You put your right foot in. You put your right foot out. You put your right foot in. And you,… oh no! That’s something entirely different.

Is “standard greasing procedure” a phrase you found in a recipe? Cookbooks thrive on repetition. Many cookbooks will have boilerplate text about a certain process or procedure that is repeated in dozens of recipes, and that text doesn’t vary from recipe to recipe (which makes it quite tedious if you are reading the book from front to back, as we often do). Sometimes a book will include a section at the front or back that explains all the standard procedures that are required in its recipes, and perhaps your “standard greasing procedure” can be found in a helpful chapter at the front of your book.

The fact is, there are a dozen standard greasing procedures, maybe thousands, and if your cookbook isn’t hiding one somewhere, you may adopt one of the following. Some pans are more prone to sticking than others, and some recipes and ingredients require a more nonstick surface than others. Depending on what you’re making, you may need a modest or a hard-line nonstick solution.

the easiest end, lining a pan with a silicone baking mat, like those from Silpat will provide a nonstick surface for many baked goods.

Many recipes call for you to butter/grease* the bottom and insides of the pan. Some people use a spatula or their fingers to spread the butter around, or they use a pastry brush to spread on melted or clarified butter. We have seen some people use the paper butter wrapper as the spreading implement, but in our experience, there is very little butter left on the wrapper to do the job. Some recipes further instruct you to sprinkle a bit of flour in the pan and turn it this way and that until the flour evenly coats the greased surfaces. Then you dump out the excess flour. Some recipes call on you to grease the inside of the pan, line the bottom (and occasionally sides) with parchment paper, grease that, then dust all the surfaces with flour.

an alternative, there are nonstick sprays on the market, and nonstick sprays with flour (originally available primarily in the professional cooking world), which can provide a nonstick surface.

Many pastry chefs mix equal parts of vegetable shortening and flour until it forms a smooth paste, then mix in another equal part of vegetable oil, blend until smooth, and coat the inside of their pans with the mixture to create a nonstick surface.

Perhaps there is a standard greasing procedure in use in military kitchens. If so, we have not heard of it.

*Grease as a verb does not generally mean to use grease, the noun – although there are recipes here and there for savory baked foods, such as cornbread, where the writer does want you to use bacon grease as the release medium. Many people refuse to do that.