Skillet vs Frying Pan: What's The Difference?

Skillet vs Frying Pan: What's The Difference?

A frying pan or skillet is used for frying, sautéing, stir-frying, pan-frying, braising, searing, and reheating.  Many people get confused about whether a skillet and a frying pan are the same or different. They wonder if the terms are interchangeable. Can you help clarify this for them?

In this blog post, I'll clear up the confusion about whether a skillet and a frying pan are the same or different.

What is a Difference between a skillet and a frying pan?

People often wonder about the difference between a skillet and a frying pan. They're just different words for the same thing you cook with. Both terms are used interchangeably and refer to the cookware that people use to fry up foods.

What is a frying pan?

Frying pans or skillets are typically made from metals such as aluminum or stainless steel, while their handles are often made from a thermoset compound material. A frying pan has a round shape, a flat bottom with flared sides, and one handle for easy handling while cooking. You can use it for frying, searing, Reheating, Toasting, or Reducing Liquids.

What is the average size of a frying pan?

Choosing the right frying pan can be confusing due to the various sizes available online and in stores. The size you need depends on the amount of food you usually cook.  However, when it comes to pressure cookers, the most commonly preferred sizes are 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches.

How do you measure frying pan size?

Knowing the size of your frying pan tells you how much food you can cook in it at once. To measure the size of your frying pan, place a measuring tape across the widest part of the pan, measuring from one edge to the other.

What is an electric frying pan?

Electric fry pans or skillets typically have a base made of aluminum material, which helps them cook faster. They also come with a clear lid made of tempered glass, which you can use to cover the food while it cooks. An electric frying pan uses electricity to heat food. Electric frying pans commonly come in both square shape and round shape. It has many advantages over a normal frying pan, such as portability, time-saving, even heat, and adjustable temperature. 

What type of frying pan is best?

Cast iron frying pans or skillets are a better choice when compared to Copper, Ceramic, aluminum, or steel pans as they have more advantages over other materials that are used to make frying pans. Many people prefer a cast iron frying pan due to its ease of cleaning, affordability, ability to hold heat well, natural nonstick surface, and versatility for serving.

What to look for when buying a new frying pan?

When buying a frying pan or skillet, look for pans that are easy to clean, durable, thicker, and good in heat retention. Additionally, avoid buying Teflon non-stick pans as they release toxic fumes into the air at high temperatures instead buy cast iron fry pans because they have natural nonstick surfaces safe to use. 

What can I use instead of a nonstick frying pan?

Cast iron and stainless steel materials are excellent alternatives to nonstick pans. I prefer cast iron because it offers superior nonstick properties compared to stainless steel. Plus, cast iron frying pans enhance the flavor of the food, are safe to use, and are exceptionally easy to clean.


In summary, whether you call it a skillet or a frying pan, both are pretty much the same thing in the kitchen. They're both handy for cooking up all sorts of tasty dishes, from frying and sautéing to reheating leftovers. Don't get too caught up in the names.


What frying pan does Ina Garten use?

Ina Garten mostly uses stainless steel frying pans, and these are usually an All-Clad frying pan. All-Clad is a brand of premium-quality cookware created in 1971 by John Ulam. They are available online on their official websites and some other cookware stores.

Why use a stainless steel frying pan?

Stainless steel frying pans are extremely durable compared to other materials. Steel lunch boxes are easy to clean and maintain, as they are usually dishwasher-safe. Additionally, these are non-toxic materials that can keep you safe and healthy. 

What to do with old frying pans?

If the frying pan or skillet is in good condition, consider donating it to a local charity. If the frying pan is no longer usable, check with your local recycling facilities. Alternatively, you can get creative by repurposing it as a bird bath, plant saucer, or drip tray.

What are small frying pans for?

Small frying pans are perfect for Single servings of dishes such as one fried egg and pancake. They're also good for making frittatas, toasting spices, garlic butter, or omelets. When choosing a new frying pan, it's recommended to opt for a larger size. A larger pan allows you to cook a variety of foods that can also be cooked in smaller pans. However, the opposite isn't true – smaller pans cannot accommodate the same quantity as larger ones. 

What pans do professional chefs use?

In professional kitchens, chefs will mainly be using cast iron and stainless steel frying pans. Although frying pans can be made from various materials such as aluminum and copper, cast iron and stainless steel frying pans are more popular among professional chefs.

Can frying pans go in the dishwasher?

Stainless steel and Teflon™ non-stick coating frying pans can be washed in the dishwasher, while copper, cast iron, or aluminum frying pans need to be washed by hand.

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