Pressure cookers are known for their versatility and how they are a great way to cook food for those who are short on time. With all the wonderful things that you can achieve with a pressure cooker, you might wonder whether or not you could use it for your deep frying needs.
A pressure cooker is not suitable for deep frying food. This is because the maximum temperature a pressure cooker can operate at is 250°F, and oil can reach up to 350°F when deep frying. Moreover, deep frying can destroy the insides of your pressure cooker and will eventually result in undercooked food.
Don’t get sad yet! There are pressure fryers that are built and designed solely for the purpose of deep frying. Find out below how and why it is not recommended to deep fry in a pressure cooker.
What happens if you pressure cook oil?
Pressuring cooking oil is dangerous. Pressurized steam is unsafe itself, but pressurized oil fumes are even worse, and your normal pressure cooker isn’t designed to hold them. If something goes wrong, there could be an explosion. Moreover, cooking food in a pressure cooker with oil will probably dissolve or overcook.
The oil does not generate steam which is also crucial for pressure cooking. However, you can safely sauté your food in a pressure cooker as long as you have the lid off, then you can add some water or other liquid to generate steam inside the pot, and you will not face any issues. You can even boil water in a pressure cooker!
Don’t have a deep fryer? Here’s what you can do!
Most households and kitchens have a deep fat fryer for their deep frying needs. However, it is not absolutely necessary to have one. You can still safely deep fry your food with the equipment that you already have in your kitchen. All you need is a frying pan, some cooking oil, and a spoon.
A thermometer is a good piece of equipment to have if you want to control the temperature of the oil, but again, it is not essential.
The best oils for deep frying are flavorless and those with high smoking points. For instance: canola oil, sunflower oil, groundnut, and vegetable oil.
Here is how you can fry without a pressure fryer:
Step 1: Grab a saucepan and pour oil into it
Grab a saucepan and fill it with your cooking oil. Make sure not to fill it more than 1/3 as oil expands when it’s hot and can be hazardous.
Step 2: Place the pan on the stove
Put your saucepan on the stove. If you’re using a gas flame, ensure that the flames do not extend further than the width of the pan, as that can be extremely dangerous.
Step 3: Heat the oil up to your desired temperature
Heat the oil on the stove up to your desired temperature (medium flame usually). Oil for deep frying usually reaches a temperature between 350°F and 375°F. You can use a thermometer to monitor this temperature.
However, if you don’t have a thermometer, then you can simply drop a small cube of bread in the hot oil. It should turn golden brown within 15 seconds. This is when you know your oil is ready to be used.
Step 4: Use a slotted spoon
Use a slotted spoon to immerse and spin your food around in the hot oil, and fry as per the recipe’s instructions.
How do you fry in a domestic pressure cooker?
You can still fry in a pressure cooker if you don’t have a pressure fryer or deep fryer, but you should expect the results to be slightly different. Sautéing in a pressure cooker is quite simple. Just pour in some oil and fry the food normally as you do in a pot.
How is a pressure fryer different from a pressure cooker?
A pressure fryer is mostly seen in commercial uses. A pressure fryer works by increasing the atmospheric pressure inside the sealed unit of the pot, causing the boiling point of the oil and the water or moisture contained in the food to rise. What this does is that it seals the moisture of the meat that you are cooking, leaving it juicy and delicious.
While a pressure fryer is more suitable for commercial use, a pressure cooker can be used domestically. But again, it is not safe to deep fry in a pressure cooker. This is because the oil inside the pressure cooker does not generate steam – which is crucial to building pressure inside the cooker to make it work ideally.
Moreover, the oil used in deep frying reaches a temperature higher than 350 degrees, while a pressure cooker works at a max of 250 degrees. This is a potential hazard that can lead to an explosion too!
Here’s a comparison table between a modern pressure cooker and a pressure fryer.
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What oil do you use to deep fry?
Vegetable oil is the best option to go for if you want to deep fry. Oils such as canola, peanut, and sunflower oil are popularly used in deep frying. The healthiest oil for frying is olive oil.
Conclusion on deep frying in a pressure cooker!
A pressure cooker is used for many reasons and has many features that make it one of the best equipment in your kitchen. Whilst there seems to be endless possibilities with a pressure cooker; you should never deep fry food in it. There are other better options to do so, but deep frying in a pressure cooker will leave you with disappointing results in terms of food and will also cause substantial damage to your pot.