Is there anything wrong with spraying PAM (cooking oil in a can) on real hot grill grates in a gas grill to prevent meat from sticking?

My Dad practices this and I think it's crazy, as it undoubtedly imparts the taste of burnt PAM into the food. I just brush my meat with canola oil before I season and grill it, and this always prevents sticking. Someone help me settle this argument.

Burnt PAM can't be good, right?

  • Anecdotally, I've found PAM to have a low smoke point, which would be bad for high-heat grills. – smcg Sep 13 '12 at 3:49
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    Pam, Weber and others have started selling "Grilling" and "High-Heat" versions of their non-stick sprays for just this scenario. – djmadscribbler Sep 13 '12 at 16:11
  • "Pam on a Gas grill". It could be a true blood scene. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Swynford_De_Beaufort) – Midhat Sep 14 '12 at 16:38
  • Oh man. Aerosol oil over an open flame. What could go wrong? :D – Preston May 25 '14 at 4:44

Non-stick spray is just oil with a little added emulsifiers to make it extra non-sticky. It isn't any more dangerous when burnt than the oil you apply to your meat.

Spraying oil on the grate will also help season it and keep it from rusting.

The biggest reason not to do it when the grate is hot is that the atomized oil is quite flammable. That said, I spray non-stick spray on the grill and enjoy the pyrotechnics.

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    if you enjoy the pyrotechnics, does any of the oil actually wind up on the grate? – baka Sep 13 '12 at 16:11
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    Sure- it doesn't catch on fire until it reaches the flame beneath. That's when you stop spraying- unless you're more interested in the flamethrower than the food. – Sobachatina Sep 13 '12 at 16:43

I use olive oil on a paper towel (peanut oil might also be an option, because of high heat characteristics). I would not use any kind of aerosol next to a flame. Too risky.

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    Don't use olive oil. The smoke point is far too low. – Sean Hart Jan 31 '13 at 22:02
  • what oil are you using? – Pascal Belloncle Jan 31 '13 at 22:12

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