I’m wary of kitchen gadgets — mostly because many feel like a solution in search of a problem. Here is an avocado slicer that does the job of a knife; there is a tool for removing corn from the cob, again doing the job of…a knife.
But sometimes gadgets make sense. A garlic press, for instance, is technically a gadget but remains obviously useful for most home cooks.
So I’m here to tell you about an oil sprayer — ostensibly a gadget — that is worthwhile and helpful, if incredibly basic.
First, why buy an oil sprayer when cooking spray, like Pam, exists? Well, first, because cooking spray bottles are wasteful, expensive, and can prove dangerous for the folks tasked with recycling or disposing of them. Also, cooking spray often isn’t great with high-heat cooking. It smokes and turns an unpleasant, crude-oil-black color in the pan. A spray of canola or grapeseed oil, however, can handle super high temps.
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However, a lot of oil sprayers looked, for lack of a better word, crappy. They misted, practically leaked, but hardly seemed capable of giving a good spray.
Then I stumbled across this sprayer and a video that seemed to show it dispensing a wide, even stream of oil. As someone who does a ton of air frying for work and who cooks eggs most days while working from home, I could stand to reduce my cooking spray usage.
The oil sprayer I never really knew I needed.
Credit: screenshot : amazon
I ordered the $16.99 sprayer off Amazon and it arrived after a few days. As far as I can tell, the NGECORS oil sprayer is a typical, random Amazon gadget, which means it’s part of an invented brand that’s shipped from China. NGECORS is a brand owned by the Hunan Soft Power Information Technology Co., which is based in China. Anyway, it’s basically of unknown origin, but so are so many things we buy online.
It came with some rubber labels — I suppose if you had multiple sprayers this would prove useful — and a nifty, collapsible funnel for filling it with oil. The funnel worked really well and it was simple enough to load up the sprayer.
Credit: mashable / tim marcin
So, the $16.99 question: Does it spray well?
Quick answer: yes.
I used the sprayer for a number of tasks: greasing an airfryer basket, frying eggs, prepping meat for the grill. It did all of the tasks well. The sprayer has three settings, which basically amount to a direct squirt and two levels of mist. There’s really no use for anything but the mist functions.
The bottle, all filled up.
Credit: Mashable / tim marcin
Does it make a perfect line of oil like in the video? I mean…no, not totally. It’s not as smooth of a process. But it does a great job spraying a thick mist of oil, using just a quarter-teaspoon of oil per trigger pull. You won’t coat an entire pan with one spray unless you have fantastic aim, but two or three might do.
A few tips: It helps to hold the bottle upright; pull the trigger hard; watch your aim. The sprayer really lets the oil fly. It comes out fast and in a horizontal line, so my main issue was that I often missed the pan using it. An errant spray would pfffft against the backsplash in my kitchen.
Otherwise, I found the sprayer to be simple, functional, and easy to use. It’s not quite as good at spreading the oil out like cooking spray in an aerosol can, but it’s like 90 percent as good. To me that’s a huge win.
Here’s a pic of me spraying a pan before frying an egg.
Look at that stream.
Credit: mashable / TIM MARCIN
I fried the egg on high heat until it was super, super crispy on the bottom in an effort to show the sprayer works great and the oil left no burnt residue, unlike cooking spray.
Credit: mashable / time marcin
So yes, the sprayer isn’t the coolest gadget in the world. Let’s be real, it’s basically a Windex bottle for oil. But cool doesn’t necessarily mean useful. The sprayer is useful and serves two purposes: reducing waste and cooking more effectively. That’s more than you could say for an avocado slicer. And at $16.99, after spending a week or two with it, I think it’s worth the price.
A kitchen gadget that’s practical and works. Who would’ve thought?