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Best Non Stick Cooking Spray Substitutes

Best Non Stick Cooking Spray Substitutes

Non stick cooking spray has been a common kitchen staple since the 1960’s. But not everyone wants the added chemicals found in cooking sprays, or maybe you just ran out and don’t want to make a run to the store to pick more up.

No matter why you are looking for a substitute for cooking spray, we have the best non stick options and will let you know how to use them.

So what are the best substitutes for non-stick cooking spray?

The top cooking spray substitutes are butter, lard, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, or another cooking oil.

The goal of non stick cooking oil is in the name, to keep your recipe from sticking to the pan! So when looking for a good alternative we need something that will keep our dishes from sticking. Let’s move on an explain how to use these cooking spray replacements.

Cooking Spray Alternatives

I love cooking and baking with natural ingredients. And for that reason I stopped using cooking spray years ago and I’ve never looked back.

I know many people love the convenience, and if you still like cooking spray I completely understand. But give these cooking spray alternatives a try and I bet you may just love the way your recipe turns out that you won’t be adding cooking spray to the shopping list anytime soon.


two sticks of butter and butter knife

Butter is one of the oldest methods for preventing sticking to pans and it is still an exceptional way to go.

Butter is already in most everyone’s fridge and it is affordably prices. Butter will add a layer of flavor to any recipe and is particularly popular when baking.

Butter is higher in calories than cooking spray, but the flavor and cost benefits are well worth it in my kitchen.


lard in glass bowl

I can’t decide whether butter or lard is my favorite substitute for cooking spray. But suffice it to say that lard is a great option when you are all out of cooking spray.

Lard got a bad rap over the years but it has been gaining in popularity in recent years, especially with those who are looking to include more natural ingredients in their cooking and less artificial chemicals.

Lard is packed with flavor and works well in many applications, including as a replacement for non stick cooking spray.

Vegetable Oil

vegetable oil in measuring cup

Just in case you don’t have butter or lard on hand, I have a few more solid options for you. And vegetable oil is probably already in your pantry making it a great option when you don’t have cooking spray on hand.

So, cooking spray is basically just watered down oil (with chemicals added) so that means you can easily use vegetable oil as a substitute no matter what you are making.

It doesn’t offer the level of flavor as lard or butter, but it does come in at fewer calories.

Vegetable Shortening

Similar to vegetable oil, vegetable shortening is another readily available option for subbing for cooking spray.

Just coat your pan with it and you will be good to go. Vegetable shortening suffers the same lack of flavor as vegetable oil, but it’s still significantly better than cooking spray in my opinion.

Other Oils

Let’s say you don’t have any of the other options above (in which case it might be time to go shopping) you can use any other cooking oil you have on hand in place of cooking spray.

Olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or any other variety you have on hand will work. Just do a light coating on the bottom of your pan and you will never miss that bottle of cooking spray.

Cooking Spray Replacement FAQ

What is the best cooking spray substitute for baking?

Lard or butter are the best cooking spray replacements when baking. They provide a non stick surface for your baked goods as well as a rich and creamy flavor.

You can also use vegetable oil or vegetable shortening if you don’t have butter or lard on hand.

Can you substitute flour for cooking spray?

Yes, flour can be used instead of cooking spray if you don’t have any of the other options. Flour can burn so watch your temperatures when using flour.

What is a good cooking spray substitute for waffle makers?

A thin layer of butter is the best substitute for cooking spray on waffle makers. You can use lard or vegetable shortening as well.

If you use oil to coat your waffle maker, check your owners manual first.