It can be extremely frustrating to grill up a good-looking burger and lose half of it because the meat would not release at the end of the cooking process. The obvious solution is to use some form of lubrication. A non-stick cooking spray, like Pam, seems to be the obvious choice. But should a spray be used?
Non-stick cooking sprays like Pam can be sprayed on a grill to prevent food from sticking. The original Pam spray works best because it has a smoke point of 400° Fahrenheit. It is important to remain vigilant when spraying a hot grill since flare-ups are possible near coals or a flame.
The absolute best substitute is Avocado Spray, like this type found on Amazon. Olive oil is the best alternative that you likely have in the house.
Here are the 5 alternatives to Pam:
|520° smoke point, no artificial propellants
|Weber Grill Spray
|Does not flare-up
|450° smoke point, non-spray option
|Commonly found in households
|Healthy oil, common to houses
The rest of the article will tell you how to properly spray or lubricate your grill, as well as answer a few common questions.
How to Spray Pam on the Grill Properly
Before you start to spray Pam on your grill grate, you will want to make sure that your grates have been cleaned off. If any food or stuck or old grease remains on your grill, your dinner may stick to the grill no matter what you do. You can use a grill brush to clean off any burned-on food particles while the grill is turned off, although I find it much easier when the grill is already warmed up.
Here is the brush that I highly recommend, found on Amazon. It has served me well over the past couple of years. Just click the link to see the listing.
When the grill is cool, you can spray on a coat of Pam. You want to spread a light, even coat on the entire grate. Use a paper towel to wipe off any excess oil. When you’re satisfied with your Pam coating, you can proceed to light your grill. It will take 15-30 minutes for the grill to begin to burn off any oil.
Pam is a canola-based commercial cooking spray that consists of a base, an emulsifier, a propellant, and an anti-foaming agent. The spray helps release food from your grill grates, but it is not without its safety concerns.
Safety Warning: Pam is, like most cooking sprays, is flammable. There is even a warning on the label that it should not be used near an open flame. Moreover, Pam should not be left near a heat source or stored at temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Failing to follow safety instructions may lead to burns and explosions.
Do I Even Need to Spray My Grill Before Cooking?
You do not have to spray your grill before cooking, but you should lubricate it before putting food on it. If you do not lubricate your grill before cooking, many foods will stick to the surface. Any cooking oil or spray with a high smoke point will work well.
Lubricating your grill is a must. In fact, it is one of the three tenets of grilling. The other two rules include: cleaning the grill and heating the grill before placing food on it.
What Causes Food to Stick to the Grill?
When grilling, your food is always cooler than your grates. This is the culprit that causes the food to form a bond and possibly stick to the grate. Spraying on a layer of Pam can prevent this from happening as long as you are grilling below the 400 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point.
Grilling under the smoke point allows the fats and proteins to be released, and sticking might still occur anyway.
5 Alternatives to Pam to Keep Food From Sticking to the Grill
For many people, Pam is the go-to spray for lubricating grill grates. People like to stick to tried and true methods. This can stop people from exploring different options, or you might not have the stuff on hand.
These 5 alternatives work equally well or even better than your traditional standby option:
Spray Alternatives to Pam
There are two spray alternatives to Pam that are commonly adored by consumers.
- Avocado Oil Spray- This cooking spray is a non-GMO product and the one that I recommend. It features a 520° Fahrenheit smoking point. This is approximately 100 degrees higher than Pam’s smoking point.
- Weber Grill Spray- People enjoy this spray because it produces no flare-ups when sprayed on a hot grill. Unlike Pam, with Weber Grill Spray, you do not have to worry about singed eyebrows.
Liquid Oil Alternatives to Pam
The last three options, Canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, are liquid oils that each have a smoke point of over 400° Fahrenheit. They can be applied to a hot or cold grill, though it is a little safer to use them on a cool grill.
- Cold Grill Application- Most people usually dip a paper towel in the oil and run it along the grill grates. Make sure to coat the grates evenly and wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
- Hot Grill Application- When the grill is hot, you need to take the same steps but with some added precautions. Before you start, you should be wearing oven gloves. You can use tongs to dip the paper towel in the oil and then spread it on the grate’s surface. It would be best if you did this quickly to avoid the paper towel burning up.
I’ve been using non-stick sprays to get my grill ready for years. While the flames do flare up a little bit when I spray it on, it’s not like a flame thrower. I have never had to worry about setting my clothes or house on fire. Just keep it pointed at a reasonable angle, don’t overdo it, and you should be fine.
I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!
For more, check out How to Tell When Brats Are Done on Grill | The Best Way.
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!