Can you use vegetable oil to grease a pan? (+5 alternatives)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use vegetable oil to grease a pan?”, and how to grease pans using vegetable oil substitutes according to your pan type?

Can you use vegetable oil to grease a pan?

Yes, you can use vegetable oil to grease your baking pans. Most of the non-stick oil sprays contain vegetable oil. So if you don’t have the spray then a little bit of vegetable oil is the perfect alternative to grease the baking pan.

Vegetable oil has a high smoke point so it won’t burn. It will not overpower the flavor of any other ingredient in the recipe because it tastes neutral. There are two ways you can grease your pans using vegetable oil.

  1. Just take some oil on a paper towel and rub it all over the pan.
  2. Pour a little vegetable oil on the bottom of the pan and spread it all over using a brush.

Alternatives to vegetable oil for greasing

Apart from using vegetable oil for greasing, you can experiment with the following options.


Use butter to add a non-stick coating to your pans. You can also use clarified butter. Butter melts in your hands so you won’t have to use a kitchen towel or brush. You can also coat flour all over the butter layer. Take out the excess flour by tapping the pan and remove it. Flouring is optional.


Shortening is closely related to margarine, solid at room temperature, and is used to make pastries, cakes, and desserts to get a crumbly texture. Simply spread shortening all over your pan to make a non-stick layer.

Shortening has more fat than butter. Use shortening instead of butter if you do not like the caramelized flavor of butter on the crust of your baked goods.

Bacon fat or lard

Pig fat has s smoke point somewhere between 280°F and 400°F depending upon the quality of the fat. If the flavor of bacon fat won’t interfere with your recipe, feel free to coat your pans with lard for a non-stick bottom.

Cooking spray

Cooking sprays contain oil to grease, lecithin as an emulsifier. The oil may be vegetable oil like canola and sunflower. It may be olive oil, coconut oil, or butter flavored. 

Parchment paper or foil

If you want to avoid greasing with oil, use apartment paper or aluminum foil to line your pan.

When to flour your pans? 

If your recipe relies on the leavening action of eggs, flouring is a good choice as it helps the batter to stick to the pan to maintain structural integrity. The grease prevents it from sticking to the bottom. Flouring also prevents the grease from entering into your batter.

If your batter is high in sugar, consider flouring your pans as it will prevent the sugars from settling and sticking to the bottom and caramelizing.

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

Does canola oil go bad?

Can vegetable oil be substituted for olive oil?

Does MCT oil go bad?

When to skip flouring?

Do not flour your pans when baking brownies or chocolate cakes. Because the flour will stick to the surface and will make your brown product visually unappealing. You can substitute cocoa powder in this case. It will add flavor as we enhance the visual appeal.

Do not flour if the cake is going to be served bare i.w without glaze or any frosting. Flour leaves a white cast over your baked goods that will your cakes look unappetizing and dry unless covered.

If you do not want to use flour or cocoa to prevent a dry and tough crust, go for parchment paper. Line the bottom and sides for a non-stick bottom.

Grease according to your pan

Non-stick pan

As the name suggests, it already has a non-stick bottom. Avoid exposing it to high temperatures to prevent the non-stick layer from damaging.

Carbon-steel pan

This sticky bottom pan will use a lot of oil if not seasoned in the first place. For seasoning, heat oil in this pan, until it starts to smoke and the pan changes color to a brownish hue. Remove the oil and solid residues if any. You will notice that less oil will be used for subsequent cooking.

Grill pan

The grill pan has a patterned surface so preheat your pean before greasing with butter, cooking spray, or any vegetable oil.

Springform pan

Springform pans have a collar with a hook that opens and closes and a non-stick bottom that fits inside the collar when closed.

Although the bottom is non-stick, you can always grease it with butter, flour, or cooking sprays to stay on the safe side. Run a knife along the sides of the collar from inside to prevent the sponge from sticking. This pan is perfect to bake pies and cheesecakes.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you use vegetable oil to grease a pan?”, and how to grease pans using vegetable oil substitutes according to your pan type?