Can we cook food in a pressure cooker with oil?
We can use oil in a pressure cooker in order to fry or brown meat. We can sauté and prepare vegetables or meat or fish in the same way as with conventional cooking.
However, a pressure cooker needs water in order to work as a pressure cooker. When you use oil to cook food, you do this with the lid off so at this point the pressure cooker functions like an ordinary large saucepan.
If you are using an electric pressure cooker, there is fry or sauté setting for this purpose.
Once you have completed this part of the recipe and then want to cook under pressure, you need to add the water or liquid such as stock before sealing the lid.
You cannot cook in a pressure cooker without liquid because this type of cooking relies on steam. Once the liquid reaches boiling point – at a temperature that exceeds the boiling point of conventional cooking methods, you can regulate the temperature according to your needs.
There are some claims that you can deep fry in a pressure cooker but you can’t. Oil does not produce steam and you need far higher temperatures to boil oil which a pressure cooker will not be able to reach.
Although pressure frying in oil has been done in a commercial setting, most notably by Colonel Saunders who invented a way to pressure fry chicken, KFC cooking equipment was modified for this purpose. Pressure cooking in oil is not possible to do in an ordinary domestic pressure cooker. If you wish to deep fry your food, you need to invest in a deep fat fryer or chip pan.
Using olive oil or other oils is important in cooking. You can use any type of oil or butter in a pressure cooker and if you need to fry off your ingredients before they cook under pressure, this is perfectly safe and acceptable. As long as you ensure that you add the correct quantity of liquid before you seal the lid, in order to generate steam and enable the pressure cooker to reach high temperatures safely, you should not have a problem.