Like a traditional grill, I've found the Sanyo needs a good coat of nonstick cooking spray to ensure that what I'm cooking won't stick to the grill itself. Even though it's coated with a nonstick surface, my earliest attempts to cook steak and poultry ended with bits of the meat stuck to the metal, making for a laborious clean-up.
But what cooking spray to use? I thought that a basic cooking spray (in my case, Trader Joe's Canola Oil Spray) would suffice, but after a couple uses I discovered that it left a nasty black residue on the grill surface. So, like any good consumer, I turned to the Internet to see if I could find some information on the best cooking spray for an electric grill. Unfortunately, there's not a lot out there.
A few reliable resources, like ApartmentTherapy.com's The Kitchn blog, discuss the nutritional value of cooking sprays without testing or recommending brands. Mostly, however, I found message boards and forums that weren't very helpful, like Chowhound.com, where a user will ask for recommendations and receive a grab bag of replies without serious analysis.
One ConsumerSearch favorite, Cook's Illustrated magazine, does make a serious attempt to compare cooking sprays -- in this case, regular Pam and Pam Professional Heat. Editors coat one pan with regular Pam and one with Pam Professional heat, then put both on a gas stove over medium-high heat. They also stir-fry beef using both sprays.
Because Cook's Illustrated content is available only to subscribers, I can't reveal their findings. But I can report my own informal test results. Unlike regular cooking sprays, which turned black and lefty a nasty residue, the Pam Professional Heat left almost no residue and also didn't smoke when sprayed on the hot grill surface. I also checked with Derrick Riches, the About.com guide to barbecues and grilling (and one of the sources ConsumerSearch consults for its reports on gas BBQ grills and charcoal grills).
Derrick recommends Pam Professional Heat, but with this caution: Cooking sprays can be flammable, especially if used on a charcoal or gas grill. Instead, he says, "I usually recommend an oil soaked paper towel that you rub on the grill surface using your cleaning brush. This not only oils the surface but cleans it as well."
As an alternative for grillers, Derrick also recommends Weber Grill'n Spray. "It uses Soy Lecithin as the lubricant and is nonflammable. This can be applied directly to the cooking surface with the grill hot and running. It also doesn't tend to breakdown at high temperatures."