Pan Grease

Mrs Cindy

I don't know what is wrong with me sometimes. I have known about pan grease, how to make it, how professional bakeries use it, how easy it is to use and how well it works. So why in the world did I come up with all these excuses to keep from doing it? You know, Pam is quicker, Pam is so easy, Pam is right there in the pantry, I don't have time to make the pan grease, it will take longer to use than Pam. What was wrong with me?

Sometimes I'm just so stupid. I HATE Pam. Always have. I hate the build-up on my pans that will never come off. Unless, of course you want to use steel wool on your pans. I don't, so my pans look horrible. Not to mention all the chemicals in Pam. Yoou know, aerosol, something to keep it in particulate form and Lord only knows what else. I have insisted that we start eating organic. I have a veggie tote delivered to the house from a local organic farmer. No pesticides, no hormones. But I use Pam because pan grease was going to be too much trouble to make.

Okay, that's all in the past. I can see all you old baking circle members smiling and shaking your heads. Yes, you told me 10 years ago. I did not listen at that time. I listened this time. Now it is my turn to tell the new ones. PAN GREASE IS THE BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO BAKING/COOKING IN YOUR LIFE TIME!!!

Don't believe me? Mix 1 tablespoon Crisco, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon flour and use it to grease (with a silicone brush) a pan or two. You will thank me, like I am thanking all those bakers who have been hounding me for ten years. Just do it. Later you can mix up a bigger batch.

~Cindy (looking very shame-faced)

badge posted by: Mrs Cindy on September 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm in General discussions
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reply by: omaria on September 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Oh my Cindy, I am just sitting here grinning. I am so glad you posted this. It is just the push I need! Baked 4 breads this week and used butter to grease. Thought about using the Pam but knew I should not, so used butter.It was too much trouble to go looking how to make the pan grease. But no more excuses now. I will make a jar of it this afternoon. How long will it stay good ? Thank you. Ria.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Mrs Cindy

In never goes bad. You can keep it in the fridge or the pantry. I used 1 cup each of Crisco, vegetable oil and flour. Put it in the food processor for a couple of secs and then into a large yogurt container labeled "pan grease" and into the fridge. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. Stupid, stupid!


reply by: --jej on September 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

You don't have to be shame-faced, mrscindy!!

I don't want to use anything other than the pan grease I learned to make on the Old BC for when I bake bread, and I'm sure there were many of us. It just does the right thing for the crusts of bread, for me, at least.

The best thing about it is that the ingredients are all room temp. stuff, so the grease keeps on my counter (or in the pantry). And equal amounts of shortening (in my house, it's butter-flavored Crisco), oil (Crisco's canola oil for me), and AP flour are so easy to do and easy to remember. I just dump them all in my little food processor and in no time flat they're all so well mixed up and put into a 2-cup margarine tub from yore... I usually use 1/2 to 2/3 cup of each, since my little processor is only about a 3-cupper. And that seemingly small amount really does go for a good while, and gets used up in time so that not much separation ever occurs.

Pam? Yes, not my favorite either, but I use it for certain other things. Usually when I'm in a big hurry!! LOL

reply by: omaria on September 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Well, it is done ! It looks very nice and creamy. Like a nice buttercreme frosting. No I did not taste it. LOL

I put it back in the shortening container, which just about had a cup left in it. Marked it as pan grease and now I am set. Thanks every one.

reply by: cwcdesign on September 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm

So my question is (since my can of PAM is almost gone and now I won't have to buy another) when you need to lightly grease the plastic wrap to put over your rising dough, do you brush the pan grease on that as well, or just a light coating of oil?

Another question -please be patient, I can be dense - why use pan grease which contains flour when you are baking something in a pan which you are only told to lightly grease, not "grease and flour?"

Am I over-thinking this?

Thanks, Carol

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

If it says to lightly oil, then I just smear a bit of oil about.

Likewise, if it says to just "lightly grease", I also just smear a bit of crisco, butter, or margarine about.

I don't know why you couldn't just go ahead and use pan release for plain grease. I'm not sure why sometimes they want you to use flour and sometimes not, though typically the only things I can recall consistently calling for greasing AND flouring are cakes.

Probably wouldn't try it for "lightly oiled" though. Most of the time when something says that, it's some sort of baked pasta dish, eg no flour to start with. If it is a flour-based dish, then I don't see why pan release wouldn't work during a baking step (eg not as a replacement for oiling plastic wrap during a rise stage)

The one exception I can think of is that Blitz Bread that stuck so badly for me - it actually said "Lightly grease and drizzle with olive oil" which I interpreted to mean to drizzle olive oil around and then smear THAT around. What they WANTED you to do was grease the pan, THEN drizzle some olive oil in. In that case, I'm not sure how pan release would work as the olive oil might tend to just semi-dissolve the flour in the pan release, or soak into it, or float it loose, or otherwise interfere with the nonsticking properties of the flour when used in pan release. Of course there's already oil in the pan release, so maybe it would have no effect at all.

I'm only imagining - I have no idea how using pan release in that situation might work.

reply by: berwynbaker on September 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Okay MrsCindy and Ria, you have shamed me into making some pan grease tomorrow. I must admit, I have wanted to do this before but somehow never got around to it. Swirth, I believe this is something else we have to Thank you for im memory serves me right. bb

reply by: cwcdesign on September 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm


That's sort of what I was thinking. I'm perfectly fine with oiling plastic wrap or whatever. I think I just got lazy when I got the PAM. I really prefer not to use things like that.

So thank you Cindy, and swirth for encouraging more of us to follow your lead.

reply by: swirth on September 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

There are some pump sprayers for using your own oil in so you can spray an oil of choice onto cooking/baking pans and the like. They are pricey to get a good quality one but folks would rather use them than all the chemicals in things like Pam.

Dr. OZ had one on his show last year but I was busy and didn't write down the brand name. I do know you cannot use a regular spray bottle of any kind to spray oil...have done that and it doesn't work at all.

I'll look for some info on such an oil sprayer and will report back when I find something.

reply by: frick on September 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I made it (1/2 cup of each) a couple of weeks ago when I went on the cake baking binge. AFTER the chocolate cake stuck so badly. I used it on the little Blueberry Cream Cheese Cakes I made but I believe I applied it a little too heavily. Since some of the cakes were for a birthday, I couldn't risk that they wouldn't come out. The silly little cakes came right out but were too pale, I hope due to the crappy oven blowing all the hot air on the top.

Did not think of putting in in the food processor. I whipped it up in the mixer. I don't know why I put it off so long either.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm
Mrs Cindy

I would think, in the case of the Blitz Bread, since they want you to grease then drizzle oil, the greasing would happen with the grease (Crisco) in the pan grease. Then drizzling the oil over the 'grease' should not have any adverse effect on the grease. I think I would try it. I really think using the pan grease then drizzling the oil would produce the release you want.

Just my take on the problem.


reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm
Mrs Cindy

Frick, all I know is the Chocolate Cherry bread I made today usually has some chocolate sticking problems. Not to mention those pesky little cherries! Every one of these loaves popped right out, with NOTHING sticking to the pans, not even one single chocolate chip! Surprised? Yeah, I was surprised and very, very pleased. My loaves came out looking so professional! I think it would be easy to apply the pan grease too heavily. I was very cautious after the first pan to use just enough to cover the pan and nothing more. It really doesn't take much. Gosh, I'm loving this stuff!


reply by: swirth on September 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm

On the oldBC, a poor nurse/baker had such a time using cast iron bread pans and dreadful sticking...I told her about the pan grease and she started using it and said her breads flew out of the pans...she was so happy!

reply by: Mike Nolan on October 01, 2011 at 12:01 am
Mike Nolan

Both Pampered Chef and Tupperware have sold oils sprayers.

I currently have the Pampered Chef one, it works fairly well except that every month or two I have to clean it with hot water because it clogs and does a stream instead of a mist.

reply by: sandra Alicante on October 01, 2011 at 2:37 am
sandra Alicante

I'd love to try this, but can't get Crisco or indeed vegetable shortening here. If I used butter in it, I'd have to keep it in the fridge which would make it hard to use........any ideas?

reply by: --jej on October 01, 2011 at 4:28 am

Sandra, ask at the grocery stores you frequent if there is something they have that you don't yet know about. When we lived in Italy back in the 60s, I discovered something there that, while not exactly the same, was doable. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of that product.

Another thought strikes me: I assume you live in Alicante, from your 'name.' We lived in Valladolid for a year in the early 70s. Another gal and I drove down to Madrid to attend some American Women's Club meetings (which was really neat). So I'm wondering if someone in such a setting might know of something 'local.' The AWC in Madrid had many members who were of Spanish nationality who would be in the know and could perhaps help you with this info.

Another thought: There were many of German nationality in Spain, and when we visited Alicante, it seemed to be a favorite vacation spot for them. Is it possible there might be something available like a shortening that is imported from Germany?

And still another thought in a little different vein: The AWC also had published a wonderful cookbook which has wonderful recipes submitted by both American and Spanish members. It was bi-lingual, with every recipe printed in both English and Spanish, on opposite sides of the pages. You might want to check that kind of thing out, if you haven't done so (although I'll bet you are ahead of me already on that idea. LOL) I was also fortunate, when we lived in India, to find a nice little cookbook there. I haven't seen it for a few years, though, and may have given it to my DD whose best friend is a young woman from there; I know I offered it to DD.

reply by: Cindy Leigh on October 01, 2011 at 8:04 am
Cindy Leigh

So this is just for baked goods, correct?
And it really doesn't go bad at room temp? The flour in it doesn't make it get moldy?
I just bought a silicone pan for the first time. Do they have to be greased?

reply by: cwcdesign on October 01, 2011 at 8:37 am

Thanks swirth and Mike,

We had one of those pumps at one point. It would clog and we'd clean it. But then it broke and we didn't bother to get another one. Maybe it's time to rethink that :-)

reply by: swirth on October 01, 2011 at 9:22 am

I don't know if our US Postal Service's Priority Mail boxes could be used to ship to Spain but I do know companies I deal with use it to ship to the Virgin Islands, Canada, PR, etc.

Someone for here could ship you a 3# can or a couple of pounds of the 'sticks' version then you could be all set.

USPS would be so much cheaper than UPS/FedEx if it would work.

They offer very cheap rates in a 'if it fits, it ships' with USPS so that would be the way to go if they allow it to go to your area.

reply by: BakerIrene on October 01, 2011 at 10:38 am

I'm going to stick my oar in because a friend with celiac pointed this out to me.

I would NOT make up pan grease with wheat flour because it ain't gluten free.This amount of wheat flour will set some celiacs off on a painful journey and they may never know what hit them.

I have always had success with a light smear of shortening (kept at room temperature) on a strip of paper towel. It has to be solid fat (shortening, butter, margarine) because oil drips down and therefore doesn't coat the pan. Sorry, I can't stand doesn't go everywhere it is needed, and it stinks something wicked.

After a generation of various "nonstick" brands, I have gone back to aluminum pans. A local discount store has been carrying bakery quality heavyweight stock at half the list price. I use either the shortening or a piece of parchment and no grease.

reply by: BakerIrene on October 01, 2011 at 10:41 am

For bread dough, just drip a little oil (like half a capful) into the bowl or whatever you use for the first rise. Dump in the lump of dough, roll it over, and there you are--just the right film of oil that will keep the plastic wrap from sticking.

reply by: sandra Alicante on October 01, 2011 at 12:27 pm
sandra Alicante

I'll have to have a closer look in some slightly different stores! For the person who was asking, the silicone pans don't need greasing for breads but some of the more delicate designs benefit from a drop of oil. You need to make sure stuff is well baked, if not, that is when it tends to stick!

reply by: BakerIrene on October 01, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Sandra, I buy pans from Honest Ed's in Toronto Canada. There ain't any place like that place...

The pans are made by Crown Cookware right here in Toronto. I guess they are popular in the restaurant industry, but I have only seen them at Honest Ed's.

The mystery to me is that Ontario bakery supply stores are selling "Fat Daddios" brand made in China which are identical to these bakery grade pans made right here. They are selling them for the exact same price... now go scratch your head over that one.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on October 01, 2011 at 2:35 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Higher markup = more profit for the seller. My guess is "Fat Daddios" is selling them for a higher markup even at wholesale.

It's not about "having to move manufacturing overseas to remain competitive" - it's about having more room to price gouge. Just look at Nike - their shoes didn't go down in price after moving manufacturing out of the country. Same thing with Trek bikes, which used to be made in the USA and are now in China. In fact, after the move they increased prices by a significant amount. About double, in fact.

reply by: sandra Alicante on October 01, 2011 at 3:36 pm
sandra Alicante

One thing I don't need is more pans! I have more than enough to store already, which is one benefit of silicone ones, they can be squashed with no ill effects! As it happens, there are loads of Chinese emporiums around here (go figure) that sell silicone stuff for a couple of euros, but I have loads of traditional stuff that does need greasing from time to time. Also, both Aldi and Lidl sell it on occasion and at reasonable cost.
Generally I use oil if I need to grease something but it can leave a residue behind if it gets baked on, hence my curiosity about anything that doesn't!

reply by: Mike Nolan on October 01, 2011 at 4:04 pm
Mike Nolan

Irene raised this issue upstream, but has anyone ever tried to make a gluten free pan grease using something like cornstarch instead of wheat flour?

reply by: berwynbaker on October 01, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I made up a batch of the pan grease today. Used it to grease a bread pan for a loaf of Oatmeal bread. The bread justed popped out of the pan. I have never had a problem of bread sticking so the test will come when I bake my next cake. Thanks for the advice. bb

reply by: terrieann on October 03, 2011 at 9:11 am

I read about the pan grease mix just recently and tried it. It worked great! I couldn't believe it. About the PAM, I use a Misto. Just fill half way with oil of your choice and pump and spray. I found mine at my local ROSS store fairly cheap, $7.00 I think. I love going into that store, you never know what you will find. Last week I found two KA loaf pans, $6.50 each and the vanilla bean paste sold at KA for $3.99, I bought all they had. I thought I got a great deal. Saves on shipping.


reply by: --jej on October 04, 2011 at 10:05 am

I had a very nice looking spray can that I bought a few years ago. Not cheap, either. I never could get it to work!! So I set it on the pantry shelf to remind myself of the folly of spending money on that kind of thing, and went back to buying the commercial things. However, I use the pan grease for pans, and the Pam (or whatever for those little 'light' sprayings.

reply by: bakerrn on December 04, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Yes, Swirth, and I have been using it ever since!! But I've stopped using Crisco for health reasons, and I'm wondering if anyone has ever tries just the oil and flour. Any suggestions for pan grease without Crisco?

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on December 04, 2012 at 3:40 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

What health reasons forced you to stop using vegetable shortening? It's as healthful as - or maybe no less healthful than - any other oil. Virtually trans-fat free if you're worried about that, and the tiny amount you use to grease your pan is inconsequential anyway.

There is no substitute for it for this purpose.

reply by: Livingwell on December 05, 2012 at 8:43 am

I tried a very small batch of the pan grease and must have done something wrong because it didn't work very well for me. I've since gone back to greasing (using shortening) and flouring my pans by hand, but may have to try the grease again. It's such a waste when something doesn't work that I hesitate to do so. The Baker's Joy (or whatever it was I bought with the flour already in it) didn't work, either. It came out like shaving cream! I tried smearing it around with a paper towel, but my cake stuck. When I contacted the company, they said that wasn't supposed to happen and sent me a coupon for a free can. Same thing, so I threw it away. I bought Wilton's Cake Release at Michael's with one of their 40% off coupons, but didn't like that, either. I know, hard to please, huh?

I just bought two Wilton non-stick 8X4 loaf pans because my old aluminum ones are soooo old that they're becoming misshapen. From what I've read, professional cooks/bakers prefer stainless steel and aluminum cook/bakeware, but it's almost impossible to find something that ISN'T non-stick. I love my Chicago Metallic non-stick cake pans, but they're the only non-stick bakeware I had until buying these new loaf pans. (My cookware is a combination of Scanpan for cooking sticky stuff and stainless for searing and frying.) Boy, that's the long way 'round to asking my question, which is, if professionals recommend stainless/aluminum, why is the market flooded with non-stick?

reply by: cwcdesign on December 05, 2012 at 10:24 am


I haven't made pan grease yet, but what I do is to melt a tablespoon of butter and combine it with a tablespoon of flour and brush that on my pans. If it's a chocolate cake, I actually use a tablespoon of cocoa powder instead. I actually got this hint from America's Test Kitchen and found it worked especially well on bundt pans (loaf pans, too!)

reply by: Livingwell on December 05, 2012 at 11:43 am

I've read that tip in their "Baking Illustrated" book that I have. I hesitate because of my experience with the pan grease, but it's good to know it works!

reply by: Brians11 on January 28, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi. Forgive my ignorance. I am new to baling...VERY NEW. Do I need to lubricate my cookie sheets, loaf pans, cake pans with anything BEFORE storing them? I was looking at how to care for my pans and it kept saying to use baking pan lubricant, which sounds very different than preparing a pan RIGHT before baking. I don't know if should be greasing them and then putting in cabinet, but I would think the oil would go rancid. Thank you for any advice.

If not too much to do you care for AND store your bakeware ?


reply by: pamposh on January 28, 2014 at 5:17 am

I live in Nepal & neither Pam nor ANY kind of shortening is available here.
But what I have found is this really waxy not terribly palatable margarine from Holland by the brand "Remia".
Even though I wouldn't spread this 'margarine' on a slice of toast & eat it due to it's odd flavor, when mixed into 'pan grease' it leaves no trace of it's odd flavor nor any 'waxiness' & my baked goods pop right out of the pan.
This Remia stuff comes in a yellow pail & usually goes on sale because no one buys it - (I am sure most Nepalis are wondering why anyone would eat that stuff when you can get delicious yak butter.)

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 28, 2014 at 6:58 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Whitney, unless they are cast iron - you should put them away clean. You could use some of that shelf liner between stacked pans to prevent scratching, or to keep them from getting stuck together (if they are jelly roll pans or loaf pans or other pans of nearly the same size that sort of stack).

reply by: frick on January 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Right. Don't put anything on your pans for storing (except a light coat of neutral oil on cast iron to prevent rust). I do put a cushion between some pans to prevent scratching, or "stuck". Sometimes just a paper plate for round things, and anything from thin cardboard to thin foam packing stuff or even a piece of parchment or waxed paper. No oil.
And speaking of pan grease. Since I mixed up my first batch a couple of years ago, I have used nothing but. There is nothing better. I use spray in my bread pans, pan grease for cakes, muffins & cupcakes, hot bubbling butter for cornbread, and parchment for cookies, biscuits, scones and biscotti.

reply by: wingboy on January 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I tried using coconut oil in place of Crisco to make pan grease. It needed more oil to be spreadable - coconut oil is solid at room temperature. In our house it's hard at room temperature (I'm too cheap, er, fiscally conservative, to heat much above 60). hence the need for more liquid fat. It didn't work as well as the Crisco version which I find works very well.

reply by: swirth on January 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

A few days ago I saw on TV to use a coffee filter for between plates/dishes, pans, cookware, bakeware and more to prevent scratching and sticking...they even showed using it when moving to travel to a new and easy.

reply by: frick on January 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Good idea! Paper plates work well also, for heavy things, like cast iron skillets.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm
Mrs Cindy

Swirth, this is a great tip! I keep a stack of coffee filters in each cabinet. I put them between measuring cups, plates, pans, anything that might stick together or scratch. I used to fight with stacked measuring cups when they stuck together. Even ended up breaking one when I tried everything to un-stick them. The coffee filter trick works like a charm! Great idea to use for packing and traveling. I'll have to remember that!
And I re-plenished my pan grease just a couple of days ago. Love that stuff. I use it on everything that calls for greasing! What I like the most about pan grease is that it washes away so easily. No sticky residue! I haven't bought a can of Pam since I started using 'our' pan grease!

reply by: Jock on January 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

I just mixed up my first batch of pan grease and it has the consistency of pancake batter. Is that how it is supposed to be?

reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm
Mrs Cindy

Yes, jock, you've got it right. Use a pastry brush to smear it on any pan you need greased. Then when finished, the pan goes into the dishwasher.

reply by: Jock on January 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Thank you :-)

reply by: Livingwell on January 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hmmmm. Maybe I'll have to give that pan grease another try.
I use the thin foam packing sheets that come with mail-orders to separate my platters, fine china, and anything else I don't want to get scratched or chipped by sticking together. It ain't pretty, but it works!

reply by: frick on January 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Livingwell, I use those also, between platters and some trays, though they aren't that old style rubber foam, but some kind of expanded plastic foam. Great stuff.

reply by: mmmpork on February 04, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Instead of shortening, try home-rendered lard! It's what shortening originally intended to replace because some food industry fat cat wanted to make a few bucks, and lard won't clog up your arteries with nasty trans-fats. For most of my pans I use cast iron or french iron, so the only time I wash them is a quick swish with hot water to get any food chunks or if I cooked something that might leave a bad flavor. I tend to use lard instead of butter in most recipes, maybe including a small amount of butter if it's needed for flavor. I buy really high quality butter that's expensive and rendering your own lard is significantly cheaper. I buy raw leaf lard from the farmer's market and render about 3 1/2 quarts out of it for around $8-10. I buy the Vermont Creamery cultured butter at $5 per 8 oz. And note, that's paying NYC prices. So lard is much cheaper. If you're vegetarian, you can also try virgin coconut oil or virgin palm oil instead of shortening. Coconut oil has more flavor than shortening but it's a lot healthier. For baking, I'm generally not a huge fan of non-stick and tend towards cast iron, enameled cast iron, or pyrex, but I will say the "USA Pans" brand KA carries are amazing and the non-stick coating is non-toxic. I've greased once or twice with lard and I never wash them (just a quick hot water rinse if something spilled).

reply by: chiara on February 04, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Would pan grease be appropriate in my Zo bread machine?

reply by: Mrs Cindy on February 08, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Mrs Cindy

Chiara, I can't think of any reason not to use pan grease in the bucket of your Zo. You could grease the inside of the bucket either before you put the ingredients in for mixing, or afterwards. Take the dough out, remove the paddles, grease with pan grease, form the dough and put it back in the pan. Either way, whichever is easiest for you, would work. I love this stuff!