Can you use butter instead of cooking spray?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use butter instead of cooking spray?”, and what are the other substitutes for cooking spray?

Can you use butter instead of cooking spray?

Yes, you can use butter instead of cooking spray. Butter has a very soft texture and easily melts in your fingers. You can grease your pans or pots with butter using your fingers, silicone kitchen brush, or a piece of kitchen towel.

Just make sure you do not put a thick layer of butter as it interferes with the flavor and texture of the end product. For best results, use butter for baked goods and stick to lard for roasted meat and vegetables.

Pro tip: Butter the pan and dust it with powdered sugar for making marshmallows.

Other substitutes for non-stick cooking spray

Anything greasy provides a workable substitute for cooking spray. The easiest way is to use parchment paper. But you can also try using olive oil, butter, margarine, regular oil, and even the combination of these ingredients with flour.

A cooking spray does not just contain oil. The oil in a cooking spray is diluted with water. Other ingredients like lecithin are also added as an emulsifier. Diethyl silicone is added as an anti-foaming agent while the butane and propane act as propellants.

If the ingredients and chemicals are the reason why you do not want to use booking spray, we have got you covered with everything you can use instead.

Parchment paper

This is a kitchen staple if you are a frequent baker. Parchment paper is coated with a waxy layer on both sides and does not pose any threats to your health. It is the most economical substitute for cooking spray.

Olive oil or any other oil

You can use any high-temperature and healthy cooking oil available in your kitchen to grease your pans. It could be olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, avocado oil, etc. They prevent the food from sticking to the pan just as perfectly as a cooking spray. 

The more important thing to consider here is how much oil you put inside your pan. You do not want to overdose on it or else it will ruin the texture of the finished product. 

Use a brush or a kitchen towel to put just the right amount of oil and get it right every time. The dosage is especially important if your oil does not have a neutral flavor such as olive oil. If you put too much olive oil into your pans, the end product will reek of it.

Dusting with flour 

This is a very simple substitute for cooking spray and it does not alter the flavor of your product. This technique involves greasing your pan using any kind of cooking oil or butter, whatever is available. 

Then you add the flour to the pan and shake and rotate it until the flour covers all the greasy areas. Dust off the rest of the flour that remains at the end.

Homemade non-stick cooking spray

If none of the above-mentioned substitutes work for you, you can rely on this homemade non-stick cooking spray as a substitute for cooking spray. 

Making homemade non-stick cooking spray is a no-brainer. Just grab a plant mister bottle or refillable spray bottle, some cooking oil, and water.

Mix two tablespoons of canola oil with 1 cup less two tablespoons of water and fill it into the mister or spray bottle. Shake the bottle before using it to spray your pots and pans. 

But remember that this substitute is only a one-time solution. This is because the oil will go rancid. After all, it is in direct contact with the water.

Bacon fat 

Bacon fat or lard is also a good substitute for cooking spray. Use it sparingly because bacon fat has a strong flavor just like butter. 

This is especially important if the bacon flavor will not compliment the flavor profile of your end product. Bacon fat melts easily into fingers and is best used in meat and vegetable-based dishes.

What is the best cooking spray?

We are not very avid advocates of using the cooking spray for greasing your pots and pans. But if you decide to use a cooking spray, choose the best. 

Some of the best cooking spray options are Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cooking Spray (2-Pack), PAM Olive Oil Cooking Spray (2-Pack), La Tourangelle Organic Canola Oil Cooking Spray, Kelapo, Weber, and Pompeian.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you use butter instead of cooking spray?”, and what are the other substitutes for cooking spray?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.