Casserole vs frying pan: What are the differences?

Updated on 27 Jul 2023

A frying pan and a frying pan: along with saucepans, they are among the absolute basics of every kitchen. Yet the two are often enough confused. Not surprisingly: they have many similarities in appearance and overlap in use as well. However, those who want to be able to prepare their dishes optimally would do well to inform themselves of 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, but also vegetables. And what about the Dutch pancake? You can also slide those 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 frying pan 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 hob. 

The high rim of a frying pan also ensures that the liquid stays well in the pan. Especially when working with a larger quantity of liquid food -think of pasta sauces, for example- this is a godsend. Finally, the raised edges help you seal the sides of meat. Despite this, many cooks prefer to cook meat in a frying pan. 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. Make sure that this is clearly indicated on the packaging, as some materials cannot withstand 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 frying pan and a frying pan

The diameter of most pans is determined by the top of their wall and not by their cooking surface. What this means in practice? That a straight-walled frying pan will end up having a larger cooking surface than a frying pan of the same diameter. This can easily save several centimetres. 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 does not have to be a problem. When lifting it, however, you do notice the extra weight.

The differences at a glance

We list the differences again for you:

  • A frying pan has an upright wall, while a frying pan 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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