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An entire category of cooking oil sprayers seems to exist on the market.

I intend to use such an oil sprayer to deposit a thin layer of oil on a cast iron pan before cooking (crepes, omelettes..).

oil sprayer

The idea from using my own oil sprayer is to avoid the ingredients (lecithin, dimethyl silicone, butane/propane) that are in the industrial variety (Pam)—besides that lecithin could cause the polymer seasoning to become tacky.

If I use the sprayer daily, I can hope that the nozzle would not clog, but if I use it weekly, it seems hopeless.

I'm thinking of this recipe:

  • Estimate the oil (canola oil, melted coconut oil) needed for one cooking session; pour in the clean and dry sprayer.
  • After use, discard the remaining oil, fill with a little vinegar and a touch of baking soda. Shake. Spray until empty. Rinse with water. Air dry.

The bottle itself is dishwasher safe. I don't like the idea of running diluted dish soap in the mechanism since it's too easy to leave trace amounts.

What are my chances of success? Will the steps above keep the nozzle from clogging? Can you suggest an alternative?

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  • Coconut oil is solid at 'room temperature' - which of course depends on your room temperature - 24°C [78°F] is about its melt point. – Tetsujin Jul 2 '20 at 17:27
  • @Tetsujin Interesting. I didn't realize it's that low. Hence potentially hand-warming a container is sufficient (for the patient). Regardless of the heating method, melting coconut oil (and butter) before use mean one more item to clean. – Sam Jul 2 '20 at 18:00
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This won't work, and it isn't about the clogging - you just won't be able to spray.

First, you cannot refill an aerosol bottle at home, so you are limited to using pump spray bottles. The pump spray bottles you can buy are meant for water and water-based liquids. If you fill a normal pump spray bottle with cooking oil and spray, what you get is a single streak of oil, not a mist of droplets.

Second, there is a reason why the industrial spray uses lecithine and other emulsifiers. Without those, your oil will not be sprayed-on, it will run together into a few large droplets, leaving most of your pan oil-free. So, even if you find a spray bottle that works with oil, you still won't have an oil-coated pan.

Third, these sprays are meant for baking. If you give your pan a small spritz of oil only, this is likely not going to be enough oil for an omelette. So you will have to use as much oil as when applying standard oiling techniques anyway.

In the end, the bottle would not be really worth it if it worked, and chances are you won't even get it to work. So, I would call the idea a dead end.

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  • 2 & 3 are compelling arguments, but I can't reconcile 1 with the description of this (walmart.com/ip/Starfrit-092063-006-0000-Oil-and-Dressing-Mister/…) product. – Sam Jul 2 '20 at 19:53
  • The present question is, incidentally, an attempt to work around your (cooking.stackexchange.com/a/109400/85398) answer. There you suggest pouring oil in a cast iron pan, then pouring it out to oil. This would work well for those using a live-flame stovetop (and it would season the bottom of the pan, to boot), but on a ceramic stove, pouring out, even after wiping, is a recipe for a lot of mess. The spray, if workable, would be a solution for the cast iron + ceramic combination. – Sam Jul 2 '20 at 19:56
  • @Sam you're right, it makes a mess. I also have a glass ceramic stove, but tolerate the stains. You can try if brushing works better for you. Also, I have heard of a pump bottles sold for oil (again for salads, not for pans) but have never encountered them in the wild and have no idea if they are indeed designed differently and can really turn the oil into mist. The answer assumed that you are planning to use an average household bottle, the kind that is widely available, and these don't separate the oil into droplets (I've tried them). – rumtscho Jul 3 '20 at 7:47

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