Can You Deep Fry In A Pressure Cooker?
Pressure cookers seem like they can do anything, and you’ve likely wondered, can I use my pressure cooker as a deep fryer? The short answer is: no. Pressure cookers aren’t made to be used as deep fryers, and doing so can damage your cooker and your meal. The long answer, though is that you can use your pressure cooker to sauté in oil, but you can’t deep fry. That’s because of how a pressure cooker is built and how it is intended to cook.
How does a pressure cooker work?
Pressure cookers cook by heating water or broth well beyond the boiling point and sealing the container, creating pressure inside. The pressure and heat then work together to cook the food all the way through while rendering it moist and tender.
The reason you can’t deep fry in a pressure cooker is that deep frying uses oil rather than water or broth as the means of cooking. Water boils at 212°F / 100°C. When deep frying, the oil needs to be heated to between 350-375°F / 177-191°C. Even with the added pressure inside the cooker, the temperature of most pressure cookers only reaches about 248°F / 120°C.
Additionally, pressure cookers aren’t made to be used with large amounts of oil like you would need to deep fry something. If you fill your cooker with oil and try to use it, it could be severely damaged as well as causing injury to you and damaging your kitchen.
Aren’t there pressure fryers?
Now you might be saying, hang on a minute. I know pressure frying is a real thing. Is deep frying in pressure cookers so different from pressure cooking? Well, yes. Pressure frying is real as made famous by Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken. And although similar in concept and construction to a pressure cooker, pressure fryers are made to cook at higher temperatures and pressures using oil instead of water. If you are set on pressure frying, make sure you get an appliance specifically built for that purpose or you’re going to have a mess on your hands.
Is there anything I can fry in a pressure cooker?
Now for the good news. Yes! You can certainly use your pressure cooker to do some frying. You can sauté using almost any pressure cooker. Many will require you to do it manually, but some electric pressure cookers now have a sauté function. If you’re interested in using pressure cooking for pan fried foods, there are even pressure cooker fry pans specifically made for that purpose.
It can be tempting to think of your pressure cooker as a Swiss Army knife of the kitchen. And just like with a Swiss Army knife, you can perform several functions with just the one tool. But just as you wouldn’t try to cut down a tree with a Swiss Army knife, you don’t want to try to deep fry with your pressure cooker. It’s just not made for the job. Just because deep frying is out of the question though, that doesn’t mean you’re only stuck making soups and stews with your pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is a truly wonderful kitchen tool, and when used the way it’s intended, you’ll be amazed at all the things you can do with it.