The best oil mister
Many cooks are replacing heavy fats like butter and lard with lighter alternatives like olive and avocado oil. But healthy fats are still fats, and it's easy to overpour, especially if you're using economy-sized bottles from a warehouse store. Your wholesome salad isn't so healthy if it's swimming in oil.
Oil misters can help you save both money and calories. These reusable tools let you spray even amounts of oil, vinegar, and other condiments onto your salad greens, your skillet, or your grill. Some give you a spritz, while others provide a stream. Our top pick, the Delta Evo Oil Sprayer Bottle, provides consistent results without pumping or unnatural propellants.
Considerations when choosing oil misters
Pump or trigger
Most oil misters dispense their oil via a pump mechanism you press with one finger. The pump mechanism releases one spray of oil. Pump misters are less expensive to make and are a good choice for dishes where you need a specific, consistent amount of oil.
Trigger misters, as the name implies, disburse oil when you pull the dispensing mechanism toward you with a finger or two. Trigger-style misters release a consistent mist or stream of oil better suited for longer tasks, like preparing a muffin pan. They're usually more expensive to produce than misters with pump mechanisms.
Oil misters vary widely in how much they hold. The smallest bottles can fit about 2.5 ounces of oil -- plenty for regularly spritzing it on a salad. Others can contain more than 40 ounces, which is best for those who dispense oil frequently or use a mister to replace commercial cooking sprays. When it comes to capacity, bigger isn't always better. Oil can turn rancid over time, especially when exposed to sunlight or high heat. Most manufacturers recommend thoroughly washing your oil mister regularly to maintain freshness and prevent clogs.
Most oil misters are constructed from plastic, glass, stainless steel, or a combination of these materials.
Plastic misters are usually the least expensive. Misters made from plastic will not shatter if you drop them, but they can still crack and make a mess. Plastic containers can harbor remnants of stronger oils, affecting the flavor of the mister's next contents.
Although they can shatter, glass misters offer significant advantages. They're usually more substantial, so most can withstand small bumps or short drops. What's more, glass misters don't absorb flavors from their contents.
Stainless steel misters outshine plastic and glass when it comes to durability, although they may dent if dropped. Their opaque finish protects their contents from sunlight, which can ruin many plant-based oils. Stainless steel containers can accumulate smudges and fingerprints on the surface, so they may require extra cleaning if you keep them out on the counter.
Oil misters range in price from under $10 to around $25, depending on materials and construction. Bottles made primarily from plastic or glass are usually cheaper than stainless steel misters.
Q. Why do I need to keep olive oil out of sunlight?
A. Olive oil and some other plant oils react poorly with sunlight. Unrefined, plant-based oils like olive oil contain chlorophyll, the green chemical that allows plants to produce their own food through photosynthesis. Sunlight plays a large role in photosynthesis, so exposing a plant-based oil to large amounts of it can change the chemical makeup and ruin the bottle. Store olive and avocado oil in bottles that sunlight can't penetrate, like stainless steel.
Q. How frequently should I wash out my mister?
A. Oil misters can go longer than other kitchen tools between cleanings but still need regular care. Wash your mister when it's empty and time for a refill. Don't let your mister go longer than six to eight weeks without cleaning, or you risk a clogged nozzle. Oil left too long can go rancid, especially in higher temperatures.
Oil misters we recommend
Best of the best: Delta Evo Oil Sprayer Bottle
Our take: A generously-sized mister that sprays without pumping to build pressure.
What we like: Stainless steel body protects oil from sunlight. Long dip tube. Handles many types of oil and vinegar.
What we dislike: May take practice to learn to use the trigger for misting.
Best bang for your buck: CHUANGSIxx Olive Oil Sprayer
Our take: A budget pick with a robust pump that delivers generous results.
What we like: Stainless steel and glass construction. Pumps and sprays easily.
What we dislike: Glass portion is a bit fragile.
Our take: Delivers a fine, aerosol-quality spray using only air as a propellant.
What we like: High-quality, even spray. Wide mouth. Few clogs.
What we dislike: Capacity is smaller than other misters.
Kristin Yarbrough is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.