14 Best Substitutes For Cooking Spray: You’re Not Out Of Luck!


This is an ultimate list of 14 alternatives that you can use instead of cooking spray. 

I’ve given them a try, and they work great!

So, let’s talk about our first substitute.

14 Substitute For Cooking Spray

1. Butter

A great baking substitute

One of the most commonly available ingredients, butter can easily substitute cooking spray for greasing pans and muffin tins.

Especially for baking, it is an excellent substitute since it will add a great flavor to your dishes. 

Even though butter has more calories than a cooking spray, it is more affordable and flavourful than it.

Watch this video to know how to grease your baking pan using butter:

2. Lard

The soft consistency of lard makes it good to use for making roasted veggies and meat. But lard contains its own flavor and isn’t as neutral as a cooking spray.

Also, since it is produced using pig fat, it is not the ideal substitute for vegetarians.

Check out these 3 ways to cook with lard:

3. Flour

If you’re making bread, cake, muffins, or pastries, you can use flour to dust your tins and pans.

Additionally, if you’re working with a more liquid batter, then adding the first layer of butter or vegetable shortening and then sprinkling it with flour will prevent your dish from sticking to the vessel. 

How to Substitute

Mix equal quantities of all-purpose flour, vegetable shortening, and vegetable oil to create a great spreadable flour blend.

Watch this video to know how to grease and flour a cake pan:

4. Vegetable Oil

Since most cooking sprays are produced by adding a few chemicals and watering down your regular vegetable oil, vegetable oil alone stands as an excellent substitute.

However, it would not provide you with a strong flavor profile like lard or butter. But it is lesser in calories and most likely to be found in your kitchen at all times.

Here is how you can grease your cast iron using vegetable oil:

5. Vegetable Shortening

A vegan substitute 

Vegetable shortening is great for baking muffins and pastries. It is a non-stick alternative that is produced from vegetable fat. 

But you can also buy non-vegan shortening that comes from animal fat. Regardless of its type, it doesn’t have any effect on the overall taste of your dish.  

However, at room temperature, it has a solid consistency. Therefore, you will have to melt it first before greasing your pans with it.

More on it here –

6. Homemade Cooking Spray

A DIY substitute

To make your own DIY cooking spray, take 1 part of any regular cooking oil (we recommend using sunflower oil) and mix it with 5 parts of water.

Ensure that you take only filtered water. Fill this mixture into a spray bottle and shake well.

Use it in the same way as your store-bought cooking spray but make sure you cleanse the spray mechanism after every 6 to 8 weeks to prevent its nozzle from clogging.

Watch this video to make your own DIY cooking spray at home:

7. Bacon Fat

If you don’t mind adding a hint of bacon flavor to your cooked and baked dishes, then using bacon fat is a good idea. 

All you have to do is just rub a small quantity of bacon fat into whatever vessel you’re preparing your food in before adding the final ingredients.

It behaves in the same manner as cooking spray, ultimately preventing the baked items from sticking. 

Check out this video to find out about 3 ways you can use bacon fat:

8. Parchment paper

Another great alternative is parchment paper, which you can easily purchase in large quantities at a lower price than cooking oil.

It is a no-mess replacement that doesn’t require any kind of sticky procedure to apply like that in the case of butter, oil, or lard.

Simply spread the sheet of paper on any baking pan or tin, pour in your batter, and you’re good to go.

Here is how you can line a square baking pan with parchment paper:

9. Olive oil

Using extra virgin olive oil is great for making salad dressings. However, since it has a 400F smoke point, it is not suitable for cooking at high temperatures. 

Moreover, you should not use it for searing steak since it tends to burn on high heat.

Still, you can coat your cooking and baking vessels with olive oil to give a nice spread while using it as a cooking spray alternative. 

Watch this video to know how you can make any stainless-steel pan non-stick using 2-3 drops of olive oil:

10. Regular Cooking Oil

All kinds of high-temperature cooking oils, including pure olive oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil can be used as cooking spray alternatives.

Among these, sunflower oil is a highly recommended option if you want to achieve the closest results to the cooking spray.

Besides, it works wonderfully well for almost any cooking application, including baking and high-heat cooking.

11. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is good for your cardiovascular health and is a rich source of vitamin E and oleic aids. It is highly nutritious and is known for decreasing bad cholesterol levels in your body.

It has a high heat tolerance, making it an ideal substitute for cooking at high temperatures.

However, it is a bit more expensive than other oils. 

Check out this recipe for making salad dressings & marinades with avocado oil:

12. Margarine

Margarine functions pretty much similar to butter when it comes to flavor and form. Except, it’s a dairy-free alternative. Moreover, it contains high amounts of saturated fats.

Therefore, if you’re highly health-conscious, it might not be a good substitute for you. 

Here is how you can grease a baking dish with margarine:

13. Tallow

Having similar properties as lard, tallow is extracted from beef fat. It is a cooking oil used for years, particularly for frying, since it works perfectly even at extremely high temperatures.

You can also use it as a baking substitute and for sautéing too. 

Try this Beef Tallow Fries Recipe:

14. Canola oil

Canola oil is a cheaper alternative than olive oil and avocado oil. It has a high content of healthy fats and a neutral taste that doesn’t spoil the overall flavor of your dish. 

It is a good alternative because of its ability to withstand high heat. You can use it for lining baking pans, frying, and sautéing.

Here’s a good way to season a cast iron skillet using canola oil: 


Q1. Can I use baking spray instead of cooking spray?

Ans. Yes, you can use baking spray instead of cooking spray. But since baking spray contains additional flour particles, it increases your cooking time by creating a slight gap between the metal and the batter.

Q2. Which is the ideal cooking spray substitute for a waffle maker?

Ans. You can dip a basting brush into any type of oil or melted butter and then coat the waffle maker with it to substitute cooking spray. 

Q3. What is a healthy cooking spray alternative?

Ans. To create your own healthy alternative, put one-fourth cup of any cooking oil and water in a spray bottle. Shake well and use in the same way as a cooking spray. 

Q4. How to substitute cooking spray in an air fryer?

Ans. Any cooking oil, preferably Avocado Oil, Soybean Oil, Extra Light Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil will work well as a cooking spray alternative in an air fryer.

Q5. How to grease a pan without spray?

Ans. You can easily grease a pan by using butter or lard if you don’t have the cooking spray.

Bottom Line

Cooking spray is a great way to avoid sticking, and it gives food a nice flavor.

But there are other ways to prevent sticking without this cooking staple.

Next time you’re in the kitchen, try using one of these substitutes for cooking spray and see how they work for you.

Have you tried any of these methods before? What was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Judy Taylor

Judy has been fascinated with food and drinks since her teenage years. She loves experimenting with various cuisines, her favorite being pairing food with wine and drinks. She travels 7-8 months a year across the globe, exploring local food and culture. Her dream is to open a small Mexican outlet on a beach someday.

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