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The Best Oil Misters
Using vegetable oil spray is easy but has its downsides. Could we find a good refillable oil mister?
What You Need To Know
Coating a muffin tin, a skillet, or a baking sheet with a spritz of our winning vegetable oil spray, PAM Original, is quick and easy. But PAM costs about $0.45 per ounce, whereas plain old canola oil is about $0.07 per ounce. And cooking sprays like PAM depend on liquid propellants (such as propane) and additives to produce that fine, even mist. Refillable, manual-pump oil misters present an alternative for those who would like to avoid aerosol and additives, and you can fill them with whatever type of oil you like.
Like aerosol sprays, a good oil mister should dispense oil in a steady, fine stream that provides even coverage. We like our previous winner, the Mastrad Oil and Flavor Mister, but wondered if there were better options out there. We gathered seven models, priced from roughly $10.00 to roughly $25.00, including the Mastrad. Of the seven, all but one featured a manual pumping mechanism to build the pressure that forces the oil out. The outlier looked like a bottle of cologne: a tall, thin glass cylinder with a button that dispensed a single, directed spray, no pumping required.
We started by timing the duration and noting the quality of a single spray when each mister was full (or filled according to the manufacturer’s directions), half full, and one-third full. We then tested the misters by using them to grease our winning 12-inch skillet and 12-cup muffin tin. Next, to better understand each mister’s spray, we traced a skillet onto brown butcher paper and sprayed the misters vertically and horizontally onto the outline, mimicking the ways we might use them in the kitchen. For comparison, we sprayed PAM alongside the misters in each test. What did we find out?
We quickly determined that the quality of the spray was much more important than its duration. While some misters could sustain a long spray—up to 20 seconds—they sputtered and spat. So even though we held and moved each mister similarly, the butcher paper for some models looked like abstract oil paintings; the squiggles, blotches, and irregular patterns were fun to look at, but they didn’t represent the even coverage we were after. The best mister sustained a shorter, 6-second spray, but its spray was so effective that it easily covered a skillet and muffin tin in just 3 seconds and covered the butcher paper with a fine, even mist. Comfort mattered, too. The cologne-style model’s spray was a quick, direct burst, so it directed a lot of oil into one space with poor coverage (and required 13 pumps to grease the muffin tin). The pump-style models were better at evenly covering a wide space, so even though they required some prep up front, once you started spr...
Everything We Tested
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