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Getting Misty-Misto Mister

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As I was making the NAAN WITH CUMIN recipe the other day, and I started using two of my Misto Olive Oil Sprayers, it occurred to me they would be a suitable blog topic. I write blog entries from time to time about gear that makes my cooking or prep chores easier or better. I’ve been using Misto sprayers steadily for 8 years now and I wouldn’t want to be without them. I actually have three that I keep filled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olive Oil and Canola Oil and they get used all the time.

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This recipe for Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb has you slather the lamb with Dijon mustard and coat it with Italian breadcrumbs. The next stop is to brush on some olive oil to help protect the breadcrumbs until the lamb has started cooking. Spraying the olive oil on instead of brushing it on is much gentler and you dislodge far less of the breadcrumbs.

The first thing I should mention is this sprayer isn’t just for olive oil as the name implies. They can be used with any type of cooking oil or even vinegar. The unit consists of 3 parts. The base contains a well to hold the oil, the middle piece is the sprayer nozzle which unscrews to allow you to fill up the base and then there is a top which you pump to pressurize the unit. The beauty of the Misto is it is a NON-aerosol solution to spraying oils. You fill the base halfway up with the oil you wish to use and screw the sprayer nozzle back in. Then you replace the top and pump it up and down to pressurize the unit. Finally you remove the top and push the spray nozzle button to spray the oil. You get about 10 seconds of a very fine spray and then it is necessary to re-pressurize the unit again. I like the way this is a non aerosol solution. You are only spraying the oil on your food, not oil plus some sort of propellant. The exterior of the unit is a brushed aluminum which is easy to clean. To clean the insides of the unit, you fill it halfway with soap and water and then spray it to clean.


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The Misto makes spraying a steak with a fine coat of olive oil a breeze.

The Misto branded units list for $15.99 but can usually be purchased for around $9.99. There are competing units and I have tried two by Cuisinart which are part of their Cuisipro line. When the first Misto unit I bought clogged and wouldn’t unclog after 5 years of steady use, I bought two Cuisipro units to replace the Misto unit. I figured where they were from Cuisinart and cost a bit more, they would be better built and more reliable. Sadly I was wrong. The Cuisipro units were more temperamental right from the start. I had much more trouble getting them to spray without spurting and putting out too much liquid. Within a year’s time the two Cuisipro units wouldn’t spray and I couldn’t clean them out. I went back to the Misto brand and bought 3 new ones which have been in service for the last 3 years without a hitch.


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The Misto makes spraying a fine coat of oil on veggies to be grilled a quick task. Much faster than brushing it on.

I did mention the units can spurt at times and this is particularly true of the Cuisipros I used and to a lesser extent the Misto units. The trick is to have the right pressure in the unit. You don’t want to pump the unit too much or too little. If there isn’t enough pressure in the unit, you don’t get a consistent wide-angled fine spray. You get a more narrow spray that isn’t consistent. It is a mix of fine mist, bigger droplets and it will sometimes spurt even larger droplets. If you pump it up too much, you will get a focussed single stream of oil which is far more oil than you want. The cure to too little pressure is to pump up the the unit some more. The cure to too much pressure is to spray the unit until the pressure reduces and the stream of oil reduces to a fine spray. Even when you get the hang of pumping them to the right pressure, it is still a smart idea to make a test spray over the sink to see that the mist stream the way you want it.


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The Misto is great for spraying pizza dough prior to grilling

So what do I use my Mistos for? Well a little bit of everything. If you are like me, you will find more and more uses for it. One of the things I like using the Misto for is spraying oil on items that have received a rub. There are quite a few recipes I make where you put on a rub and then brush on some oil to help hold the rub on while grilling or smoking. The only problem is brushing on the oil can brush off some of the rub. Another thing I use the Misto for is to get oil onto vegetables headed out to the grill. You get a fine coating of oil on everything and it is much faster than brushing the oil on. I also like the fact the oil comes out in a fine mist and you have a greater degree of control than brushing on oil. It is also good for spraying oil onto grill pans or grill grids. I also use it to spray tortillas and pizza crusts before I take them out to the grill. The Misto sprayer is better for this task than brushing the oil on because you have better control over just how much olive oil you apply. Some people I know mix oil and vinegar together to make a salad dressing, which they then spray on with their Mistos. I haven’t tried to spray on my salad dressing with my Misto’s but my friends really like it. I’m sure you won’t have any problems finding uses for a Misto once you buy one.


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The Misto works great for tortillas for grilled quesadillas.

So you should give a Misto a try. It is faster, easier and gives you better control over the amount of oil you apply to your food. You also aren’t spraying a propellant onto your food in the process. You can find Misto Olive Oil Sprayers at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Williams-Sonoma. And remember they aren’t just for olive oil, you can use any kind of oil or vinegar in them.

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