Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cooking Sprays - Use or Not?

9 months ago, I wrote an article about cooking oils and the dangers of heating them beyond their respective smoking points. In this article, I am going to talk about cooking oil that comes in a spray aerosol can.

We all know that consuming an indiscrete amount of oil in our diet is unhealthy. I personally do not advocate the application of heat to oil beyond their smoking points. That is why I have opted to eliminate the use of oil in my saute and baking recipes. If you run into a cooking situation where the use of oil is necessary, such as grilling, you might consider using cooking sprays to better control the amount of fat you intake.

Some of us turn to cooking sprays because of the method of dispensation greatly reduces the amount of oil we use in our cooking, hence reducing our amount of fat intake. However, even when using cooking sprays, it is important to be cognizant of the oil's smoking point. Cooking spray does not change the chemical composition of the oil. It only changes the method of dispensing the oil.

The most common brands of cooking sprays are Crisco and PAM and they offer the following types of oils/fat:

1. Olive oil
2. Butter
3. Canola oil

Recall from my October oil article that the oils with the highest smoking points are avocado and grapeseed oil. These are oils you want to use in your cooking if at all necessary but they are currently not available in the form of commercial cooking sprays.

Moreover, what you really need in your cooking is the oil and not the other ingredients in the cooking spray equation below:

Cooking Spray = Oil + Lecthin + Emulsifier + Propellant

Also notice that PAM's high heat professional cooking spray even contains undersirable ingredients such as hydrogentated soybean oil.

So why not create your own cooking spray to take advantage of both the ability to control the amount of oil used as well as using the right oil in your cooking?

Get spray bottles or spritzer bottles such as those shown and pour your favorite oils into it and voila! You have your very own cooking spray that will help you control the amount of oil you use in your cooking, without any of the other added ingredients found in commercially available cooking sprays.

And it feels even better to know that you will also be contributing positively to the well being of our environment by reducing the usage of aerosol cans!

1 comment:

Your Wonderful Sis said...

That's a celver idea.