What do you use for 'grease the pan'

natesgrammaNovember 19, 2008

Are there special times when you use butter, oil, or shortening to grease a pan? What about casseroles, or when you grease and flour a pan? I never know for sure which to use and thought some of you could share your methods.

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These days I'm more frugal and use sprays very sparingly. Most often I use shortening to grease bread pans, casserole dishes, muffin cups, and mini loaf pans, etc. I never use oil to grease a pan or container. I will grease and flour a pan if the recipe calls for it, mostly for cakes.

I find I can get a very thin coat of shortening all over the container, but it does take a little more time. But shortening is less expensive to use than the baking sprays.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:08PM
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For cakes I prefer butter....for cookie sheets, if I don't use parchment, I use crisco....for casseroles, Oil.
Spray stuff for things which are hard to grease like muffin cups.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:42PM
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Butter or walnut oil..

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:11AM
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Depends on what's cooking. Bacon grease for lots of things... eggs in particular along with burgers or chops. Canola oil for things I don't want a bacon flavor like fried dough. You can't get a proper pizza crust without olive oil!... mmm golden brown crunchy! Anything going close to Italian is cooked in or with olive oil. Tortillas and pancakes I cook without oil... fried on a dry iron pan. Potatoes I sometimes fry in butter because they will soak it up before it burns.

: )

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:12AM
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I use butter for cakes, cookies, anything sweet. FOr savory I use canola or bacon grease or whatever I have on hand.

All bets are off it there are tiny crevices - like a rose cake pan - they the spray comes out.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:22AM
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I use a thin layer of shortening applied by a sandwich bag covering my hand. I use parchment paper when baking cookies. I don't like the sprays because they seem to make the pan sticky.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:26AM
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For baking cakes I use a mixture of equal parts Canola oil/flour brushed onto the pan, cookies are done on either silicone mats or parchment paper and any casseroles go into cazuelas and I don't use any "grease".

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:55AM
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I use margarine for baking and canola oil for savory dishes or for things like eggs, French toast, pancakes etc. Olive oil for anything sauted that requires oil in the pan.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:13AM
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If any of you use a aerosol pan spray look for it at a restaurant supply store. I purchased a 21 oz. can for about $6 and am still using it after six months. The ones in the grocery store (Pam)are mostly propellant and are used up in a very short period of time.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:35AM
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Are those of you that use sprays using a specific one? I have ruined pans, cookie sheets I casserole dishes trying sprays. No matter how good I wash said dish there is residue left behind.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:08AM
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I agree on the residue left by cooking sprays, I just don't like them very well. They make my pans sticky and I can taste them, that odd metallic flavor like preservatives have.

Like Michael, it depends on what I'm cooking. Eggs are probably going to get bacon grease, in spite of what the doc says about cholesterol. Tortillas and flat breads get no fat at all, and "greased and floured" pans get a very thin coating of shortening (the cheapest available that's still all vegetable) and flour. I never fry potatoes, so that's not an issue, and the only time I use butter for "greasing" is when I unwrap a stick, then I'll smear a pan with the paper to get the last bit off.

Elery laughs at me, he says I'm the most frugal cook he's ever met and that I'm also the only person he knows who still keeps grease in a "grease can" (thanks to Phyllis Philodendron who sent me one!).

Of course I also save bread bags to put homemade bread in and I use silcone mats for baking cookies because I'm not going to waste parchment paper on anything except to line the pan when I bake pumpkin roll. Anything I use that I throw away I have to figure out whether I can recycle it and then sort it, store it until I take it to the recycling center. I'm much more careful about what I use then throw away now.

I do use spray for those muffin pans shaped like roses, the castle shaped bundt pan, etc, so it gets into the tiny crevices, but the glaze or icing usually covers up the fake "spray" flavor.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:26AM
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Thanks all. Well it sounds like personal preference here, not necessarily a rule. I'm been anxious to try the silicone loaf pans. I haven't liked the Pam type spray as it does leave a brownish residue which is hard to wash off. Thanks for some great tips.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:17PM
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I love the olive oil spray from Trader Joe's. I spray it on my bread when making a grilled cheese sandwich! Hardly any calories and a nice flavor. Also use it to spray the pan when making eggs. I tried the misting pumps but they clog up too fast. Wish they did work.

At Xmas when I'm using lots of butter I fold and save all my butter papers to grease pans.

I don't like using aerosol cans but Baker's Secret is magical for those tiny crevices. It has flour as well as oil and nothing sticks. TJ has their own brand and it works just as well. (Probably the same thing.)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:33PM
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Granjan, I'll look for that Baker's Secret at TJ's the next time I get anywhere close to one, thanks.

natesgramma, I hope you like those silicone loaf pans, but I have my reservations. I bought a silicone bundt pan and couldn't get the cake out of it no matter what. I didn't grease it and it stuck so I greased and floured it and it stuck and I sprayed it and it stuck. I finally gave up and put it in the yard sale for 25 cents, but had to cave in and tell prospective buyers that I couldn't get a cake out of it in one piece. Sigh. I finally put it out by the curb in the free box and no one took it! It eventually went in the trash.

I have had people tell me the silicone muffin cups work well, and read a couple of reviews that say the smaller silicone baking pans work well but the bigger the pan the worse they work.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:22PM
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I tend to use butter if I'm baking cakes (because I already have the butter out for the cake and just use what's left on the wrapper). For cookies, I use my silicone pan liners or parchment. For my every day egg whites, I just use a little spray. I use so little, that a regular can lasts me almost a year. I use olive oil for almost everything else. I've not broken down and bought a can of the bakers spray yet, but I've been tempted to try it a number of times. I just can't rationalize it when there's flour in my pantry.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I use vegetable oil or butter. I dated a pastry chef student once and he told me that the pros only ever use butter period. I never flour the pan though. I've tried it before, and it was a waste of energy with no noticeable benefit. I think of olive oil and canola oil as more of an ingredient than something to grease with. I ran out of shortening months ago and have not purchased any since. It's awful for health, takes up a lot of room in the pantry, and doesn't taste very good in foods (I don't think I'd be licking it off my fingers either), and is such a mess!

I've tried the sprays, but it seems that they get all gummy and leave a nasty sticky residue as they get hot.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:49PM
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For flat pans I use Reynolds Wrap Release non-stick aluminum foil. I used it tonight to make 'oven fries' in our outdoor grill, in a half sheet cake/jelly roll pan. I use those half sheet pans for everything. Silpats and parchment paper fit in them perfectly!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:25PM
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I use Baker's Secret for my bundt pans and if I'm lazy about greasing and flouring for a cake. For cakes I use butter and flour. I haven't had a can of Crisco in years. I use cooking sprays for casseroles and parchment paper for cookies. For yeast breads in loaf pans I use butter or oil.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 6:59AM
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I use veg shortening for baking pans-- & if it's quickbreads or meatloaves then a piece of waxed paper goes on bottom then that's "greased" . Cookies go on parchment paper as do tarts etc.

Pan frying has mostly disappeared in this house except for eggs-- usually with bacon grease-- from the little can in the frig. Stir frying & sauting gets canola or olive oils.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 7:38AM
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granjan, are you saying Bakers Secret doesn't leave a residue or it is just worth it in at times?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:10AM
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If you do a lot of baking, you might consider mixing up a cup of vegetable oil and a half cup of liquid lecithin. Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book recommends something like that (I'm at work and don't have the book in front of me, but it was quoted on some other web site). Blend the goo together in a blender, and store it in a glass jar. Works great.

I noted another site made a 'substitute PAM' with 1 cup of vodka or grain alcohol, to which is added 4 teapoons of liquid lecithin.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:21PM
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Olive or Canola oil for most things. I have both in bottles and spritzers. I do use the Pam-type spray on occasion, but agree about the residue.
I'm thinkin' the Crisco in the pantry may be rancid by now, I haven't used it in many, many months.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 3:37PM
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Deanna, I don't think shortening ever goes rancid! I have the cheapest store brand I could find and it's been in my pantry for way over a year, opened, and it's still fine.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 3:53PM
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I read through everyone's replies and was surprised no one mentioned coconut oil (unrefined). I keep a small jar and use a pastry brush (I keep one just for that purpose) for sweets & savories including stir fries...except eggs & sauting I use butter (real/unsalted). But when in a rush I have resorted to bakers secret (which is available in the grocery store) and a spray can of olive oil from the natural food store. I'll have to check out the restaurant supply store for their aerosol pan spray. I have to confess I do keep Crisco in the pantry, but in the 1 cup blocks, but it's only used for cookies. When a recipe calls for either butter or shortening I always use half butter & half shortening because we like the chewy texture.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:22AM
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Annie, since you're frugal, have you ever used the butter wrappers to grease a pan or casserole?

Mother always did that and I do it too.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:04PM
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