dusting with flour. And voila! You’re done.

How to grease a baking pan without spray

Again, butter and flour will do the trick. Melt some butter and brush it across your tray, making sure to get the corners and inseams. Dust some flour over the top and tap the sides of the pan until the flour lightly coats everything. Tip out any excess to finish.

How to grease a cake pan without spray

Melt a little butter and pour it into your pan. Use a pastry brush to brush it all across your pan, including the sides and inseams. Add a small handful of flour to your pan and tap it whilst moving to coat the whole pan.

How to grease a cooking pan without cooking spray

Greasing a skillet vs a pan is, thankfully, much easier. If you’re frying, simply add in an oil of your choice. If you’re slow cooking something in the oven however, you’re better off using any oils from your marinade. My go to for this is some butter and pure olive oil with herbs and garlic.

Can You Grease A Pan Without Spray – The Verdict

The good news is that you definitively CAN grease a pan without spray! Whether you choose to make your own or use an alternative oil or fat, there are at least a dozen different ways you can go about greasing a pan or baking tray. So… Why not try them all out!

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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