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Any Oldtimers Work for KFC Back before the 70s?

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    Any Oldtimers Work for KFC Back before the 70s?

    I'm asking because I bought a KFC pressure cooker (date code 1969 - my birth year) used to make the Original Recipe. It is basically a 16 quart pressure canner with a 29 7/8 lb weight on top. From what little I've seen on the interwebs these were used with a deep well set up that maintained the heat uniformly. I've had problems using my Cajun Cooker with keeping a uniform temp. Just curious if anyone has used the equipment and would like to know what you remember about the set up that was used.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	58limited-2016082912410404797_1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	88.2 KB ID:	884443
    Last edited by 58limited; July 21, 2020, 07:38 PM.

    #2
    Sry, don't go back quite that far in my commercial culinary adventures, but that there is a really interestin cooker, an I thanks ya fer sharin it with us!

    Comment


      #3
      Oh yeah, I used those back in 70 to 72. KFC on East Burnside in Portland, Oregon. We had eight pots and eight burners. Rotated 4 x 4; 4 pots cooking while preparing next batch of 4 as the oil heated up (melted solid trans fat). If I remember right, we put 2 whole chickens in each pot. No deep well - just gas burners flipped to full on and then carefully timed (must have been tuned to proper gas flow). Maybe we used a thermometer, but I can't remember.

      It was quite a chore cleaning those each night; scrubbed all of them to a bright shiny finish with green scrubby. Would try to get enough chicken cooked (per estimate) that the last hour or so could be devoted to cleanup.

      I wonder about that 29 7/8 lb weight on top - I don't recall it being that heavy.

      Comment


        #4
        My residential gas stove does not have the BTUs to heat this fryer with a load of chicken. My Cajun Cooker does but I don't really have a way to measure the temperature so it was hit or miss when I used it in the past. I figured out the approximate gas valve setting on the propane cooker through trial and error finally. I have to crank up the gas when the chicken is added or the temp drops too much.

        Here is an old clip from the Tennessee Ernie Ford show with the deep well cooker. The Colonel says the pressure is 29 7/10 PSI. His cooker in this vid has several petcocks on top that were not present on later models that I've seen. The modern pressure fryers now used definitely look safer.



        I can't find the other youtube video I saw showing this same setup in a KFC in the late 60s or early 70s. There were about four (or maybe six) of these cookers in a row in that video.
        Last edited by 58limited; July 22, 2020, 01:49 AM.

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          First of all that's Minnie Pearl I see there. Second, in those days they did everything in a dress with heels and suits and ties. Remember June Cleaver cleaning the house in high heels and an apron? Ah the good old days when TV was all fantasy, sweetness and lite !!

        #5
        I think you are looking for an old, old timer.

        Comment


          #6
          That's a cool cooker. I wonder if the side burner on a gasser might be a good option. Mine is 10k BTUs. I'm sure they make bigger ones.

          Comment


            #7
            You might find this of interest. It's a series of 10 videos where they appear to be using the same exact pot as yours. https://youtu.be/89wkRly6dhc

            Comment


            • HouseHomey
              HouseHomey commented
              Editing a comment
              I’m starving now.

            #8
            Great video.

            ”Seals In The juices.”

            Comment


              #9
              It appears to have been designed to pressure fry in oil. Most modern pressure cookers, including all electric ones, are not designed to use oil and it's not safe to do so. There are a few exceptions (I bought one at a county fair many years ago, by Pressure Magic), but you really have to work to find one rated for oil.

              Comment


                #10
                Originally posted by mgaretz View Post
                It appears to have been designed to pressure fry in oil. Most modern pressure cookers, including all electric ones, are not designed to use oil and it's not safe to do so. There are a few exceptions (I bought one at a county fair many years ago, by Pressure Magic), but you really have to work to find one rated for oil.
                In support of mgaretz 's warning: https://thedeepestfry.com/read-this-...essure-cooker/

                Comment


                  #11
                  We have a grocery store here where I live that makes the best Broasted Chicken. It’s Salty, Crispy and always cooked to Perfection.

                  Nothing like the KFC. 😆

                  Comment


                  • 58limited
                    58limited commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Our local grocery chain makes good fried chicken too, I usually buy it from them rather than one of the fast food chains. They display it in a 15+ inch cast iron skillet - I always ask how much for the skillet, they just laugh.
                    Last edited by 58limited; July 22, 2020, 04:22 PM.

                  #12
                  Thanks for the replies everyone.

                  BFlynn My vintage stove is 8500 BTUs if I recall, it didn't really handle this cooker. My propane Cajun Cooker does but I have a hard time figuring out how to control the temperature.

                  luvthemstillers Thanks for the link, I've seen one of those vids but haven't watched them all.

                  mgaretz and MBMorgan Even though thousands of teenagers working their first jobs used these back in the day I'm usually nervous about firing it up. Not only because of the risks of frying in a pressure cooker but 29 7/10 PSI is a lot of pressure when most pressure cookers max out at 15 PSI. The oil level is only about 1/3 capacity. When chicken is added - about 2 birds worth - the level rises to about 2/3 capacity. I think that is the maximum capacity.

                  When Colonel Sanders first came up with this idea he simply modified a regular pressure canner. He later contracted with manufacturers to make them but looking at mine it is basically a 16 quart canning pressure cooker with the Colonel's weight added (and a riveted "Property of KFC" tag).

                  When I got mine I bought a replacement gasket - same as for the regular 16 qt. pressure cooker. The few times I was able to dial in the temp with my Cajun Cooker it performed well, I just stand away from it until I pop the valve to release pressure. I played around with it for several months after acquiring it but it has sat neglected for a year or so, I need to dig it out and try again, especially since the KFC Original Recipe was leaked a few years ago.
                  Last edited by 58limited; July 23, 2020, 02:42 PM.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Maybe only do 1 bird the first run.
                    Also, wear safety goggles and keep a fire extinguisher handy..... Just in case

                    Comment


                      #14
                      to think, he got his start as a gas station owner, even killed a rival for tampering with his sign.

                      Comment


                      • 58limited
                        58limited commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The story I've read says the Colonel and his rival (Matt Stewart) were involved in a shoot out over the sign issue. Stewart tried to kill Col. Sanders but instead killed a Shell employee who was with Sanders. Stewart was sent to prison for murder, which eliminated the Colonel's competition.
                        Last edited by 58limited; July 23, 2020, 02:22 PM.

                      #15
                      Can't make anymore of a mess than frying cracklins.

                      Comment

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