We quickly determined that the quality of the Fine Mist Sprayer(KEXON) was much more important than its duration. While some misters could sustain a long spray—up to 20 seconds—they sputtered and spat. So even though we held and moved each mister similarly, the butcher paper for some models looked like abstract oil paintings; the squiggles, blotches, and irregular patterns were fun to look at, but they didn’t represent the even coverage we were after. The best mister sustained a shorter, 6-second spray, but its spray was so effective that it easily covered a skillet and muffin tin in just 3 seconds and covered the butcher paper with a fine, even mist. Comfort mattered, too. The cologne-style model’s spray was a quick, direct burst, so it directed a lot of oil into one space with poor coverage (and required 13 sprays to grease the muffin tin). The pump-style models were better at evenly covering a wide space, so even though they required some prep up front, once you started spraying, you didn’t have to pump again.
For a simple tool, the misters sure took some tinkering. Some dripped and dribbled or were hard to fill. Most pump-style models gave a specific number of pumps required for a single spray, but we found that they all sprayed better if we pumped until we felt significant resistance—up to 18 pumps for some models.
These ups and downs made us wonder why the nonaerosol misters couldn’t match PAM’s perfect, even spray. Our science editor explained that the higher pressure of an aerosol spray breaks the oil into finer droplets, making the oil less viscous. Additionally, PAM contains a propellant, which helps shoot out oil with more force than is possible in manual misters, and contains soy lecithin, which coats the fine droplets of oil, making them easier to disperse. Lecithin also plays a role in helping oil cling to pans more effectively. Without the propellant and soy lecithin, the oil is more difficult to spray and, once sprayed, the droplets clump together rather than remaining fine and separate.
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