Greasing is necessary to prevent foods from sticking to the pan when baking cakes and breads. It's also needed when cooking some meats and other items on the stove, particularly if you do not use nonstick cookware. If you're out of butter or margarine and your cooking-spray can is empty, know that there are several items you can use to grease a pan instead. When baking, be sure to read the recipe, because some recipes call for greasing the whole pan and others just the bottom.
Save bacon grease in a jar, and store it in the refrigerator. When it's time to grease a pan, use a napkin or paper towel and scoop out a dab to grease your pan. Bacon grease works well when cooking pancakes, meats and other items on the stove. It's not recommended for baked goods, however, because it can add a slight bacon flavor to the food.
Scoop out a dab of shortening. Grease a pan with it, using a napkin or paper towel to spread it around. Shortening works well for baked goods and is quite suitable for cooking on the stove as well.
Grease a pan with lard. Cut off a piece and rub it on your pan using a napkin or paper towel. Lard is good for both baked goods and pan-fried foods.
Use cooking oil for greasing pans when making foods in the oven and on the stove. Olive oil is suitable for cooking meat, vegetables and pastas. However, a less flavorful vegetable oil may be better for mild flavored baked goods.