Frying Pan VS Skillet Explained(When To Use What)

A frying pan and a skillet. These two terms have a tendency to get mixed up all the time. Believe it or not, though, there is a difference between them! Does it make a difference in your cooking if you make use of one instead of the other? In this article, I will do my best to explain the difference between these 2 cooking devices.

  • A skillet has a lid as it is originally resembling a saucepan while a frying pan does not have a lid, you should always check if your recipe asks for you to use the lid or not.
  • A skillet is in general at least 2 inches deep with high sides while a fry pan is shallow and has low sides and a long handle.
  • A frying pan is a flat-bottomed pan which is used to sear and fry food while a skillet is also a flat-bottomed pan which is utilized for sautéing, grilling, cooking, and also roasting besides being made use of for deep and shallow frying. I would recommend a skillet if you are a beginner, and a frying pan if you cook quite a bit.


In my kitchen, I tend to use both of these pans. Although they are similar as well as have the very same functions, a number of differences make them distinct from each other. One of the is that skillets were originally created to mimic a saucepan. It is made with a lid, which I think id very convenient regardless, and is generally regarding 2 inches deep where one can deep-fry food while it can additionally be utilized for just regular frying. It is an extremely essential cooking area device due to the fact that it has lots of usages and it is pretty versatile. And aside from frying, it can also be used in sautéing and barbecuing.

A frying pan is a flat-bottomed pan which is used primarily for searing, frying, as well as browning food. It has reduced sides, a long handle, as well as has no cover, but you can buy one separately if you really want to. I sometimes just put a bigger diameter lid on top of my frying pan so it functions as a lid for it as well. Besides cast iron, frying pans might likewise be made from lightweight aluminum, stainless steel, copper, or a combination of these various products.

Roasts, stews, as well as fricassees can additionally be prepared in just a frying pan. Frying pans are made from a selection of materials. The most prominent is cast iron which is likewise the material made use of in the making of the majority of frying pans. Cast iron is a great material, it would be my first choice, but I can also recommend stainless steel, it is just great for beginners because it is so easy to cook on it and look after it.

There are a number of types of frying pans like, for instance, non-stick frying pans which are popular as well as are very convenient to make use of because food active ingredients will not stick to the frying pan. I always make sure I buy a non-stick pan for my kitchen collection, simply because it is so low maintenance, you just need a bit of oil( or even no oil if it’s a high-quality pan), and you are good to go. Just throw your food on the pan, cook it, and then stick your frying pan into the dishwasher. It is not good for deglazing, however, if the residue from the browning is to be utilized later. When cooking with frying pan, it is first coated with oil which allows for better contact with the food as well as the pan. It boosts the taste and also look at food and also minimizes the quantity of time that it requires to prepare the food.


Use frying pan Use skillet
For general  sautéing, pan-frying, and stir-frying For general  sautéing, pan-frying, and stir-frying
When you don’t require a lid. When you require a lid (for simmering, poaching, braising, reducing greens, etc.).
When using a “dry heat” method (small amount of liquid/oil) or very little liquid (like a pan sauce) For both dry and wet heat cooking (e.g., a small amount of liquid/oil or large amount of liquid/oil)
For the dishes that ask for high-heat searing For the dishes that ask for high-heat searing
When you need to do the “chef toss” to move food around your pan


Among the defining attributes of a skillet is the reality that the sides are slanted. While the overall area of cooking is a bit smaller sized than the very same sized the frying pan it features a number of advantages.

You have far better accessibility to what you are cooking and this makes them extremely useful for cooking things like stir-fries and also various other types of frying where you require to be moving it around a whole lot. Skillets are particularly helpful for frittatas which are offered from the frying pan.

Skillets are also called frying pans or frying pan which can make complex points a little for those that brand-new to food preparation. You get several kinds and also the material that they are made from will vary. Below is a breakdown of the product they are made from as well as what these products benefit.

Advantages Disadvantages
GreatHeat Retention The handle tends to heat up
Non-Stick and Non-Toxic Rust
Can Increase Food’s Iron Content Quite Heavy
Oven Safe


Saute frying pans have a tendency to have sides that are straight up. They have been designed similar to this since they are better suited to making sauces as well as, as the name suggests sauteing. Due to the fact that they are usually utilized for cooking things at lower temperature levels, they commonly include nonstick coverings. These are tiny differences however they are very important and will affect the result of the meal that you wish to cook. For example, you would certainly never want to make an omelet in a saute frying pan.  If you are preparing a sauce for a pasta recipe then this is the pan that you would be utilizing.

Advantages Disadvantages
Produces Flavorful Dishes Easy To Burns Food
Scratch-Resistant Surface Sometimes Uneven Cooking
Fast Cooking Needs Attention
Requires Less Oil


  • Look for triple-layer pans. Triple-layer products normally include a layer of aluminum-clad between 2 layers of stainless steel. Lightweight aluminum transmits warmth extremely rapidly, while stainless-steel heats up much more slowly and also can keep its temperature much better when cool foods are contributed to it. Put these two qualities together, and you have actually obtained a pan that heats uniformly as well as maintains its warmth for sautéing and searing.
  • Seek riveted handles. Riveted handles ought to last a lifetime, they will be definitely a good choice.
  • If it’s your first frying pan, do not buy nonstick. A nonstick frying pan is excellent for some uses- eggs, pancakes, super-delicate fish-however a stainless pan is much more functional. You can heat it hotter, providing you a much better sear.
  • Avoid disk-bottomed frying pans. Disk-bottomed pans are stainless steel pans with a lightweight aluminum disk welded to the bottom. Conceptually, they work similarly as clad products, yet the disks tend to fall off. They additionally do not disperse heat to the sides of the pan.
  •  You get what you pay for. Those $29.99, 13-piece frying pan collections appear like a lot, up until you try sweating onions in them as well as find half your onions sticking while the other half are raw, or understand that the frying pans don’t preserve enough warmth to scorch over half a steak at once.


When looking at which is best, cast iron skillet vs frying pan, it actually comes down to an individual selection and relates to how you operate in the cooking area. If you have a variety of frying pans that have certain features, after that you might be extra likely to add a cast-iron frying pan to your collection whereas if you’re looking for an all-arounder, a stainless-steel or aluminum frying pan will most likely be a far better fit.