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May 11, 2013 08:11 AM

Pressure Frying

Since my very first bite 50 years ago, I've loved broasted chicken. A good restaurant pressure fryer will cost you $2,500-10,000, and everyone warns against using a conventional PC for pressure frying, so I thought this was a prep I couldn't do at home.

HOWEVER, in investigating PCs, I find references to 1 or 2 models of PC which are claimed to be safe and appropriate for this use. It seems the most available/recommended is the Fagor Marine/Pressure Magic unit. These are designed for shipboard and RV use and have some extra safety features (extra thick, dual down-pointing safety valves, sideways lid removal, extra safety clamp/arch, etc.). And I gather that they operate at around 10psi rather than the 15psi of most PCs.

Anyone have one? Opinions?


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  1. I think I would put pressure fryers in the same category as espresso machines, commercial blenders and wood-burning pizza left to the pros. While the Fagor isn't that expensive, man, the better part of a gallon of flaming hot oil under pressure in my house seems like a helluva hazard.

    Guessing the lower pressure is partly due to safety, partly due to logistics...the hot oil doesn't boil so generates little pressure; the steam pressure comes from the moisture in the food.

    For the kind of batches you would be making at home (one chicken, maybe a chicken-and-a-half), frying in a deep skillet and finishing over low heat with a lid on, should get you there...basically you're trading pressure for time.

    Good luck!

    8 Replies
    1. re: MikeB3542

      There was once a gentleman that travelled the country with a pressure cooker trying to get restaurant owners interested in his fried chicken.

      1. re: John E.

        And now he's dead. Let that be a lesson.

        1. re: NE_Wombat

          And, he was an A-hole and not really a Colonel...

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Of course he was not a real colonel. I have not heard that he was dislikable. Do you have a link?

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Sanders was given the title of Colonel in 1935 and again in 1949. How can you say he wasn't a Kentucky Colonel?

              1. re: JayL

                Hi, Jay:

                He was a private in the Army, a mule handler in Cuba.

                Yeah, his friend the Governor "recomissioned" him as a Kentucky Colonel. I think you'll find that, at the time of his first "commission", it was a paid thing (5,000 Colonels were made from '32 to '35 by the aptly named Gov. Ruby Laffoon).

                He was about as much of a Colonel as a bunch of retired basketball players.

                He reputedly stole the "original recipe" from a lady named Childress, years later admitting as much by paying her family $1,200. While he ran a Shell gas station in Corbin, he terrorized and beat the owner of the competing Gulf Station across the street; if memory serves, the man was either pistol-whipped or shot, and the Gulf Station became his first restaurant/hotel.

                Recently, one of his suits was featured on Antiques Roadshow. The owner, a friend, remembered him as a tyrant.


                1. re: JayL

                  When I was young I worked with a guy who was a 'Kentucky Colonel'. I think sent $5 and some sort of boxtop to some organization in Kentucky to acquire the rank of colonel.

            1. re: Kris in Beijing

              Hi, Kris:

              Nice try. No room (or fire suppression). And then there's the small matter of driving from Seattle to Methuen, MA to pick it up.

              But if it works, it's a great price. Thanks for the suggestion!


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I thought that, all in all, another $40 for a pallet delivery charge was a good deal [that info was somewhat hidden in the description].

                Every recipe that I found [with the exception of A LOT of urdu ones I can't read] said prep as for fried chicken, fry in 2" of oil in the PC, then when it's all crispy close it up and PC for 20min.

                What's your current method?

            2. To be honest, I bought a Fago about 5 years ago just for that and have not yet used it for chicken. I use it for stews and other things and love it, but just haven't gotten around to frying in it yet. The instruction book that comes with it is pretty good

              1. Good luck. Do you need to cook in volume? Why the desire for pressure frying for small batches/home cooking? On the whole, you're probably only going to save a scant few minutes for the added fire risk.

                If you're doing large batches, let us know the address so we can all come check out the goods once you get your new fry unit:)

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Hi, CM:

                    Well, why risk anything? The PC models I mention are approved for this use.

                    The broasted chicken I'm after is juicier inside than I can attain by simply frying (yes, I've tried brining). It's one of those preps I'm concluding *requires* something like this.


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Kuhn Rikon makes a pressure "skillet" that would work for what you want. Last time I checked it came in a two piece set, 1 lid, 1 skillet, and 1 3.5L pot.

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        How long are you frying your chicken?