Police say a man dressed in a blue winter coat entered Cos's Corner Deli in Linden and pointed a handgun at the owner's face on Monday.
According to CBS New York, the owner grabbed a pan with hot oil he had on the stove and threw it at the robber while the suspect rifled the cash register.
The suspect fled empty handed.
The owner, who did not want to be identified, tells The Star-Ledger of Newark he couldn't stand there and watch the suspect take his "hard-earned money."
Police will review surveillance video to try to identify the suspect.