The Pressure Cooker
A Fast Food Revolution
Colonel Sanders was always experimenting with food at his restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, in the early days of the 1930s. He kept adding various ingredients to the flour for frying chicken and came out with a pretty tasty product.
But customers still had to wait 30 minutes while he fried the chicken in an iron skillet, which he considered about 25 minutes too long for the average person to wait. But reducing the cooking time meant doing what most other restaurants were doing – serving what they called “Southern” fried chicken fried in deep fat. Yes, it was certainly quicker, but the taste wasn't the same.
The “Gizmo” That Changed Everything
Then the Colonel went to a demonstration of a “new-fangled gizmo” – the pressure cooker – sometime in the late 1930s. During the demonstration, green beans came out tasty and perfectly cooked in minutes. This led Sanders to wonder how it might work on chicken.
He purchased one of the pressure cookers and made a few adjustments. After a lot of experimenting with cooking time, pressure, shortening temperature and level, Eureka! The Colonel had found a way to fry chicken quickly, under pressure, and come out with the best chicken he'd ever tasted, and what we've come to know as Kentucky Fried Chicken was born.
Still Under Pressure Today
Today, there are several different kinds of cookers used to make Original Recipe® Chicken. But every one of them fries under pressure, the principle established by this now-famous Kentuckian.
The Colonel's first pressure cooker is still around, holding a place of honor at the museum dedicated to Colonel Sanders at KFC's Restaurant Support Center in Louisville, Kentucky.