I'm trying to reduce the amount of oil used to cook products such as flatbread or Pierogi where oil is used to produce a crisp texture on the surface of the foodstuff rather than purely to cook it.

My aim is to reduce the amount of oil that is consumed when the foodstuff is eaten. This comes on top of separate efforts to reduce or substitute oil as an ingredient.

My question is this, if I brush a small amount of oil onto the surface of the foodstuff before cooking, as opposed to using a larger amount applied to the bottom of a pan, will this mean that the finished foodstuff will have less oil in it when it is consumed due to less oil being used during cooking, or more oil in it due to the oil being applied directly to the surface of the foodstuff?

For example, if I use brush 1-2 teaspoons of oil onto a batch of Pierogi before frying it, as opposed to 1-2 tablespoons in a pan. Will this mean that less of the oil is consumed when the Pierogi are eaten?

The type of Pierogi that I will be preparing quite large and are fried rather than boiled as their filling is pre-cooked. The flatbreads are typically pan fried in oil.

  • Maybe consider brush on or spray + baking, rather than frying.
    – moscafj
    Feb 4, 2023 at 19:21
  • In this instance, baking isn't appropriate as it dries out the Pierogi long before it crisps them. It also takes a lot longer, maybe 20 minutes in an Prodiż or 40 in a convection oven. As opposed to 5 in a frying pan. Sometimes the explode as well due to steam pressure. Feb 4, 2023 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


There are definitely foods where you can use, and consume, less oil by brushing them instead of frying them in oil. Chicken parts or fish fillets are good with this technique, which also allows you to sear them on even higher heat, since you don't have to worry about burning the oil in the pan.

Pierogi are not, though. If you are boiling, then frying your pierogi (the most common technique), then the pierogi are actually absorbing very little of the fat in the pan; if you're using a few tablespoons, you should have oil left over after frying. Whereas, if you brush them (which will take a lot more than 2 tsp), then you are fully coating them and that oil will stay on them.

If your goal is to reduce the amount of oil while still crisping them, I suggest instead either using a good nonstick pan with less oil in it, or an air fryer.

  • The recipes that I use are typically only fried rather than boiled as the filling is pre-cooked. Feb 4, 2023 at 19:45

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