Pretty much everyone who cooks sometimes uses oil of one kind or another to coat the bottom of pots or pans so that the food cooked in them will not stick to the cookware. Even stick-free, coated cookware is not immune from things getting stuck to them – all of their advertising to the contrary notwithstanding. Oil is a necessary staple in any working kitchen. Spray PAM oil, available both as the “Original” (Canola) and more recently as spray PAM Olive Oil are a welcome addition to the pantry or kitchen cabinet!
There are many, many types of cooking oils on the shelves of any super market. I have reduced my own usage to three types. Canola Oil (known elsewhere in the world as Rape Bean Oil and renamed for English speaking countries for obvious reasons,) that I use for general liquid oil needs; Olive Oil that I prefer for Italian cooking and certain vegetable preparations, and; Peanut Oil that is unsurpassed when preparing Asian-style foods, particularly in a Wok.
PAM is now available in the first two types and I use it often with excellent results. I hope that someday the makers, ConAgra Foods, will develop and release a Peanut Oil version of it, too!
The standard way of using liquid vegetable oils is simple to pour as much as you think you will need onto the bottom of the pot or pan and then, after heating it up a bit, adding the food to be cooked. The problem has been and continues to be deciding exactly how much oil to coat the pot or pan with. Use too little and you may well wind up with food stuck to the bottom that is VERY difficult to clean up without damaging the surface of the cookware. One the other hand, use a bit too much and you add more of an oily feeling, texture and taste to your food than you had intended or would like. PAM makes using just enough without using too much a piece of cake!
It’s simply a difficult thing to get just right. This is where the advantages of using Pam become immediately conspicuous.
Because PAM is aerosol powered, the oil is discharged as what appears briefly as a light foam, clearly visible spray. It is easy to see the entire surface and to know immediately if you have missed an area. This takes but a moment and is a lot more convenient than pouring some oil into a frying pan and rolling it around until you think that you have the entire surface covered.
While I have not found PAM useful for other vegetable oil needs (like recipe ingredients or any other situation where a specific volume of it is needed) I find it to be reliably unsurpassed for the near daily purpose of coating pots and pans before cooking with them. Using the Original PAM, a one second spray covers a 10″ skillet surface, contains only 7 calories vs. the 122 found in a regular tablespoon of Canola Oil or the 104 in a tablespoon of (surprise!) EITHER butter or margarine.
Like many others, I had some reservations about the use of propellants used because of their cumulative impact on the environment and Ozone layer of the Earth. So, I made it a point to try two hand-pump alternatives into which one pours the oil, primes the pump by hand and then sprays. In both instances, I found the mechanics unsatisfactory and inconsistent. Having to re-pump one of these gadgets mid-spray is especially annoying. I will stick with the PAM.
PAM is nutritionally neutral, containing neither Fats, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrates, Protein nor significant amounts of any measurable vitamin or mineral. The only other ingredients in the can include a tad of grain alcohol, some soy lecithin and the propellant. Therefore, it adds no flavor to your foods, but does a near flawless job of providing just enough protection to the bottom of your favorite pots and pans so as to reduce and often eliminate the food sticking to the bottom surface.
Likewise, I have found PAM to be a wonderful convenience to coat the bottom and sides of bake ware rather than the ‘old’ way of rubbing butter or margarine around all the surfaces manually!
PAM is a reliable and incredibly useful staple that no kitchen should be without.