I consider myself to be a happy and joyful person: I like to bake sweet things, "see" the cup half full, and smile when I am practicing yoga. I LOVE trying new dishes at local restaurants, reading new cook books, and chat up the local bank teller about his/her favorite night life place. But there is ONE thing I truly dislike in the food world...
My answer: Non-stick sprays. I have mention the harmful duties it can do to your pots and pans in previous blog post. This blog post is dedicated, in details, to the "mis-understanding" of non-stick sprays.
What is in non-stick sprays?
Basically, cheap non-stick sprays is fake fat in a aerosol can. Yes, there are "real" fat non-stick sprays that claim to be 100% olive oil or canola oil. Most non-stick sprays will also contain lethicin and/or "propellent" as a binder.
So, how does it harm your cookware/bakeware/glassware?
It is the aerosol-spray feature that is so strong, it will leave a "film" on top your gorgeous, brand new cookware/bakeware. Anything with an aerosol spray will do this, like cheap hair spray. It does not matter if you use "100% olive oil" non-stick sprays or not. Anything with an aerosol srpay will always leave a film. Want proof? See that caramel-color junk? That is not excess grease or fat, it is non-stick spray that was no cleaned off. See, that film is super "tough" and "strong" that it BINDS itself to the pan. Do you really want that in your food and body?
My non-stick spray brand says it can be washed off. So, what?
Yes, many companies will say the spray can be washed off. It can...with a LOT of elbow grease, soap, and a de-greaser. The remove that junk, you will eventually need to buy a de-greaser cleaner, especially if you cook often.
So, what are my alternatives to the sprays?
1) Use a very strong non-stick pan that does not required fat in your cooking.
2) Use real butter.
3) Use real oil (like olive or sesame) from the bottle.
4) Buy a "mist" oil spray. The mist spray is not like the aersol spray, it is very soft and gentle.
Opps! I sprayed my pans! What do I do?
-Wash with warm soap and water and a soft sponge.
-Invest in a de-greaser cleaner if the film is strong.
-Toss the pan if it is covered in the film. Buy a new one.
What about my bakeware pans? Or my glass casserole dishes?
Easy: Either 1) use a mist spray and fill it with a flavorless oil, like canola.
2) Take a paper towel, put soft butter or oil on it, and wipe it in your baking pans. Thus, the butter/oil acts "non-stick."
-I like choice #2: simple and easy and one less thing I have to buy!
Many of my cook and baking books say to use it...why?
They have become so standard in professional food places, that many believe they NEED the sprays so the food will not stick. Thus, many chefs/bakers/cooks believe they will always need sprays. Also, since most restaurants carry stainless steel cookware, they need some sort of "fast" and "cheap" fat to coat the pan/pot. Yes, those sprays are cheaper and faster than "butter-ing" cookware.
Another fact: real fat is so much better than fake fat! But, don't get worried if you do digest some non-stick sprays. There are worse things in the world. Start making good cooking habits: NOW!