Why It's Dangerous To Use A Large Quantity Of Oil In Your Instant Pot

man pouring oil in pressure cooker
man pouring oil in pressure cooker - Olya Detry/Shutterstock

There's a good reason why pressure cookers like the Instant Pot constantly appear on lists of must-have appliances. Aside from saving you a lot of time, these gadgets are incredibly versatile. You can use them as slow cookers, rice cookers, yogurt makers, and more. However, there's one thing an Instant Pot can't do, and that's deep frying.

To be clear, you can use a small amount of oil (one to two tablespoons) to saute using your Instant Pot — in fact, most models even have a specific mode for that. But, under no circumstance should you ever fill your Instant Pot to the brim with cooking oil and use it as an improvised deep fryer. If you do this, burnt food will be the least of your worries. Using too much oil in your Instant Pot poses a significant risk of causing an explosion.

Instant Pots are not designed for pressure frying, and their seals and safety mechanisms can't handle the high-temperature reactions created when large amounts of oil are involved. The result could be catastrophic, leading to an explosion that spews scalding hot oil everywhere. The bubbling Instant Pot can also pose a fire risk; as if exploding wasn't bad enough.

Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?

What Kind Of Frying Can You Do In An Instant Pot?

pressure cooker in the kitchen
pressure cooker in the kitchen - Mihaildechev/Getty Images

The rule with an Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker, for that matter) is to stick to the intended uses noted in the manual. You can fry your food with an Instant Pot, just don't try to deep-fry it. For instance, you can safely pan-fry with an Instant Pot using the saute function. With a few tablespoons of oil, you can sear the food to achieve a delightful, crispy texture on your ingredients before pressure cooking them. Just remember to clean the excess oil from the pot before switching to pressure cooking. This method is not only safe but also quite convenient for many excellent recipes, like Instant Pot chicken and potatoes.

Stir-frying is another great option with an Instant Pot, allowing you to quickly cook your ingredients with just a touch of oil for extra flavor. Some Instant Pots have the ability to double as air fryers with the aid of special add-ons. This is a much safer way to make fried chicken for dinner instead of trying to turn the Instant Pot into a deep fryer. The best part is that air frying uses very little oil, so there's no need to worry about excess fat. This brings the bonus of typically making your meals healthier, too!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.