It’s a question that I get asked quite often. ‘Can I put oil in my pressure cooker?’ The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem.
Technically, yes, a small amount of oil can be added to your pressure cooker, but I would not advise doing so unless sauteing.
I especially would not be attempting to pressure fry anything in a pressure cooker.
If you’ve just started out using your pressure cooker, you may have a couple of questions, such as ‘how does a pressure cooker work?’ ‘What can you add to a pressure cooker?’ ‘Is it safe to put oil in a pressure cooker?’ etc.
In the following post, I have provided detailed answers to these questions and more.
To understand if it is possible or whether you need to use oil in a pressure cooker, I think it’s essential to know how a pressure cooker works.
Let’s look at the basics of how pressure cooking works.
As described in a previous article, we wrote called Pressure Cooker vs Air Fryer:
‘As a pressure cooker pot is heated, the liquid inside generates steam, which increases pressure inside the pot.
This rising pressure has two effects. It raises the boiling point of the liquid inside the pot, causing the food to cook faster.
The higher the boiling pot, the faster your food cooks. And two, it forces more liquid into the food. For foods like meats, it means they’ll end up being more succulent and tender.’
As pressure cooking food means food is cooking in an environment where there is both liquid and steam, there is no real need to use oil as the primary ‘liquid’ to stop foods from burning or sticking while being cooked.
If you want to fry food using oil, I recommend using either a deep fryer or pressure fryer. A deep fryer operates by submerging food into the hot oil.
Unlike a pressure cooker, this equipment does not cook food using pressure.
On the other hand, a pressure fryer is designed to fry foods in hot oil under pressure.
However, this cooking technique requires a particular appliance specially manufactured to do so.
Experts emphasize that you should never attempt to pressure-fry any food in a standard pressure cooker because it’s just not designed for this purpose.