A lady asking if Pam can be used in an air fryer.

Can you use Pam in Air Fryer?

As people continue to try out different ways to cook with an air fryer, a popular question comes up: Can you use Pam cooking spray in an air fryer? The answer is, using Pam in an air fryer prevents sticking and adds crispiness, but it contains butane and propane-like propellants. Consumption of these propellants should be limited, as these hydrocarbons can react with the non-stick coating, compromising it and potentially mixing into the food.

Also Read: How to add oil to air fryer?

What is cooking spray?

Cooking spray is a liquid that you can spray on food to make it less likely to stick to the surface of the air fryer basket. These cooking sprays are made of a mixture of oil, lecithin, and propellants. The coating makes it less likely that food will stick and easier to clean up.

On the market, there are many different kinds of food sprays to suit different cooking styles and dietary needs. Here are some popular ones: Pam Cooking Spray, Vegetable Oil Spray, Olive Oil Spray, Coconut Oil Spray, Canola Oil Spray

Introducing Pam Cooking Spray

Pam cooking spray is a popular brand of cooking spray that has gained widespread recognition for its ability to provide a non-stick surface for cooking. It is a trusted product that offers a convenient way to reduce the amount of oil needed in various cooking applications.

Different variations/flavors of Pam cooking spray are: Original Pam, Butter Pam, Olive Oil Pam
Original Pam: The classic variety, perfect for everyday cooking needs.
Butter Pam: Infused with the rich and creamy taste of butter, ideal for enhancing the flavor of dishes.
Olive Oil Pam: Combining the benefits of olive oil and the convenience of a spray, this variation adds a touch of Mediterranean flair to recipes.

Ingredients in PAM Cooking Spray

‘Pam original cooking spray’ mentions the ingredients used in their products are Canola oil, coconut oil, palm oil, legithin (extracted from soybeans), dimethyl silicone [2] (extracted from anti-foaming), and rosemary extract (a preservative).

Another ‘Pam original’ mentions the ingredients: Canola oil, coconut oil, modified palm oil, soy lecithin, rosemary extract, dimethylpolysiloxane, propellant (isobutane and propane). Contains:soy. [3]

Most Pam spray contains butane and propane as the propellent. From scientific studies, the acceptable residue level of hydrocarbons including propane and butane is 1 milligram per kilogram of food. [4] However, various food test suggests that the amount found was less than 0.1 milligrams hydrocarbon per kilogram in food cooked using Pam. [4]

Also, hydrocarbons in pam react with the non-sticky coating of the air fryer basket and over time, the coating will start to weather out and unknowingly you might be eating the coating and traces of metal.

Using Pam in an Air Fryer

There are some important things to think about when you use food sprays in an air fryer. Let’s learn more about the subject:

Safety considerations and precautions when using cooking sprays in air fryers

Before using Pam or any other food spray in your air fryer, it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Read the Air Fryer manual to make sure you know how to use cooking sprays according to the manufacturer’s directions. Some air fryers may come with special instructions or rules.
  • Avoid Aerosol Cans: Aerosol cans shouldn’t be used directly in air fryers because they may contain propellants that could damage the air fryer coating or affect the cooking process.
  • Spray Outside the Air Fryer:  Spray the cooking spray directly on the food or into a different container, and then use a brush or your hands to coat the ingredients evenly before putting them in the air fryer.

Can you use Pam in an air fryer?

Pam cooking spray can keep food from sticking and make it crispy, but it also has hydrocarbons in it that repel water, such as butane and propane. These hydrocarbons shouldn’t be more than 1 milligram per kilogram of food. Also, these hydrocarbons can combine with the non-stick coating on the air fryer, which could make it less effective and let them into the food. So, avoid pam spray as much as possible.

Pros and cons of using Pam cooking spray in an air fryer


  • Convenient and easy to use, and it coats food quickly and evenly.
  • Lessens the need for too much oil, which makes cooking healthy.
  • Adds to the crispiness of air-fried foods.


  • Some air fryer makers may tell you not to use cooking sprays to keep their non-stick coatings lasting longer.
  • If you use too much Pam or any other food spray, it can build up on the air fryer basket or make the air fryer degrade quickly.

What is the alternative to Pam or cooking spray?

To prevent food from sticking into air fryer basket, you can use cooking oil like olive oil or vegetable oil in air fryer basket before pouring food in it. Another thing to do will be using aluminum foil or parchment paper or bowls made of metal or glass inside air fryer basket. But never put things like, paper plate, plastic, water, wax paper inside air fryer.

Are there any risks of using Pam in an air fryer?

Most of the time, it’s safe to use Pam food spray in an air fryer, but there are some risks to be aware of. If you use too much Pam or any other food spray, it can build up on the air fryer basket and make it less non-stick over time. Also, some air fryer makers may tell you not to use cooking sprays to keep their nonstick coatings lasting longer. To reduce any possible risks, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions.

Tips for effectively using Pam in an air fryer

Consider the following tips to get the most out of Pam cooking spray in your air fryer:

  • Use sparingly: Use a light, even layer of Pam to keep things from getting too greasy or sticky.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: If you let the air fryer heat up for a few minutes before adding the food and spraying it with Pam, the food will brown and get crispier.
  • Clean the Air Fryer Basket: Clean the air fryer basket often to get rid of any cooking spray dust or buildup. This will make sure it works at its best.

FAQ About Using Pam and Other Cooking Spray in Air Fryer

Is it safe to use cooking sprays in air fryers?

Using food sprays in air fryers is usually safe if you take the right steps. If you want to use food sprays in your air fryer, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions. Some makers of air fryers may tell you not to use aerosol cans directly in the appliance because it could cause damage or mess up the cooking process. But food sprays can be used safely if they are used right and safety rules are followed, like spraying outside the air fryer or using other ways to apply the spray.

What are the best cooking sprays for air fryers?

The best cooking sprays for air fryers rely on what you like and what you need to cook. Vegetable oil spray, olive oil spray, coconut oil spray, and canola oil spray are some of the most common choices. Each type has its own taste and qualities, so you can choose the one that goes best with the food you’re making.

Can I use oil instead of cooking spray in an air fryer?

Yes, you can use oil in an air fryer instead of food spray. Before putting food in an air fryer, it’s usual to put a small amount of oil on it. This makes the food crispier. This can be done by brushing oil over the contents or drizzling it over them. But if you use oil instead of cooking spray, the food might turn out a little differently, and you might have to apply it more carefully to keep it from being too oily.

How do I clean my air fryer after using food spray?

After using cooking oil, it’s not too hard to clean an air fryer. First, stop the air fryer and let it cool down all the way. Take the basket or tray out of the oven and wash it with warm clean water and a soft sponge or brush to get rid of any cooking spray residue. Rinse it well and let it dry completely before putting it back together. Use a wet cloth or sponge to clean the outside of the air fryer. Always look at the manufacturer’s directions to find out how to clean something.

Can I use nonstick sprays from other brands in my air fryer?

You can usually use other nonstick sprays in your air fryer as long as they can handle high heat cooking. But it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions to make sure the food is compatible with your air fryer type. When using nonstick sprays in an air fryer, it’s also important to follow the same safety rules and precautions, like spraying outside of the appliance or using other ways.

Can cooking sprays be used with all air fryers?

Not all air fryers can be used with food sprays, so it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions and suggestions for your model. Some makers may say not to use aerosol cans directly in the appliance, while others may have specific rules about how to use cooking sprays. Always look at the manufacturer’s notes to make sure you’re using cooking sprays correctly.

Can I use Pam on my air fryer’s extra parts?

Using Pam on the baking pan or grill rack of an air fryer is fine if it is suitable with the materials and finishes of those parts.

Try Our Healthy Air Fryer Recipes:

Video extracted from PAM website using PAM for chicken [1]
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