Pressure fryers! If you do not know, pressure fryers are partly to blame for KFC’s success over the years. So, if you are looking for a way to make delicious KFC-style chicken at home, you would obviously need to invest in a high-quality home pressure fryer- as a commercial one just won’t do in a home kitchen.
The reasons why the pressure fryer is most preferred for making deep fried chicken is because of the mechanism it utilizes, which allows chicken and any other food items to be deep fried to cook and brown evenly.
The other reason is that pressure cookers are extremely efficient and cook faster than any other frying method while still doing the job properly. Pressure frying also generally results in a tastier and juicer end product, which probably explains why it is so popular over say, deep frying or cast-iron skillet frying.
How does pressure frying work?
To put it as plainly as possible, pressure frying basically consists of frying food under intense pressure. Before Colonel Sanders switched to using pressure fryers, customers would often be forced to wait for as long as 45 minutes for their fried chicken. Colonel Sanders’ first pressure fryer was actually one that he had converted from a pressure cooker; which is quite risky and highly discouraged today.
Pressure frying is not much different from deep frying except that when the food being fried is placed into hot oil, the lid is usually lowered over the pot and secured to create an airtight pressurized environment.
As food contained in the pot continues to heat up, the surface moisture evaporates into steam, therefore increasing the amount of pressure in the pot even further. Once the pressure accumulates, a barrier is formed around the food items being fried which prevents any more moisture from being lost. The barrier also seals the food’s natural juices and seals out excess oil, causing a notable difference in both the texture and flavor of the food.
Pressure Frying Using A Pressure Cooker?
The truth about pressure frying at home
If you intend on pressure frying at home, you should never, ever attempt to use a pressure COOKER for frying your food. EVER. This is because the rubber seals on pressure cookers are not designed to withstand the intense pressure of the heat produced by hot oil.
Therefore, the only thing that can be used to pressure fry properly is a pressure FRYER, not pressure COOKER.
Although there are plenty of resources and people that claim to have converted their pressure cookers into fryers successfully, this is not something that you should ever attempt to do as you would essentially be turning your pressure cooker into a death trap. If you check your pressure cooker’s user manual, there should be a warning against using your pressure cooker in such a manner as it was designed to be used with excessive amounts of oil.
In many scenarios, the maximum amount of cooking oil that you are allowed to use with a product that cooks under pressure is about a quarter of a cup of oil. In most instances, vegetable oil is recommended for use as other types of solid fats like shortening and lard can combine with the steam to produce a terrible gummy taste in the food.
The safest way to pressure fry is to actually invest in a pressure fryer that has been designed to handle the task. Even when you do finally invest in a superior pressure fryer of your choice, there are certain instructions that have to be read and followed to the letter to avoid accidents from happening.
A pressure cooker IS NOT a pressure fryer.
A pressure fry pan IS NOT a pressure fryer.
Why pressure fry using pressure FRYER?
Essentially, there are many different methods of frying food, each with its obvious advantages and disadvantages. But if you are looking for faster cooking times without impacting the flavor of the meal being prepared, then nothing beats a pressure fryer.
Frying revolves around water. In this case, the water being referred to is the moisture that is naturally found in the food items to be fried. When you pressure fry, it forces the moisture to boil at even higher temperatures than it would with any other cooking method, which is what speeds us the cooking times.
This speed is also why pressure fryers are preferred in situations where a lot of food has to be cooked simultaneously such as busy fast food restaurants. Some more reasons why you should invest in pressure fryers include:
- Pressure frying yields product faster
When you pressure fry, what you get is food that has cooked quicker and has lost less flavor and moisture, which results in a tastier and juicer product. Pressure frying also produces a healthier result as the natural juices and nutrients become sealed in easily.
In a traditional deep fryer, there is typically a layer of grease or oil left on the outside of the food while the inside remains dry. This reduces the quality and the appeal of the food a great deal, which can mean the difference between a bland meal and a flavourful one. Less oil is also absorbed, which means that there is no greater substitute for those looking for a better alternative to frying.
As mentioned earlier, pressure fryers operate by creating low pressure in the cooking chamber. Thus, the food prepared is cooked much faster; about 50 percent faster compared to open frying.
- Improved oil life
Compared to open fryers, pressure fryers are also the best for better oil life. Because pressure fryers cook food faster at lower temperatures and because the moisture in the food rarely mixes into the cooking oil being used, it allows your cooking oil to stay cleaner for longer without having to be replaced.
- Long lasting
Over time, a pressure fryer that has been used continually will obviously accrue some maintenance costs. But like most pieces of machinery, for your pressure fryer to last, you should do your best to take care of it properly. A high-quality pressure fryer can serve you for up to 15 years as long as it is well maintained.