cooking spray

A nonstick blend that typically consists of vegetable oil and lecithin (or other emulsifier) packaged in an aerosol can. Such sprays prevent food from sticking to a pan, make cleanup easy and are a boon to health-conscious cooks who want to control fat. They come in several varieties, including canola oil, olive oil and butter-flavored oil. When spraying a pan, keep the surrounding area clean by doing so over the sink or open dishwasher door, both of which will be cleaned in the normal course of the day. Besides coating pans, use cooking sprays on any utensil or kitchen tool to keep foods from sticking — for example, a cheese grater, knife blade, kitchen shears, a food processor interior, cookie cutter, and so on. The only caveat is never to use the spray near an open flame, which will cause it to ignite and flare up. Also called nonstick spray and vegetable cooking spray.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Afterglow Cooking

Just because the fire has died down doesn't mean your evening is over! Bask in the afterglow of the grill with these clever ideas from the cast of The Kitchen.

Spanish Cooking Glossary

We've defined Spanish ingredients and dishes from adobo to tortilla.

Cooking with Beer

Add flavor to your favorite recipes with a splash of brew.

Italian Cooking Glossary

Navigate Italian markets and menus with confidence and ease.

Cooking Tips from Anne Burrell

Worst Cooks in America coach Anne Burrell has some tough-love advice for the truly helpless.

Glossary of Latin Cooking Terms

Navigate Latin American markets and menus with confidence and ease.

Jewish Cooking

Find 1000s of Food Network's best recipes from top chefs, shows and experts. And watch videos demonstrating recipe prep and cooking techniques.

Southeast Asian Cooking Glossary

Navigate Asian markets and restaurant menus with ease