Skip to Content

Can You Spray Pam Directly on Food? (Explained)

Can You Spray Pam Directly on Food? (Explained)

PAM is one of the most famous non-stick cooking sprays on grocery store shelves. For non-stick pans, it keeps the food from sticking once the heat is applied. But can you spray PAM directly on food?

Yes, you can spray PAM directly on food because it is safe for consumption. Once PAM is sprayed in the pan, the food comes in contact with the contents of the spray when the food goes in the pan. The outcome is better if the pan is sprayed by itself rather than spraying the food.

PAM also works on utensils to keep the food from sticking to them. The utensils also come in contact with the food. So it is entirely safe, so please keep reading because we have some more valuable information and tips to share.

Baking with PAM Cooking Spray

PAM cooking spray is used for stovetop, oven, and microwave use. The spray works the same for all three appliances, as you only need to spray on the pans enough to coat the bottom lightly.

Suppose you want to bake a cake. Without the cooking spray or oil, it could be disastrous for the cake when trying to get it out of the pan. Once the pan is turned over, it will not fall out as desired. It will take scraping with a spatula which will not leave much to the cake’s figure.

So, spray the pan with PAM cooking spray and then put the cake mixture in the pan for the cake to bake in the oven. The contents will mix, but the cooking spray will remain around the pan as a coating so that the cake will fall out of the pan in one piece.

Directly spraying the mixture will not stop it from sticking. It would not hurt anything if you sprayed the cake mix, but it would defeat the purpose of keeping it from sticking to the pan. The coating should separate the two. This is another example to show how safe PAM cooking spray is.

Cooking Oil vs. Cooking Spray

Cooking Oil vs Cooking Spray

The base of PAM cooking spray is the vegetable oil used to make the spray. However, it has other ingredients like soy lectin that separate it from cooking oil. Cooking oil also has a high content of fat which is much higher than PAM cooking spray.

Cooking oil has around 120 calories in a spoonful. PAM spray does not have the same calorie count as long as it is used according to the directions on the back of the bottle. The more sprayed into the pan, the higher the calorie count. Like cooking oil, too much will affect the taste and texture of the food when cooking or baking.

If a recipe calls for cooking oil, then use cooking oil. Do not replace it with PAM cooking spray because using the same amount of PAM to oil will cause a flavor deficit. If you must spray PAM, only spray a small amount directly on the food or the mixture. A small amount will not ruin the taste or texture.

Cooking Spray vs. Butter

Cooking Spray vs. Butter

This is another area people can make mistakes when substituting butter with PAM cooking spray. If the recipe calls for margarine instead of butter, it will not make much difference because it is made with cooking oils. The flavors are entirely different.

The buttery flavor everyone loves will be replaced with an oily taste, and the texture will come out greasy. When the recipe calls for butter, cut back on the amount of cooking spray used. If the recipe calls for margarine, not much will need adjustment to the amount used.

The Downside of Using PAM Cooking Oil

PAM cooking spray is flammable, with a warning label on the can. People are confused about spraying PAM directly on food because of the ingredients. A warning that may confuse needs to be clarified. These are just a few ingredients that are raising questions:

  • Lecithin
  • Butane or Propane

The combination of oil and butane or propane makes PAM a flammable product. The propellant is what makes the spray come out of the can. These ingredients are used in the food more than realized. They are propellants approved by the FDA and deemed safe. Like all cautionary products, labels are there to warn the public.

Lecithin is an emulsifier that is found in egg yolks and soybeans. It sprays, creating the coating to keep food from sticking. Lecithin is also a fat that raises eyebrows, along with the propellants used, to wonder if PAM cooking oil is safe and if it is safe to spray directly on food.

The answer will always be yes, as long as it is not sprayed near an open flame or the can is not in temperatures of 120 degrees or over. Reading the labels and following the directions will keep you safe.


Can you spray PAM on popcorn?

Yes, popcorn lovers love the flavor of popcorn sprayed with PAM, as it leaves an oiler coating that helps all the popcorn kernels pop.

With all the chemicals in PAM, is it harmful to our health?

No, it is not harmful to our health because there are many different types of chemicals in everything we eat. Almost everything we eat is processed. The FDA has to approve everything put into the foods we eat. PAM contains isobutane (gas propellant) and dimethylpolysiloxane (anti-foaming ingredient). It is only a tiny amount used that keeps it safe. There is nothing nutritional about it, but at the same time, it does not hurt to consume a small amount.

Can you spray PAM on a non-stick pan?

It would not be wise to spray a non-stick pan with PAM or any cooking oil because it will have a build-up over time that cannot be removed.