Pros: Simple to use, refillable with your favorite olive oil, economical, stylish
Cons: Needs frequent pumping, you must remember to clean it periodically
So, what do we know about this Xeno guy anyway? Well if you read me regularly you know I love to cook. And, you probably also know that I love my gadgets. Not just any gadgets, well thought out gadgets. Pasta Express? Not even with your money! But when something comes along thats plausible, interesting and can serve a real purpose, it gets my undivided attention.
A few times a year when Ive collected a bunch of interesting new recipes, often with the help of Epicurious, the ever-so-charming Mrs. Xeno and I announce a dinner party. We ring up several friends and invite them over. Nothing formal mind you and usually pretty spur of the moment. Therell be some good eating, lively conversation and a lot of laughing.
And often our friends come bearing gifts. Maybe a new New Zealand wine, a block of cheese or my favorite, a new gadget. The gadget bearers have learned that this is almost a guarantee of a re-invite (unless of course they come bearing a Pasta Express, in which case I readily judge it would be best to keep them from driving on public roads).
And that is how I came by my Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer.
What is it?
Well hardly any mystery here. Simply, it is a non-aerosol sprayer designed specifically to spray a fine mist of olive oil. It is a tall (7 ?), slender (2 in diameter) cylinder that appears to be a combination of brushed stainless steel and black plastic. I believe its actually all plastic, but very stylishly executed. Remove the top third of the cylinder and you can see that it is indeed a sprayer.
How to Use
Use is childs play. Unscrew the spray head, fill with about 1/3 cup of your favorite olive oil, re-screw the spray head and youre almost set to go. Remember, I said it was non-aerosol. You replace the top of the cylinder and when you notice the resistance its your cue to pump the sprayer to build the necessary pressure. I find that 20 pumps is the optimum. Now, removing once again the top of the cylinder and holding it on a slight angle, point and shoot. You get about 10-15 seconds of fine olive oil spray. It may not sound like a long time, but its more than sufficient to coat a pan, a salad, some chicken, fish or veggies youre about to cook. Did you know that according to the instructions on a can of Pam, a single serving of this odious spray is exactly 1/3 second! Does anyone use a single serving? Of course not. But you get the idea. If 10-15 seconds isnt enough for you merely pump it up again.
Im a guy who loves his olive oil. I use it almost all the time. When starting a dish I almost always start with a couple of tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. But sometimes a dish calls for no oil at all. Since I use almost exclusively stainless cookware, a quick spray of the pot, pan or griddle surface assures a relatively non-stick experience, contributing virtually no oil to the dish.
Other times I find that giving your chicken or fish a fine brief spray of olive oil helps to fix and hold your seasoning and herbs. When using dry herbs it also helps to release their flavor. You can then put them into the oven to bake without having to worry that youre inadvertently frying your food (not that heres anything wrong with that).
Finally, I love to roast my vegetables. But Im an impatient guy. So I cheat. I start them (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, etc) in a microwave steamer (yes, another gadget). Three minutes or so in the steamer is all you need. Pop them on a cookie sheet, spray with a little EVOO and season. Usually when Im using the sprayer for this I use some garlic infused olive oil that I always have prepared. About 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and you have vegetable perfection. Moist but not greasy, crunchy but not hard. So good!
So youre finished. I usually unscrew the spray top to release any built up pressure. I wipe the sprayer around with some paper towel, replace the cylinder top and sit it right back down on my counter-top. Sometimes the cylinder top meets with a little pressure left in the sprayer and has a tendency to pop up. Just give it a little clockwise twist and it behaves itself.
Cleaning (the manufacturers instructions)
We always recommend washing you MISTO? using directions included in the instructions booklet to keep the internal assembly clean and working properly. Usually MISTO? will need to be cleaned approximately every 6 to 8 weeks to keep it working smoothly.
1. Fill the MISTO? 1/2 full with hot tap water
2. Add one drop liquid detergent and shake to mix.
3. Pump 10-15 times
4. Spray for ten seconds
5. Allow the soapy water to remain in the sprayer for several hours or even overnight. This will allow it to break down any oil that has solidified in the sprayer.
6. Rinse, repeat the sequence above with fresh hot water.
Okay, Im back. Now just in case you missed it, that step 6 is an important one to remember. Read it again. Unless you feel about liquid Dawn the way I feel about Olive Oil its a good step to remember. Rinse out the detergent!
Where to buy
The Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer is available at all the usual places (Linens n Things, BB&B, The Cellar, etc.). It is pretty reasonably priced at about $10.
A must have? Of course not! What gadget is? But, if you love olive oil, but dont want to necessarily bathe your food in it (I must admit I sometimes do) this is a handy little helper in the kitchen. And, for non-stick cooking with stainless steel its hard to beat.
Now go cook something good tonight.
Helpful Cooking Tool Links
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Microplane Coarse Grater
Chef'n Garlic Machine
Chef'n Pepper Ball
Chef'n Salt Ball Salt Mill
© Rudi Xeno 2007