May 14, 2012

Misto - DIY cooking spray

Cooking spray is a tool that is probably found in most everyone's cupboards.  If you use nonstick pans or like to bake, oil mists like Pam are convenient ways to prepare your kitchenware without adding on a lot of extra oil.  But read the label of almost any cooking spray and you will find soy lecithin listed as one of the ingredients.  For people with soy allergies, this won't do.

Thank goodness for options like Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer.  The Misto allows you to make your own soy-free can of cooking spray.  To use it, fill the can no more than halfway with oil, pump the top down to fully pressurize the can, then remove the top and spray. It is advised to unscrew the cap after each use to release air pressure that might clog the nozzle with oil.

While the product is advertised as an olive oil sprayer, my Misto sprayer worked well with extra virgin olive oil at first, but then got clogged after a couple months of use.  The oil would no longer mist but would simply drip out of the nozzle.  After reading through more Amazon reviews, I found a few others had similar issues and recommended against using EVOO because its thick consistency may be too much for the spray to handle.  I wish I had found those comments sooner!  Thankfully the Amazon reviews are also a handy spot for solutions.  Readers suggest unclogging nozzles by emptying out all the oil and pumping a half vinegar/half hot water solution through the system.  My Misto somehow cured itself over time -- after more than a month of non-use, I pumped down on the cap to create air pressure again, and voila!  My awesome little misty friend is back in action!  Perhaps gravity helped to unclog the nozzle over time?

Cooking spray helps to minimize added fat in light recipes such as these baked falafels.

If you are looking for a cooking spray but need it to be soy-free, Misto might be a good alternative for you.  My experience with Misto is mixed but tons of people on Amazon are fans.  It's very possible that the extra virgin olive oil was the culprit in my cloggy situation or that I had slightly overfilled the can with oil.  My advice would be to follow the directions carefully and, if possible, opt for a lighter cooking oil in order to avoid nozzle troubles.  I definitely think it would help Misto users if the product had a line drawn inside the can to clearly indicate where you should stop filling with oil.

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