Difference between a Skillet and a Frying Pan

Updated on June 22, 2018

With so many cooking shows on TV, it’s no wonder more people are getting into preparing their own food. Also, it helps when you think about how you can prepare your favorite foods yourself, just the way you like it. So, learning a few things about cooking, ingredients, and techniques comes with the territory. But what about learning more about the utensils, like learning the difference between a skillet and a frying pan?

Definitions

skillet, also known as a frying pan
A skillet

A skillet, also known as a frying pan, is a flat-bottomed pan, usually with flared and slightly curved sides. This cooking utensil is usually made of copper, cast-iron, or aluminum. You can use it for frying, searing, roasting, deep frying, and even sauteing. It’s most common size is that of 12 inches in diameter. It always has a handle, but not a lid.

Skillet vs Frying Pan

Although there are some who confuse a skillet with a saute pan, which has straight sides, a skillet and a frying pan are the same thing. So, if you are wondering what is the difference between a skillet and a frying pan, the answer is nothing.

Where does the confusion come from?

The main reason why there is confusion about whether they are two different utensils or the same thing is that more and more amateur chefs have started making video recipes. It is not necessarily their expertise and background that makes them famous, but their charisma and how well they explain their movements around the kitchen. Therefore, a person who has never trained to be a chef but who simply knows how to cook can start posting material online, using “skillet,”” frying pan,” and “saute pan” interchangeably.

Things only professionals would know

In a professional kitchen, a seasoned chef would know exactly which pan to use. Also, in a professional kitchen, there would be a very wide variety of pans for every different type of food you would like to prepare. By comparison, a person may only have two of these in their own home.

They all do the same thing… more or less

To an untrained eye, a person can saute vegetables, brown, and deep fry them in the same pan. It only takes some practice and dexterity. To a professional, the handle, the material the pan is made of, its exact shape, and the type of food he intends to cook will dictate the precise selection of the pan.

Conclusion

Therefore, on the issue of skillet vs. frying pan, the verdict is that they are both the same thing. The main confusion is actually between this utensil and the saute pan, which has straight sides.

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