How does Nonstick Cooking Spray Work and What is Pam Made of?

Nonstick cooking sprays like Pam are nothing but cooking oil dissolved in alcohol, in a handy aerosol can.

The idea is that instead of pouring a random amount of oil into your skillet, you give it a quick spritz from the can. The alcohol evaporates and the oil coats the pan.

You’ll still be cooking on a “no-stick” layer of oil, but it’s a very thin, and low-Calorie, one. A tablespoon of butter or margarine contains about eleven grams of fat and one hundred Calories.

On the other hand, the labels of the cooking sprays brag about containing “only two Calories per serving.” A “serving” is defined as a one-third-of-a-second spray, which, they oddly advise, is just long enough to cover one-third of a ten-inch skillet.

But even if your trigger finger isn’t as finely trained as Billy the Kid’s, or if you throw caution to the winds and cover the entire pan, you can still manage to get by with very little fat.

By the way, if you’re a belt-and-suspenders type, spritz a little no-stick spray onto your nonstick frying pan. The food will brown better than it would without the fat.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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