Frying pan vs. frying pan: what are the differences?

Updated on 25 Jul 2023
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Skillet vs. baking pan

A frying pan and a frying pan: along with cooking pans, they are among the absolute basics of every kitchen. Yet the two are often enough confused. Not surprisingly: in appearance they have many similarities and there is also overlap in use. However, those who want to be able to prepare their dishes optimally would do well to familiarize themselves with the differences. We list them!

What is a frying pan?

A frying pan can be found in every kitchen. You use it for frying meat, chicken and fish, as well as vegetables. And what about the Dutch pancake? These, too, slide from your frying pan onto your plate in one convenient movement. A frying pan has a slightly angled, convex want, where the top edge is wider than the cooking surface itself.

What is a frying pan?

A frying pan is a deeper skillet that usually comes with a lid. It not only has a higher, but also a straighter rim. This makes it suitable for frying, but also for stewing. Then again, it is not suitable for roasting; the bottom is too thin for that. The frying pan is ideal for preparing larger quantities or pieces. This is because the rim helps you to ladle it without the contents tipping over the edge. In addition, the rim manages to prevent much of the grease splatter from ending up on your stove.

The high rim of a frying pan also ensures that the liquid stays well inside the pan. Especially when working with a larger amount of liquid food -think of pasta sauces, for example- this is a godsend. Finally, the raised edges help you cauterize the sides of meat. Despite this, many cooks prefer to cook meat in a skillet. This is because the slightly convex sides make it easier to flip the meat.

Use in the oven

Most modern frying pans can be used in the oven. Just make sure this is clearly indicated on the packaging; after all, some materials are not resistant to it. As for frying pans, only the multi-purpose ones can also be used in the oven. These are the ones that do not have plastic handles, for example.

The diameter of a skillet and a frying pan

The diameter of most pans is determined by the top of their wall and not by their cooking surface. What that means in practice? That a skillet with a straight wall ends up having a larger cooking surface than a skillet of the same diameter. This can easily save several centimeters. Especially when you want to prepare larger dishes, you can make quite a mistake.

The weight

Because the frying pan has a larger cooking surface and a higher raised rim, it is also automatically heavier than a frying pan of the same size. When the pan is on the hob, this need not be a problem. When lifting it, however, you do notice that extra weight.

The differences at a glance

We recap the differences for you:

  • A frying pan has an upright wall; a skillet has a convex rim.
  • The wall of a frying pan is higher.
  • A frying pan has a larger cooking surface.
  • A frying pan is heavier.
  • Usually, a frying pan comes with a lid.

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