Fried chicken is a beloved dish worldwide, known for its crispy exterior and juicy interior. While traditionally fried in a deep fryer or skillet, many home cooks are now turning to Instant Pots for a more convenient and less messy method. This article will guide you through choosing the right cooking oil and understanding the oil quantity, specifically focusing on “how many ounces in a quart” and the concept of “pressure cooker fried chicken.”

Choosing the Right Cooking Oil

Selecting the appropriate cooking oil is crucial when frying chicken in an Instant Pot. The key factors to consider are the oil’s smoke point and flavor:

  1. High Smoke Point: Oils with high smoke points are ideal for frying as they can be heated to a high temperature without burning. Canola, vegetable, peanut, and sunflower oil are excellent choices, with smoke points well above the typical frying temperature of 350°F (175°C).
  2. Neutral Flavor: Oils that don’t impart additional flavor to your chicken are preferable. Canola and vegetable oil are famous for their neutral taste, ensuring that the chicken’s natural flavor shines through.

How Much Oil to Use

Understanding the Measurement: How Many Ounces in a Quart

To determine how much oil you need for frying in an Instant Pot, it’s essential to understand the basic measurements. There are 32 ounces in one quart. However, when frying in an Instant Pot, you won’t fill it to the brim.

The Right Amount for Pressure Cooker Fried Chicken

When making pressure cooker fried chicken, the goal is not to submerge it entirely as in traditional deep frying but to use enough oil to cook it evenly. Here’s how to calculate the right amount:

– Instant Pot Capacity: First, consider the capacity of your Instant Pot. Most models range from 3 quarts to 8 quarts.

– Safe Filling Limit: For safety and proper cooking, fill your Instant Pot with oil only up to half of its capacity. This ensures there’s enough room for the pressure to build without risk.

– Typical Amount: Filling a 6-quart Instant Pot with 1 to 1.5 quarts of oil is usually sufficient. This amounts to 32 to 48 ounces of oil.

The Cooking Process

– Preheat the Oil: Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the oil to around 350°F. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure accuracy.

– Cook in Batches: To avoid overcrowding and to ensure even cooking, fry the chicken in batches.

Safety and Tips

– Avoid Overfilling: Never overfill your Instant Pot with oil. Overfilling can cause spilling and be a significant safety hazard.

– No Pressure Cooking: Remember we use the Instant Pot as a fryer, not a pressure cooker.

– Dispose of Oil Properly: After cooking, let the oil cool down before disposing it properly. Do not pour oil down the sink.


Fried chicken in an Instant Pot is a delicious and convenient option for home cooks. You can enjoy this classic dish with less hassle and mess by choosing the right oil, understanding the measurements like “how many ounces in a quart,” and following the correct procedures for pressure cooker fried chicken. With these tips and some practice, your Instant Pot fried chicken will be a crowd-pleaser at your next family dinner or gathering.