Skillet Vs Frying Pan Differences, Similarities And Using Purposes

Skillet vs Frying pan

Skillets are specifically used for high heat meal preparation; like grilling, roasting & oven related recipes.

Frying pans are shallower than the skillets. The skillets have a mouth for drip free poring; both can be use for multipurpose cooking needs.

Consequently, the frying pans have a flatter bottom cooking surface.

If you are specifically looking for baking & grilling needs, then go with the cast iron skillets. They are dammed good for these types of recipes.

The multi-ply stainless steel skillets are the most efficient cookware for general cooking.

On the other hand, hard anodized cookware is totally safe for oven baking, sautéing, healthy frying, etc.

Key Differences Between Skillet Vs. Pans

All skillets are the pans; but, all pans are not skillets. Many different types of pans are available on the market, like- skillets, frying pans, saucier-pan, saucepan, sauté pans, stir fry pans, etc.

There are lots of similarities present between these cookware. But, many of them are specifically designed for specific or multiple recipe needs.

Frying Pan Vs. Skillet: Detail Explanation:

Both of these cookware looks like just a normal pan. But, In general, skillets are always heavier than the frying pans. The heavily constructed sturdy handle of skillets provides a good food tossing facility.

The frying-pans are light weighed, get quickly heated & cook faster. Maximum frying pans have smoother flatter-bottom, where few skillets have a wavy bottom.

Another noticeable construction difference is- the skillet walls are always slanted; but, the frying pan walls are either slanted or slightly curve-shaped. The middle portion wall diameter is greater than the top or bottom portion diameter.

Frying pans are of many types like-Teflon, ceramic/ granite coated, hard anodized, aluminum, stainless steel pans; except the first one, all are compatible with browning, stair frying, searing. The Teflon pans are not much safe & compatible with high heat recipes.

difference between skillet and frying pan

The materials like cast-iron, stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum are mainly used for manufacturing the skillets. Many skillets have come with glass lids, unlike the frying pans.

The anodized & stainless steel skillet or frying pan both are compatible for grilling, baking, roasting, stewing. So yes, you can use these types of frying pan instead of a skillet for your cooking needs.

Do You Know Why Few Skillets Have Wavy Bottom?

These types of cookware are precisely made for grilling on any stovetops; however, you can also them for oven recipes.

In a gas or electric stove, heat passes through the exterior bottom surface to the upwards. So, if you are grilling at a high temperature, using a flatter smooth surface skillet, it may badly burn the foods.

On a wavy bottom skillet, only a few areas will get burned (the upward wave portion which touches the foods); but, it cooks perfectly. For next time, whenever you bake or grill on a stovetop, always use wavy bottom skillets.

Cast Iron Skillet Pan:

Whenever I listen to the word skillet, the first name appeared on my heat cast iron skillet. If you know how to care for & seasoned them properly, it will serve you for whole life.

This cookware is perfectly compatible with low to high heat baking & grilling recipes. Most of the cast iron kitchenware manufacturer are mass-producing cookware like skillets & Dutch ovens.

But, if you are specifically looking for cast iron frying pans, then go with the Rachel ray. Their cast-iron frying pans are perfectly go with electric/ gas stove top & ovens also.

The cast-iron skillets or frying pans are very heavy weighted; you have to season them on a frequent time interval. Otherwise, they will get rusted.

Do you know? 

This cookware contains a higher “%” of silica & carbon elements. That’s why they are more fragile in nature & have an unsmooth cooking/wall surface. If these skillets are manufactured with thinner construction like carbon steel, they might get cracked very easily.  

related article- effective ways to clean a rusty cast-iron cookware.

Is Cast Iron Skillet & Frying Pan is a same cookware?

Technically they are the same; the cast-iron skillets are deeper than the frying pans; both are heavy, due to their thicker body construction. You can use both of them to cook the same recipes.

These skillets/ frypans have come with two variations- the first one is normal cast-iron, to make them nonstick proper polymerization is required & the second one is enameled non-stick coated.

The enameled cast-iron is perfect for deep frying & also very useful for low-fat recipes. They don’t stick foods on their surface; very easy to clean & frequent seasoning is not required.

Stainless Steel Pans:

Stainless steel is fully nonreactive in nature. Moreover, food-grade standard stainless steel pans & pots completely safe for cooking. The frying pans & skillets of these cookware can be interchangeable for any recipes.

Carbon Steel Pans:

The cast iron & carbon steel both leaches mineral on foods. But, carbon steel pans have a semi nonstick cooking surface. These frying pans are harder than stainless steel; also compatible for high heat recipes.

The most popular carbon steel pan is the wok pan, & most of this cookware mainly uses for Asian cooking.

Read – key differences on carbon steel vs. stainless steel pans.

Aluminum Frying Pans:

Pure aluminum frying pans are highly reactive with foods, but this cookware has very-good thermal conductivity. So, they uniformly distribute heats from the bottom to top portion, lower down the hotspot formation possibilities.

Hard anodized aluminum pans are naturally non-stick in nature. 30% harder than stainless steel. These pans & pots are non-reactive with foods & oven safe up to 450F.. Even anodized cookware doesn’t hurt the biodiversity.

Aluminum is also used for manufacturing non-stick (granite, ceramic & Teflon coated) cookware. The ceramic & granite pans are also non-toxic, non-stick cookware.

Differences Between Square & Round Skillets

Technically the differences between these two pan, they are individually designed to fulfill specific cooking needs. Moreover, the area of a square frying pan is much bigger than the same diameter round one.

The area of 10 inches:

  • Square skillet: 100 inches2
  • Round skillet: 62.8 inches2

Suppose you are going to grill chicken breasts, each one length is 10 inches. So, in a square skillet (10 inches), start to end, all opposite walls have equal distances. You can perfectly place them on this cookware.

This is not happening for round frying pan/skillets (10″); only the middle portion (diameter) wall has the highest distances. If you move the middle portion towards the end or start points, the distances between two opposite walls will be continuous decreases.

What Is Saucepan?

These typically look like a pot, which has a sturdy & long handle. These pans have the highest volume capacity among the whole pan category.

Saucepans are round in shape; walls are totally straight, also have a lid with it. This cookware perfect for stair fry, soup making, boiling.

Stainless steel, pure aluminum & hard-anodized aluminum are mainly used for manufacturing these types of pans.

General Knowledge About Different Types Of Pans:

Frying Pan Vs. Saucepan                                   

Frying pans either have a slanting wall or a little bit curved one. The saucepans have totally straight walls; have a lid with them. All frying pans are less deeper than the saucepans.

Skillet Vs. Saute Pan

The sauté pan must have a lid; skillets may come with the lids or may not. Moreover, the sauté pans are more rooted than the skillets, have straight walls.

The mouth diameter of a skillet is slightly bigger than the bottom area. As a result, the distances between the two opposite walls become a bit more narrower from top to bottom.

So, the volume of a 10″ diameter sauté pan is much greater than a same diameter round skillet. Many skillets come with square shapes & a wavy bottom area. Whereas, the sauté pans are always round shaped & have flatter smooth bottom.

Saute Pan Vs. Saucepan: 

The sauté pans are constructed with a hybrid concept, which is a merger of a frying pan & saucepan. The frying pan base diameter is much wider, & the saucepan has a straight wall.

Sauté pans are shallower than the saucepans. At the same time, the base diameter of a sauté pan is greater than the saucepans.

French Skillets Vs. Fry Pans:

By looks, they seem like the same type of cookware. But, French skillet handles are sturdier & longer than the frying pans.


Can I Use A Frying Pan Instead Of A Skillet?

If you are using the cast-iron/stainless steel/ anodized frying pans, then obliviously, you can use them as a skillet.

Can You Fry Steak In A Saucepan?

Yes, the saucepans are compatible with steak frying. So you can go with them.

Can You Use Non Stick Pans For Deep Frying?

Hard anodized aluminum, ceramic & granite, enameled cast-iron nonstick-pans perfectly compatible for deep frying. But never use Teflon coated pans for deep frying.

Do You Think Teflon Coated Pans Are Still Dangerous?

The “modern Teflon coated pans” are not much dangerous for our health; if you care for them properly. While maintaining the FDA guideline, this nonstick coating is completely free from toxic chemicals like POFA & PTFE.

But, maximum Teflon pans constructed aluminum body. At a high heat Teflon, stat flaking, which releases toxic fumes. It hurt the pan many ways, like-

  • first, the nonstick coating gets damage.
  • Aluminum is reactive with foods, leaches minerals on it.
  • In the long term, it creates health problems like vomiting, kidney pain, etc.

Final Thoughts:

I have mostly covered all the aspects & differences between frying pan and skillet. Even I go deeper to gives you a good understanding of the whole pan category. I hope you get a good understanding of-” what cookware can be used for what types of recipes?”.

If you find something is missing from my article, please comment below; I will update it next time.

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