I Want to Make Chicken Just Like the Colonel

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Regardless of any tales about how the now famous colonel invented his KFC recipe by using his little old home pressure cooker, I'm going to tell you that you cannot safely do this. Even that smart Kentucky gentleman soon learned that he had to have something better than an ordinary pressure cooker and all KFC style chicken is cooked in large, commercial, restaurant-grade, heavy-duty pressure fryers. There are a few extreme risk takers who swear they have used the colonel's secret recipe for years, and never had a problem with their pressure cooker. And yes, you know someone who actually knew some guy that did this all the time - never had a problem, right? This is rather like playing Russian Roulette. No worries until the gun actually fires, right?

But...But, What's The Difference?

A pressure fryer, such as the ones available for home use by Fagor or Magefesa, cook at a lower pressure than standard pressure cookers. They generally have a distinctive bell shaper bottom for added strength. They also have a heavy-duty lid with a large metal bar that locks over the top as an added security feature.

The only way to do pressure frying at home is to purchase a special PRESSURE FRYER.

No, You Can't

Many new pressure cooker users often ask about cooking 'broasted' chicken. Some novices to the art of pressure cookery even buy their first pressure cooker for the sole purpose of making chicken just like the Colonel. Only when they get home and finally read the owners manual do they find out, much to their surprise, that they cannot use their new pressure cooker for frying hot oil under pressure.


This is an example of a commercial fryer
used to cook that famous chicken.

Read your owners manual. You absolutely, positively CANNOT use your little old pressure cooker (or your canner) as a pressure fryer.

  • A pressure cooker is NOT a pressure fryer.
  • A pressure 'frypan' is NOT a pressure fryer.

Manufacturers specifically warn against cooking large amounts of oil under pressure. Read your manual, pressure cooker instructions warn against using any amount of oil over 1/4 cup. You cannot safely use your pressure cooker for frying in oil unless you have actually purchased a pressure fryer and the owners manual specifically states this is possible. Boiling oil at 400 degrees is a scary thought, and under pressure it's terrifying.


If you can't afford a pressure fryer, and you can't use your pressure cooker for boiling oil under high pressure, what will you do?

Well, you certainly can use the bottom as a deep fat fryer on the stove WITHOUT pressure. A heavy stainless steel pot, like the bottom of a pressure cooker, makes an excellent pot for frying fish, chicken, fritters, donuts, French fries, etc. Your pressure cooker is a multi-purpose pot, use it often and use it well.

Use a spatter screen and not a regular lid. Don't use the pressure lid when using the bottom for deep frying because the high heat and spattering oil may damage the seal.


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