Is A Skillet A Frying Pan?

Believe it or not, a skillet is not a frying pan. We know that many people use the terms interchangeably. However, we are afraid that’s not right. Therefore, if you are trying to purchase a skillet, ensure you differentiate the features to avoid buying the wrong thing.

Aside from having different physical features, skillets and frying pans perform different functions. A skillet is used for cooking vegetables, braising sauces, baking, broiling, or roasting. On the other hand, a frying pan is used to shallow fry, sauté, and stir foods.

The differences between a skillet and a frying pan don’t end here. We have more essential differences that we shall discuss below. Read on to understand the other differences.

At A Glance! Skillet Vs Frying Pan

1. Shape Difference

Though skillets and frying pans have similar shapes, frying pans have slanted sides that flair more outwards. Due to this reason, frying pans are more rounded than skillets. 

2. Holding Capacity

Skillets are bigger and can cook more food than frying pans. Look at this example; a 9-inch skillet can hold 2 quarts while a 9-inch frying pan will hold 1.5 quartz. Can you notice the difference?  As you can see, the frying pan has less capacity.

3. Material Used

Most skillets are made from cast iron. We all know that cast iron is strong, durable, and can endure high levels of heat. For that reason, skillets are suitable for braising sauces, baking, and cooking vegetables.

On the contrary, a frying pan is either made from aluminum, copper, or steel.

4. Time  Spent on Cooking

Frying pans and skillets have different cooking times. For cast-iron skillets, the cooking time is longer because they have thicker bottoms and sides. Furthermore, skillets are made of cast iron that takes a long period to heat.

On the other hand, frying pans are made of thinner sides that take a very short time to heat.

5. Easy to Use

Due to their large size, skillets are easy to use. You can sauté or even sear huge amounts of food at once.

The situation is very different when using a frying pan. Due to their small surface area, you can only cook small amounts of food. In addition, make sure you don’t waste any food when turning.

6. Deepness

Skillets are a little bit deeper than frying pans.

7. Weight

Skillets are high in weight than frying pans.

8. Durability

Skillets are relatively durable than frying pans.

9. Oven Safe

Skillets are oven-safe. On the other hand, frying pans are not oven-safe.

10. Cleaning

Both skillets and frying pans are very easy to clean.

11. Dishwasher Safe

Both skillets and frying pans can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but it is unsafe to clean them. Handwash is the best and safest way of cleaning both skillets and frying pans. The dishwasher may damage the skillets and pans’ handle, color, and material.    

12. Price

Frying pans are more pricey than skillets.

Is A Skillet Another Name For A Frying Pan?

No! The names skillet and frying pans refer to different things. The main reason why most people use the terms interchangeably is that they have some similarities. For example, both can shallow fry, grill up steak and even scramble an egg.

However, the shared functions don’t mean that the two names refer to the same type of kitchenware.

In addition, most people use the names interchangeably because they belong to the pan family. However, you need to understand that ‘pan’ is a general term that refers to different cooking utensils.

It can refer to a skillet, a frying pan, a sauté pan, a cake pan, or a saucepan. The term is not limited to a specific cooking vessel.

While a cooking beginner can interchangeably use the names skillet and frying pans, an experienced chef will ensure that he uses the terms differently. This is because the professional chef understands that the two items achieve different results.

As we mentioned above, skillets are heavier and retain heat better than frying pans.

On the other hand, frying pans are lighter and easy to clean. Therefore, if you are looking to ensure that your food is evenly cooked, purchase a skillet. However, if you need something easy to clean, buy a frying pan.

The bottom line: a skillet is not another name for a frying pan. 

Is A Cast Iron Skillet A Frying Pan?

A direct answer to this is no. The two kitchen wares are different in shape and function. While cast iron skillets have curved sides, frying pans have straight sides.

Due to their vast and open shapes, cast iron skillets make it easy to flip, move and stir ingredients. Also, their smooth sides enable you to serve food from the dish to the plate. However, due to their wide opening, skillets have a small cooking surface.

Any food that settles on the sides doesn’t contact heat quickly as food at the bottom of the frying pan. Cast iron skillets are mainly used for baking, broiling, or roasting food.

Other advantages of a cast-iron skillet are:

It Is Non-Stick: Cast iron skillets are manufactured with a protective layer that prevents the food from sticking on the surface. In addition, you can easily create a non-stick protective coating by cooking severally on a skillet.

Durable: Cast iron is strong; therefore, it will serve you for an extended period.

It Retains Heat: Cast iron skillets evenly and slowly heat up. Due to this reason, it retains food to heat for a longer time. 

In contrast, frying pans have a lesser opening, leaving a large surface area for cooking. With a sizeable bottom, they are used for flipping and shaking food. 

Other advantages of the frying pan include:

Quick Reheating: Since frying pans are thin, they heat up quickly and cook food in less time.

Easy To Maintain: Frying pans don’t require any special treatment to preserve their seasoning. Also, frying pans are easy to clean.

Saves Cooking Oil: Due to their non-stick surface, frying pans use less oil for cooking.

What Type Of Skillet Is Best For Frying?

A well-stocked kitchen should contain three major types of skillets. These are the cast iron, non-stick and stainless steel skillet. Once the kitchen is all stocked up, you should learn how to use the skillets.

The best type of skillet for frying is the stainless steel skillet. It conducts heat evenly to ensure that all the food is fried evenly. Have you ever eaten food that is raw inside?

Well, that is what happens when your cooking equipment is unable to distribute heat evenly. We recommend that you use the stainless steel skillet to ensure that your food is fried well. 

Furthermore, stainless steel skillets ensure that your food is beautifully fried with crispy edges. Once the food is fried correctly, you can carefully scrape off the stuck remaining bits with a spatula. It is impossible to scrape off the remaining bits on a non-stick skillet without damaging it.

Finally, stainless steel skillets are chemical-free. You don’t need to stress about the coating flaking into your food.

The only challenge with a stainless steel skillet is that it is sticky. However, you can address the challenge by seasoning the stainless steel skillet. Once you season the skillet, you will create a non-stick surface. 

We recommend that you use the stainless steel skillet for frying to achieve great results.

Final Thoughts

Skillets and frying pans are used interchangeably. This is because they are commonly used to perform similar functions.

However, if you are careful, you will notice that they are different. For example, while a skillet is large, a frying pan has a small capacity. 

Skillets and frying pans also differ in their roles. A skillet is commonly used for baking, broiling, braising sauces, cooking vegetables, or roasting food. On the other hand, a frying pan is used to sear meats, shallow fry meat, sauté food, and brown food.

We have outlined the different features of a skillet and frying pan, we believe we have answered the question – is a Skillet a Frying Pan? Enjoy reading the article and share the information too!

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